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Concerning the Magic of the Ancients
Edited, Translated, and Annotated by Joseph H. Peterson
ISBN: 9780892541522
Book (Hardcover)
Ibis Press
6 x 9
128 pages
16+ illustrations
May 1, 2009


In many ways, Arbatel is unique among texts on magic. Unlike the vast majority of writings, it is clear, concise, and elegantly written. The practical instructions are straightforward and undemanding. When it first appeared in 1575, it attracted the attention of people with a surprisingly broad range of agendas, including some of the finest minds of the time. Often quoted and reprinted, both praised and condemned, its impact on western esoteric philosophy has been called "overwhelming."

Arbatel's magic is full of wonder and free from the sinister elements usually associated with texts on the subject. But it is about more than magic; filled with gnomic wisdom, it urges us to help our neighbors, be positive and grateful, and use time wisely. Above all, it teaches us to pay attention, looking for the wondrous and miraculous. In fact, to the author this virtually defines the magus.

* Included are illustrations, bibliography, index, and original Latin text.

* First English translation published since in 1655.

Joseph H. Peterson has translated many esoteric and religious source works including The Clavis or Key to the Magic of Solomon, Arbatel, and John Dee’s Five Books of Mystery. Peterson is an active member of the American Academy of Religion and the American Folklore Society. He has an extensive collection of rare esoteric documents, which he shares at his award-winning websites and He lives near Rochester Minnesota.
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Of Related Interest:
The Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy
The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses