We’re delighted to have recently digitised and uploaded the library’s copy of the Clavicula Salomonis to our Digital Special Collections and Archives.
The Clavicula Salomonis (The Key of Solomon, also sometimes known as The Greater Key of Solomon) is a pseudepigraphical grimoire, or book of spells, which was ostensibly written by King Solomon. King Solomon was regarded as a master of all forms of secret knowledge, enshrining this in the features of his temple, and occult philosophers of the time often prided themselves on being the custodians and proponents of higher forms of knowledge with an ancient lineage. However despite the texts pseudepigraphical attribution it is actually thought to have originated around the 14th or 15th century, and has Greek origins.
This particular manuscript was owned by Robert Mitchell Henry (1873 – 1950), Professor of Latin at Queen’s University Belfast (1907-38) and later Professor of Humanities at the University of St. Andrews, Edinburgh (1939-47) and honorary chair of Classical Literature at Trinity College, Dublin (1947-50). Judging by the title on the cover page- Clavicus Salomonis expugnata- and the fact it has been translated into German, this manuscript is likely part of the expurgated text-group, other examples of which date from the 17th/18th century.
Klaassen, F. (2013). The transformations of magic : illicit learned magic in the later Middle Ages and Renaissance. University Park, Penn: Pennsylvania State University Press.
Monod, P. (2013). Solomon’s Secret Arts: The Occult in the Age of Enlightenment. Yale University Press.
Skinner, S. (2010). Veritable Key of Solomon. Golden Hoard Press.