Of all the grimoires none has the fame and notoriety of “the grandaddy of grimoires” as some have dubbed it – The Clavicle of Solomon. Inquisition banned it and listed it in “Index Librorum Prohibitorum” – a list of forbidden books. Still – some copies of it remained. In a quiet little corner of the web, largely unnoticed, lies one such copy. It is a full color scan of the 17th century manuscript of Clavicula Salomonis from the library of Dutchess Anna Amalia von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach. It has been made available online by the Weimar Foundation.
The volume has 82 pages. As it was customary in those days, black ink was used for the text and red for the titles.The red ink faded over the ages, leaving sort of pale brownish color of the titles. Anyone who has seen the Mac Gregor Mathers version of the Solomon’s Clavicle will immediately notice the absence of the pentacles – easily the most eye catching part of Mathers version. This is just another confirmation of something that has been known long ago. Solomon’s Clavicule comes in a number of versions. The first ones were simpler, and later ones had content added to them, making the book closer to the spirit of their times nevertheless claiming to be coming straight from Solomon. As anyone who has ever tried to read a manuscript knows – it is not an easy reading. This is a case with most manuscripts.
Dutchess Anna Amalia
The owner of this manuscript seems to have been Dutchess Anna Amalia, daughter of Karl I, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and Princess Philippine Charlotte of Prussia. There is no evidence whatsoever that she was very interested in occult, but she was a fervent patron of art and literature. She was also a composer and founder of a library that has, over time, grown to 850,000 volumes. Recently, historians seem to have revealed that famous German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe had a crush on her.
Free color scan of the Clavicula Salomonis from Ana Amalia Library
One more copy of Clavicula Salomonis for download
To make matters even more interesting, I am including yet another downloadable copy of Clavicle of Solomon, this time from the Herzog August library. Duke August von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel also held a title of Prince of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel and he was an ancestor of Anna Amalia. It seems that they either had a similar taste in books or that similar books just accidentally found their way into their libraries. This copy (from 1686) also does not contain pentacles, but it comes in the same volume with Theosophia Pneumatica.
Clavicle of Solomon from Herzog August Library (available in PDF)