The History of Magic: Including a Clear and Precise Exposition of Its Procedure, Its Rites and Its Mysteries (Cambridge Library Collection - Spiritual
By: Eliphas Levi (author), Arthur Edward Waite (translator)Paperback
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Born Alphonse Louis Constant, French magician Eliphas Levi (1810-75) wrote prolifically on the occult sciences. His Histoire de la magie was first published in 1860. In it, Levi recounts the history of the occult in Western thought, encompassing its biblical, Zoroastrian and ancient Greek origins, various magical practices of the medieval and early modern periods - including hermeticism, alchemy and necromancy - and the role of magic in the French Revolution. The last section of the book describes nineteenth-century magical practices and includes details of Levi's own occult experiences. Prepared by Arthur Edward Waite (1857-1942), this English translation was first published in 1913. An editor and translator of numerous magical texts, Waite includes here a preface comprising an eloquent defense of Levi and intellectual magic. The original French edition is also reissued in the Cambridge Library Collection.
Preface to the English translation; Introduction; Part I. The Derivations of Magic: 1. Fabulous sources; 2. Magic of the magi; 3. Magic in India; 4. Hermetic magic; 5. Magic in Greece; 6. Mathematical magic of Pythagoras; 7. The holy Kabalah; Part II. Formation and Development of Dogmas: 1. Primitive symbolism of history; 2. Mysticism; 3. Initiations and ordeals; 4. The magic of public worship; 5. Mysteries of virginity; 6. Superstitions; 7. Magical monuments; Part III. Divine Synthesis and Realisation of Magia by the Christian Revelation: 1. Christ accused of magic by the Jews; 2. The witness of magic to Christianity; 3. The devil; 4. The last pagans; 5. Legends; 6. Some kabalistic paintings and sacred emblems; 7. Philosophers of the Alexandrian schools; Part IV. Magic and Civilisation: 1. Magic among barbarians; 2. Influence of women; 3. The Salic laws against sorcerers; 4. Legends of the reign of Charlemagne; 5. Magicians; 6. Some famous prosecutions; 7. Superstitions relating to the devil; Part V. The adepts and the priesthood: 1. Priests and popes accused of magic; 2. Appearance of the Bohemian nomads; 3. Legend and history of Raymund Lully; 4. On certain alchemists; 5. Some famous sorcerers and magicians; 6. Some magical prosecutions; 7. The magical origin of Freemasonry; Part VI. Magic and the Revolution: 1. Remarkable authors of the eighteenth century; 2. Thaumaturgic personalities of the eighteenth century; 3. Prophecies of Cazotte; 4. The French revolution; 5. Phenomena of mediomania; 6. The German illuminati; 7. Empire and restoration; Part VII. Magic in the Nineteenth Century: 1. Magnetic mystics and materialists; 2. Hallucinations; 3. Mesmerists and somnambulists; 4. The fantastic side of magical literature; 5. Some private recollections of the writer; 6. The occult sciences; 7. Summary and conclusions; Appendix; Index.
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