Authors: Donald Tyson
Regarding the work known as Νεκρονμlκον to the Greeks, or transcripted into the Latin letters,
, having become exceedingly rare and difficult to procure, and then only to be had at great price, it seemed no unworthy task to translate it into the Latin tongue; not that its matter offers anything to edify the mind or provide moral instruction, for its contents exceed in wickedness all other books in Christendom; only for the reason that it holds secret wisdom that would surely pass away were this book to fall prey to worms or the fires of the censorious, as seems likely will occur to those few Greek texts that survive, and that, within the term of those presently dwelling in this land; the clergy of late railing against this accursed book as written by Satan himself.
The true author of the text, I will let the scribe Theodorus Philetas, known as the Wise to history, relate in due course in his opening words of the Greek manuscript that is the source for my rendering. Here it is my purpose to expound on the nature of the book and to relate the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the death of the worthy Theodorus above named, his death in itself a sufficient warning to the idle curious, for this work is suitable only for the deepest intellects wedded to Christ in the Holy Spirit and will corrupt all who seek to turn its arcane lore to base ends. It is a sword poisoned with nightshade that cuts the hand that seeks to seize it, but one with godly purpose and subtle touch may cradle it like a sleeping serpent without receiving its venom. Only he who has no love for it can use it.
The veritable sense of the title of this work is commonly misunderstood and misspoken by those ignorant of Greek roots, It is from νεκpοσ, signifying corpse, and from νομοσ that has the sense of law or custom; hence, Necronomicon has the meaning “the expositing of the ways of the dead,” and what is intended is the control and working of the dead through the sorcery of corpses that bears the common name of necromancy. The ways of the dead, and secret matters known only to the dead and those with whom they have dealings, are here set forth in such abundance as exists in no other book.
Upon these leaves are to be found accounts of living creatures beyond the higher spheres, of lost cities and other places forgotten by the memory of mankind; yet more pernicious still, the manner of summoning souls of the dead back into their mortal clay, and eliciting from them by means of torment secrets that lie hidden at the roots of the world, in dark caverns and beneath the depths of the seas. Here also are instructions on the making of things quickened with a semblance of life, that were better left unmade, but cannot be unmade having been created. All of which would be reason to consign this book to the depths of hell, were it not that beings of fell potency dwelling between the stars, offering threat to the very continuance of our race, are to be in some ways controlled by the teachings of this evil work. So in the Devil’s machinations lie the practical tools of our salvation on that dread day, which by the grace of our Lord shall never come, when the stars are right and the gates open.
To return to the most diligent and learned Theodorus, he completed the Greeking of this book in the city of Constantinople, for know you that the elder copies were all in the tongue of Mohammed, and the title was not
supposedly signifying in that language the sound of insects heard in the night, but vulgarly expressed as the howling of demons, seeing that the night sounds of the desert were mistaken for demon voices by the heretic nomads of those lands; but Theodorus gives a different rendering from the Arab, which I will leave for your eyes to discover.