Colin D. Campbell

Colin D. Campbell is the author of A Concordance to the Holy Books of Thelema, Sigillum Dei Ameth: The Magic Seal of Dr. John Dee, The Offices of Spirits, and most recently Of the Arte Goetia.


Presentation: Goetia—The Textual Evolution of an Infamous Grimoire

The work that we have come to know as Goetia, one of the five English-language manuscripts that comprise the Lemegeton or Lesser Key of Solomon, emerged no earlier than the very late 1500s and likely in the early 1600s. The source of its listing of spirits can be established with certainty to the listing in Pseudomonarchia Daemonum given by Johann Weier, but even this naturally came from earlier sources. The conjurations and pentacles also hail form other sources, each with their own history, the aggregate of which became the text(s) we have today.

This lecture discusses the evolution of Goetia by moving backward in time from the English language manuscripts of Lemegeton into their Latin predecessors, and in so doing points out a number of changes (redactions) made as the text was translated and copied across a relatively small period of time.