The Cyranides are a curious compilation of materials. In the briefest terms, they are a late antique Greek work encompassing four books (to which the modern editor D. Kaimakis has added another two, which were transmitted alongside but not as part of the Cyranides) with instructions for the use of gemstones, plants and animals in the creation of amulets and certain procedures that can be loosely identified as magic. There are further complications, which I set aside here, at least for the moment. (I hope to work on the Cyranides on and off in the future, gods willing.)
The Preface [work in progress]
In book 1, each chapter is assigned one letter of the Greek alphabet, and begins by listing a plant, bird, stone and fish whose name begins with that letter. Then, there is a list of procedures, which will use these beings and objects. (Naturally, I discourage this use of animal products, and indeed do not recommend any of these procedures; they do however represent good models of ritual practice in a largely Hellenic framework.) An interesting feature of this book is that the editor often refers to two different sources, Cyranus and Harpocration, which must represent two redactions of the same original work; the extant book reunifies the two in a single text. Translations from book 1:
- Chapter Eta (η): [work in progress].
- Chapter Theta (θ): Dionysiac procedures.
- Chapter Kappa (κ): girdles of Aphrodite.
- Chapter Phi (φ): [work in progress].
In book 2, [work in progress]
In book 3, [work in progress]
In book 4, [work in progress]
In the fifth book, added by Kaimakis, [work in progress]
In the sixth book, again added by Kaimakis, [work in progress]