The Liber Antimaquis is, most likely, the product of a tiny but intellectually prominent community of Greco-Assyrian pagans, the so-called Ṣābiˀans of Ḥarrān; specifically, it seems to be closely related to the thought of Thābit ibn Qurrah, the leader of the Ḥarrānian community in Baghdād, the capital city of the caliphate during the time of the ˤAbbāsids (so argues Charles Burnett; off-site link). It belongs to a broader genre of texts attributed to Hermes and, simultaneously, to Aristotle, all of them dealing with talismans and broader ritual practices, relating to the planets, the spirits (rūḥāniyyat) and especially the planetary spirits. For the circle around Thābit, these spirits were something like daemons or angels, but the terminology of spirits also allowed them to articulate what might otherwise have been perceived as illicit polytheistic beliefs and practices in a manner that was respectable and even in fashion among the intellectuals of the time.
The Liber Antimaquis is the only representative of its genre which (albeit in an edited form) was translated into Latin, and as of 2021, that Latin version seems to still be the only only piece of so-called “pseudo-Aristotelian talismanic Hermetica” that has been formally edited, in a volume of the Hermes Latinus series (off-site link). (Despite what one can sometimes find claimed, these “Hermetica” have almost nothing to do with the Corpus Hermeticum beyond the appeal to the authority of Hermes, and shared Hellenistic ideas common to many other texts besides.)
The attribution to Hermes and Aristotle seems to be confined to the title, but the text claims that some of its contents come from the planet Saturn himself. In the Arabic original, the Book Ustuwwaṭās, this is much more developed, with other sections coming from the other planets, making it a kind of revealed scripture of star-worshipping paganism. In the Latin, this has been cut down to a largely practical handbook of magic, although the peculiar theoretical framework is still very much in evidence. Thus, although there are many consonances with the rituals that the Neoplatonic theory of the “hieratic art” was developed to account for, as in the association of specific animals, plants, stones and spices with the planets, and the invocation of apparently meaningless names, the Liber Antimaquis has its own, rather more Stoic than Platonic theory of how these things work, namely through the influence of spirits. These fulfil the roles the Neoplatonists assign to gods, angels, daemons, but also more “mechanical” functions, analogous to the dynamics of participation and sympathy. The genealogy of this theory, which seems to incorporate both Stoic concepts and long-standing religious beliefs, has not yet been worked out, but it was of enormous influence on later Western magic, even as the pagan spirits were redrawn as angels, demons and jinn.
After the translation, I append some sections on the ineffable names of the spirits.
This is the book of spiritual operaltions of Aristoteles, and it is the Book Antimaquis, which is the book of the secrets of Hermes. Wonderful operations can be done through this book; and it is an ancient book of the seven planets.
<geography and astrology>
(2) Aries is the division of the earth from China to the end of the earth that the first planet rules. Taurus is the division of […]
(3) The four directions, which are divided according to the four qualities, are the Orient, Occident, South and North. And heat belongs to the Orient, cold to the Occident, moisture to the South, dryness to the North.
(4) There are 7 climes, which are assigned (dividuntur) to the 7 planets, so that every planet rules its own clime. And these 7 climes also comprehend the 12 signs, which are assiigned to 12 divisions of Earth. And in this manner, the 7 climems are assigned to the 7 planets.
(5) The land of Gorgan [=north of modern Iran] belongs to the Sun. The land of Babylonia [=Iraq] belongs to the Moon. The land of the Turks [=Central Asia] belongs to Mars. The land of the Romans [=Anatolia and Greece] belongs to Jupiter. The land of the Arabs [=Arabia] belongs to Venus. The land of India [=South Asia] belongs to Saturn. And these 7 climes are assigned to the 7 planets. And any planet rules its own clime.
(8) The house of Saturn is Capricorn, as well as Aquarius, and the power of its spirit is in the 12th degree of Libra, which is the house of Venus, and its fall (? casus) in the 13th degree of Aries, which is the house of Mars. And its rule and extension are the 12th grade of Pisces, which is the exaltation of Venus. And its clime is in India. And the spirit which rules the people of its clime is called Bedeymys. And the Indians call it Dydacem.
The house of Jupiter is Sagittarius, as well as Pisces. And its spirit in the place of its exaltation is in the 12th degree of Cancer, which is the house of Luna. And its rule and extension are the 12th grade of Virgo, which is the house of Mars. Its clime is Rome. The ruling spirit of its clime is called Bedeymehuz.
The houses of Mars are Aries and Scorpio. And its spirit in the place of its exaltation is in the 28th degree of Capricorn, and its fall is in the 28th degree of Cancer. And its rule and extension are in the fourth degree of Taurus. And its clime is in Turkestan (Turquia). And the spirit ruling its clime is called Dyomos. And the Turks call it Bahos.
The house of Sol is Leo. And the spirit of its exaltation is in the 19th degree of Aries. And its rule and extension are in the 28th degree of Capricorn, which is the house of Saturn. And its clime is the land of China. And its spirit is called Bedymyth.
The houses of Venus are Taurus and Libra. Its spirit in the place of its exaltation is in the 27th degree of Pisces. And its rule and extension are the third degree of Scorpio, which is the house of Mars. And its clime is the land Salan(?) and the temples of Ethera(?) [=Maghreb]. And the spirit ruling the clime is called Daaryos.
The houses of Mercury are Gemini and Virgo. And its spirit in its exaltation is in the 15th degree of Virgo. And its rule and extension are in the 24th degree of Gemini. And its clime is Persia. And the ruling spirit is called Zaharazabadar.
The house of Luna is Cancer. And its spirit in its exaltation is in the third degree of Taurus. And the rule and extension are in the first degree of Sagittarius. Its clime is the land of Babylonia. The spirit ruling the clime is called Aadyus. And in Babylonia it is called Hayguiar.
(9) The manner of friendship and hostility between the planets.
Saturn is inimical to Jupiter and has a truce with the Sun; and he impedes Mars and loves Venus; and he has peace with Mercury and hinders the Moon.
Jupiter is not inimical or opposed to any planet, nor does he hinder them. But by his wisdom, intelligence and forbearance, he wins over all the other planets.
Mars impedes Saturn, quarrels with Jupiter, is inimical to Mercury and has a truce with the Sun, and he loves Venus and hinders the Moon.
The Sun is neither inimical nor opposed to or hindering any planet, but by his wisdom, he wins over all.
Venus loves Saturn and hinders Jupiter. She opposes Mars, has a truce with the Sun, wins over Mercury and hinders the Moon.
Mercury is inimical to Mars, and opposes Saturn. He has peace with Jupiter, hinders the Moon and loves Venus.
The Moon loves Saturn and is a partner of the Sun. She wins over the others by her wisdom and her course.
<the divisions of planetary spirits and their names>
(10) And any given part of the spirits is assigned to its own clime, where it is the root, seeing as the spirit of Saturn, which is called Bedeymys, joins itself to all six parts of it, which are above and below, right and left, forward and backward. And its upper spirit is called Tharas. The one which is lower is called Cacos. The one to the right is called Vanor. The one to the left is called Darnyz. The one to the front is called Coquiz. The one to the back is called Darnes. And its whole motion in its own sphere and with all its manners and the division of its course with its own spirit, all these things are jointly called by the one name Cahicaros. And the whole is joined to the root of its origin, which is called Vadcafes.
And the spirit of Jupiter is called Deynichos. And the spirit above is called Dermez, the lower Natoz, to the right Maflas, to the left Carz, the one in front Feliz, the one to the back Faroz. And the spirit of its motion in all of its manners and its courses in its own sphere and the division of its course, all these things are jointly called by the one name Dehymechyz.
The spirit of Mars is called Dahyedus. And the spirit which is above is called Heaudyz, the one below Aaudinez, the one to the right Baameos, the one to the left Adaoz, the one in front Hendaydez, the one in the back Melhedez. And the spirit of its motion in all of its manners and the conjunction of the whole is called Aadramiz.
The spirit of the Sun is called Bahydaliz. And the spirit above is called Cahyamez, the one below Mandelez, the one on the right Etharfez, the one on the left Cardiel. And the one that is in front, Matfoz, and the one that is to the back, Daris. And its motion in the sphere and teh division of its course and its spirit is called Tayahomeryz. And the conjunction and order of the whole is called Veydaluz. And this is the one who is the root and origin.
The spirit of Venus is called Meryez. And the spirit which is above is Aayluz. And the one which is below is called Haynluz. And the one on the right is called Oamez. And the one on the left Taymez. And the one in front is called Azii, that to the back Mabuelis. And its motion through all its modes, and its courses through its own sphere and its spirit is called Cahanoz. And the conjunction and order of the whole, which is the root and origin, is called Raadanor.
The spirit of Mercury is called Varhoyaz. And the spirit which is above, Ahydac, and the one below, Bablaz. And the one which is on the right is called Amirus. And the one on the left is called Sabahell. And the one who is in front is called Sarpaliel. And the one who is behind is called Dahuz. And its motion through all its modes and the course through its sphere is called Mahodyz. And the conjunction and order of the whole, which is the root and origin, is called Barhoyaz.
The spirit of the Moon is called Taarius. And the spirit which is above, Hoadyz; and the one which is below is called Marayuz. And the one which is on the right is called Hastayz, and the one which is on the left Talmaz. And the one which is in front is called Daanyz, and the one to the back Mynalus. And the motion through its sphere and its spirit is called Daayuz. And the conjunction of the whole, which is the root and origin, is called Bochoyaz.
<animals, stones, plants and spices of the planets>
(12) The right spirit of the Sun is embodied with animals which live by predation, like lions, griffins and mountain cattle. And the division of the left spirit of the Sun is in domesticated animals, like horses. And the division of the lower spirit of the Sun in the eagle, the hawk, the falcon and all kinds of forest birds. And the spirit of its motion in its sphere rules over certain animals, which are the hare [some animal names missing].
And it is dominant, among hard objects, in gold, in the jacinth, cornelian, amethyst and every red stone, in salt and golden as well as red merchandise.
Among trees, of all threes which carry fruits of good taste, and in fruits which do not have a stone in them, like citrus fruits.
And in every spices which has a good smell, like ginger, berries(?), sandalwood, crocus (saffron?) and other materials which are of this kind.
All these are of the division of spirits and (specifically) of the incorporated spirits of the Sun.
The spirit of four parts of the Moon is embodied. In the right part are (some) of the domesticated animals and beasts of burden, workhorses. And the division of the left spirit is in white doves and in white and yellowish (? castorei) dogs. And the division of the lower spirit is in all white birds which are sustained in the earth and in the water. […]
The spirit of Mars consists in four embodied parts. In the right part are leopards, wolves and wild dogs. In the left part, serpents, scorpions, frogs, spiders, vipers and other venomous animals. And the division of the lower spirit is in red birds which fly well. […]
The embodied spirits of Mercury belong to four parts. […]
To the right spirit of Jupiter belongs […]
The right division of the spirit of Venus […]
Of the spirit of Saturn, the division of the right spirit possesses, of the animals, elephants and bears. And the right spirit possesses cattle and black hunting dogs and black rabbits. And the lower spirit possesses ravens and black birds in which there is no other color. The vision of the spirit in its own sphere possesses cranes and all birds with long necks.
Of minerals, it possesses iron and stones that give no assistance.
Of trees, every tree which has bad thorns and does not produce fruit, and every tree which produces bitter and sour fruits which cannot be eaten. Of foods, he possesses lentils and black thistles.
Of spices, he possesses aloe, myrrh and myrobalan, every kind of colchicum (de omnia natura hermodactili), ricinus, montic and forest colocynth.
(13) The opinion of the philosopher.
Poisons which kill through heat and dryness belong to Mars; through cold and dryness to Saturn. But none of the other planets possesses a posion, unless it is by composition of one kind with another.
<summary of the preceding section>
(14) This is the division of the embodied spirits according as the philosopher divided and described their virtues, and the compositions which are embodied in this world according to the spiritual powers which come from the seven planets, and we mention above that operations and marvels can be brought about through these.
<spirits and the human microcosm>
(15) The spiritual and corporeal works in the microcosm, as in the macrocosm, are divided, since it is divided into 12 parts, as heaven is into 12 signs, and because there are four elementary members as in the macrocosm.
Aries possesses the head, Taurus the neck, etc.
The four elements are the four natures, which are blood, yellow bile, phlegm and black bile.
And its members are divided, divded according to the seven climes: the head, the two hands, the chest, the belly, the two feet.
And the members, which are seven like the planets which rule the cosmos, are the two eyes, two nostrils, two ears and one mouth. And their division is as follows: the right ear belongs to Saturn, the left ear to Jupiter, the right eye to Sun, the left eye to Moon, the right nostil to Mars, the left nostril to Venus, and the mouth to Mercury, because it/he is a famous teacher. All these members are located in the head.
And they are located in the head because the head is similar to heaven, and the feet to earth. And the feet are joined with the head because of the flesh and bones which are between them, just as the microcosm, which is the earth, is joined with the macrocosm, which is heaven, because of the bodies which are between them.
And the members which are outwardly visible are divided in this fashion. But the members which are inside and invisible are divided as follows: the brain belongs to Sun, the lung to Moon, the heart to Jupiter, the liver to Mars, the gallbladder to Mercury, the kidneys to Venus, and the spleen to Saturn
(16) And breath comes and is assigned to the lung and the throat, the spirit of Moon. And the spirit of wisdom and intellect, the spirit of Jupiter, comes to the heart. And the spirit of madness and courage, the spirit of Mars, comes to the liver. And the spirit of jealousy and infamy, the spirit of Mercury, comes to the gallbladder. And the spirit of sadness and pain, the spirit of Saturn, comes to the spleen. And the spirit of taste and delight, the spirit of Venus, comes within the kidneys.
<invocations of certain spirits of the five planets>
(20) When the Sun is entering the beginning of Leo and the Moon is in Aries, then on the day and in the hour of the Sun, say these names: Baydaluz, Dahmeyz, Mahdolez, Dahyaaz, Achmyas, Mayuz, Gadia, Chahya, Mediz. And ask the spirit, who will come in a beautiful shape, whatever you wish and it will give you everything.
When the Sun is entering the beginning of Pisces and the Moon is in Cancer, then on the day of Venus and in her hour, say these names: Dabras, Alusayluz, Hemmeyluz, Dahayryz, Raymech, Cemuluz, Ayhuz, Yachtares. And ask whatever you wish from the spirit and it will give it to you.
When the Sun is entering Capricorn and the Moon is in Virgo, then on the day of Mercury and in his hour, say these names: Badhabez, Amayaniz, Amyruz, Haytyz, Bahya, Myhzdyt, Daados, Maadyz. And ask whatever you wish and you will have it.
When the Sun is entering the beginning of Cancer and the Moon is in Aries, then on the day of the Moon and in her hour, say these names: Hazhuz, Hedyz, Metamez, Macamiz, Caymez, Yeniz. Say these things thrice in turn and you will have what you ask for.
When the Sun is Capricorn and the Moon is in Sagittarius, then on the day of Saturn and in his hour, say these names: Cadymez, Cozharoz, Nafozoadyaz, Tamoz, Oapyoz, Tabhych, Casyayach, Manydrill. And ask what you wish, etc.
<familiar spirits of Saturn>
(21) These are the 72 familiar spiriits of Saturn through which they have produced many marvels: Dahmodymez, Ahuynorez, Maanydez, Vacalayduz, Daylez, Cayoraz, Hayraz, Hat, Nanaz, Maoydez, Lacayduz, Machyes, Dahtaz, Caydelelyz, Maypayonez, Daryalyduz, Hayfayles, Dandulez, Alemahez, Calamyches, Mayrez, Nahcarez, Aochuidoz, Caydemoz, Cayle, Maraz, Hadez, Hayfar, Caynaraz, Cafyoraz, Caryonaz, [some names missing,] Faynaderaz, Maydoraz, Mayderanoz, Hagraz, Henaz, Ghearaz, Barharaz, Hayneroz, Ahdemoz, Darayuz, Dehomez, Bachyoraz, Henyez, Cartaraz, Voardoraz, Beyahranyoz, Candaraz, Omeraz, Adryemys, Accamyz, Dacyoraz, Helyez, Camylyez, Dachraras, Quedaz, Camurdaz, Dahalyez, Aaradyez, Haramyez, Colednyrez, Manyez, Mayheuz.
These are the names of the 72 spirits which Saturn showed and gave to 72 familiar persons of his clime. And whenever they wished to do good or evil, a spirit would appear to them and would do whatever they wished.
And Saturn said: “”
(22) Note: […]
3 Spirit names in chapter 8
In this and the following sections, I attempt to give a Arabic reading of the spirit names, which might be more practically useful than the peculiar medieval pronunciation of the Roman alphabet assumed by our Latin text. This is not, to be clear, a philological reconstruction based on all the Arabic-language evidence, which often has substantially different names, but rather an attempt to transpose the pronunciation understood by the translator (as far as the copies allow us to say) into the now conventional mode of transliterating Arabic. I do take the Arabic-script evidence into account, as the Roman letters alone leave many things underdetermined (most noticeably, vowel length) and some corruptions seem to have crept into the text. Even for this limited reconstruction, however, I have done only preliminary work; really, one would have to make a systematic study of the orthography and text history.
Note that all of these names are intended to sound vaguely Greek, but are not real Greek words.
Dyomos: Diyūmūs (?).
Bedymyth: Badilīth (??).
Daaryos: Dahriyūs (?).
4 Spirit names in chapter 10 (cf. Ghāyah/Picatrix 3.9.1–7)
Cacos: Ṭakūs (or, closer to the Arabic manuscripts, Ṭarūs?).
Vanor: Fanūs (reading the Latin as Vanos).
Coquiz: Ṭūkis (?; the Arabic has Ṭāmis).
Vadcafes: Badqafās (?).
Maflas: Maflas (or rather Mafnar?).
Carz: Qars (?).
Feliz: Falis (?).
Dehymechyz: Dahimaghīs (?).
Baameos: Baˤmaˀūs (?).
Etharfez: Ad’harfās (?).
Cardiel: Qardīˀīl (??; instead of this rather angelic name, the Arabic has something like Aṭaˤabaˤās, which would have been transcribed as Ataabaaz).
Matfoz: Matfūs (-būs?).
Tayahomeryz: Tayahumaris (vowel lengths unclear).
Meryez: Maryās (?).
Oamez: Wamās (or Damās, if Oamez is a misspelling for Damez?).
Azii: Azīˀī (?; instead of this odd name, the Arabic has Salamūs, which would have been transcribed as Selemoz).
Mabuelis: Mabuˀalis (vowel lengths unclear).
Raadanor: Raˤdanūr (more correctly Raˤdanūs?).
Ahydac: Ahidās (almost certainly not –āk).
Bablaz: Bablās (?).
Sabahell: Sabahal (??; instead of this odd, perhaps angelic name, the Arabic has Daraˀīs, which would have been transcribed as Darayz).
Sarpaliel: Sarbaliˀīl (??; instead of this rather angelic name, the Arabic has Malas, which would have been transcribed as Malaz).
5 Spirit names in chapter 20 (cf. Ghāyah/Picatrix 3.9.11–17)
Gadia: Ghādīs (read Gadis, not Gadia).
Chahya: Ṭahyaˤ (in the Arabic, this and the following make up just one name).
Dabras: Dabrās (?).
Alusayluz: Aluˤaylūs (with s misspelling g?).
Amayaniz: Amayanīs (not found in the Arabic versions).
Bahya: Bāhīs (if Bahya is a misspelling of Bahys; but perhaps it is even more corrupt and should be Sahys, hence Sāhīs).
Myhzdyt: Mihsdīt (this is clearly garbled; probably a composite of some variants of the two Arabic names found here, Dārīs and Mīnas)
Daados: Daˤdūs (should perhaps be Dahdos = Dahdūs).
Hazhuz: Gharbūs (so the Arabic manuscripts; if this is what the translator understood, we must read Harbuz in the Latin).
Metamez: Matāmās (after this, four Arabic names are omitted).
Cadymez: Qadīmās (?).
Cozharoz: Ṭūsḥarūs (two names, Ṭūs and Ḥarūs, in the Arabic).
Nafozoadyaz: Nafūswadyās (in Arabic, Nafūs and Radyūs; the Roman o for Arabic r is odd)
Oapyoz: Daryūs (assuming Oapyoz is a corruption of Daryoz).
Manydrill: Manydīl (where Manydrill may be a misspelling, perhaps for Manydul).
6 Spirit names in chapter 21
The Romanized names seem to often have replaced r with l, or even inserted additional l sounds. For obvious reasons, this list of names varies considerably across the Arabic manuscripts, and the Latin version is at least nine names short.
Ahuynorez: ? (if we read Ayhunoryez, then Ayhūnuryās).
Maanydez: Maˤnīdās (no equivalent in the Arabic).
Hat: Hat (no equivalent for this and the following, which may really make up only one name, in the Arabic).
Maoydez: Mawīdās (or, if we read Mayodez, Mayūdās).
Machyes: Mahyās (the surviving Arabic manuscripts have a very different name).
Maypayonez: Maybayunās (the Arabic has a very different name)
Calamyches: Kalamihās (?).
Nahcarez: Nahkarās (?).
Caydemoz: Kaydāmūs or Saydāmūs (in either case omitting one or even two of the Arabic names).
Cayle: Sayla (in the Arabic, this and the following are one name, something like Sayamārās).
Hadez: Hadās (one Arabic name omitted before this).
Hayfar: Haywās (if we read Hayfas)
[Several names from the Arabic are omitted/lost in the Latin translation at this point.]
Faynaderaz: Faynadarās (?).
Mayderanoz: Maydaranūs (after this one name from the Arabic is omitted).
Hagraz: Hādrās (?).
Ghearaz: Ḥakhrās (?).
Hayneroz: Haynadrūs (after this, one name from the Arabic is omitted).
Ahdemoz: Ahdamūs (?).
Bachyoraz: Bahyūrās (?; after this, one name from the Arabic is omitted).
Henyez: Hanyās (?).
Cartaraz: Kartarās (perhaps read Carcaraz, hence Karkarās).
Voardoraz: Wuˀardurās (?).
Beyahranyoz: Bayaḥranyūs (or rather Ha-?).
Adryemys: Adriˀāmīs (after this, two names from the Arabic are omitted).
Accamyz: Akkamīs (Alk-?; after this, two names from the Arabic are omitted).
Dacyoraz: Dahyūrās (Dak-? or read Dachyoraz?).
Helyez: Halyās (?).
Dachraras: Dahrarās (?).
Manyez: Manyās (this and the next name seem only loosely related to the last three Arabic names).