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Where are the Original Latin Texts of the Ars Notoria Tradition?

Updated: Jan 14

The original Latin texts for the Ars Notoria and its derivative texts, excluding the Liber Florum of John of Morigny, are available in Julien Véronèse’s doctoral dissertation, titled L’Ars notoria au Moyen Age et a l’epoque moderne. Etude d’une tradition de magie theurgique (XIIe–XVIIe siecle) (2004) and his published work, L’Ars notoria au Moyen Age: Introduction et édition critique (Sismel–Edizioni Del Galluzzo, 2007). Now keep in mind that Julien Véronèse is a French scholar, so his work is in French (and, of course, Latin). It is important to understand that Julien Véronèse surveyed over 50 Ars Notoria manuscripts in order to construct his critical Latin edition. For those who do not know, a critical edition is fashioned from using all the available evidence, then a collation of the best manuscript witnesses is made into a single constructed edition of the text, which gives the best version of what the author wrote, including a critical apparatus of footnotes which show variations and points of uncertainty. Julien Véronèse presents his Latin critical edition of the Ars Notoria as two versions – Version A (short) and Version B (long and glossed); these are classifications that he himself has established. The short version, Version A, is constructed from the best exemplars of the tradition, which are these:

  1. New Haven, Yale University, Mellon 1, 13th century.

  2. Erfurt, Wissenschaftliche Bibliothek, Amplonianum Quarto 380, f. 49-64v, 13th century.

  3. London, British Library, Sloane 1712, f. 1-22v, 13th century.

  4. Turin, Biblioteca Nazionale, E.V. 13, 13th century.

  5. Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Latin 7152, 13th century.

Now Julien Véronèse identified a Version A2, though its special characteristics are minor, and Véronèse did not deem it worthy to have its own critical edition, and probably rightly so. I will discuss Version A2 in a future blog post.

The long and glossed version, Version B, is constructed from the best exemplars of the tradition, which are these:

  1. Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Latin 9336, f. 1-28v, 14th century.

  2. Oxford, Bodleian Library, Bodley 951 (formerly Bodleian 2871), f. 1-19v, 15th century.

  3. Kremsmunster, Stiftsbibliothek, CC 322, f. 1-25, 14th century.

  4. Bernkastel-Kues, Hospitalsbibliothek, 216, f. 1-45, 14th century.

I have the digitalized manuscript for Bodley 951. I may talk about it in a future blog post.

Now there are some minor discrepancies found in the Latin between Julien Véronèse’s doctoral dissertation and the published 2007 edition. These discrepancies, among other imperfections of the original Latin texts, have been addressed in my English translation, marked as footnotes.

Véronèse’s work also presents the Latin for the derivative texts. His critical edition of the mid-thirteenth-century Opus Operum (The Work of Works) is constructed from the following manuscripts:

  1. London, British Library, Sloane 1712, f. 22vb-37, 13th century.

  2. Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek, Vulcanius 45, f. 1-11v, 14th century.

  3. Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica, Latin 6842, f. 1-8r, 14th century.

  4. Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 276, f. 26rb-39ra, 15th century. (The Clm 276 manuscript also contains the Ars Notoria (Version A), titled Apollonii Flores Aurei, found on folios 1-26. On folios 39v-47 it has some of the Version B glosses where it is titled Dogma Artis Notoriae, sive Eruditio Praeceptores Eadem. On folios 48-68, there is the work of John of Morigny. Clm 276 can be found here: . For the curious, "Clm" stands for "Codices Latini Monacenses.")

Another manuscript copy of the Opus Operum is found at Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 30010, 14th century, although the manuscript is mislabeled as the Ars Notoria. Clm 30010 can be found here:

Véronèse’s Ars Brevis (Short Art) Latin edition is made from two fourteenth-century manuscripts – one from Erfurt and one from Vienna. My Latin edition adds the fifteenth-century Sloane 513 manuscript to Véronèse’s existing edition, thereby expanding the material to include new and unique text which has now been collated and edited into an entirely new edition. I will be posting my Latin edition of the Ars Brevis soon. The Sloane 513 manuscript is especially remarkable for its four magical figures, and it proposes an alternative ritual procedure regarding the votive masses. The British Library's webpage for Sloane 513 is here:

Véronèse’s work on the late fourteenth-century Ars Notoria Abbreviata (the Abbreviated Notory Art) according to Thomas of Toledo, is based on Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica, Palatine collection, Latin 957, f. 92v-94v. This Vatican manuscript can be found here:

There is another manuscript copy of the Ars Notoria Abbreviata found at Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 28858, f. 1-12v, dated to the end of the 15th century, and it is found here:

Véronèse’s work on the fifteenth-century Ars Paulina (i.e., the Pauline Art of Seven Figures) is based on the following manuscripts:

  1. Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica, Latin 3180, f. 43v-47r, 15th century.

  2. Halle, Universitats- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt, 14.B.36, f. 295r-297v, 16th century.

  3. Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France, Latin 7170A, f. 1-6v (renumbered), 16th century, fragment. The manuscript can be found here:

  4. Trapani, Biblioteca Fardelliana, Fardelliana 175, f. 50-68, 18th century.

  5. Leipzig, Stadtsbibliothek 829, 18th century.

Here are the links to Julien Véronèse’s two works:

For those seeking the work of John of Morigny, Liber Florum Celestis Doctrine: The Flowers of Heavenly Teaching, you will find the Latin edition introduced by Claire Fanger and Nicholas Watson (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2015). There is no English translation of this text. There was no way that this work could have been included in my English translation, because it is so enormous! The Latin edition is 240 pages, and an English translation of any Latin text is usually double that! Claire Fanger and Nicholas Watson has presented an exhaustive amount of commentary and analysis of John of Morigny’s life and work.

Here is the link to Claire Fanger and Nicholas Watson’s book:

There is also the Ars Notoria found in Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa's Opera Omnia (Collected Works), which was published in the 17th century on pages 603-660. The text is actually a late composite of the Ars Notoria (Version B), the fourteenth-century derivative text called the Ars Brevis, and a special blended material of both. Its compositional nature is complex and problematic; I discuss it in my book. This text may deserve its own blog post in the future. The text can be found here:

Finally, there are other Ars Notoria manuscripts available online at their respective libraries. One those includes the Liber de Arte Memorativa (The Book about the Art of Memory) which is held in Jerusalem at the National Library of Israel. The shelf number is Yah. Var. 34 and dated to 1550-1600. This manuscript would be classed under Version B. The manuscript can be found here:$FL5354451

Simon Forman, the Elizabethan astrologer and occultist, possessed a copy of the Ars Notoria (classed under Version B) in which we see that he worked out the notory art prayers. It is titled as Liber de Arte Memorativa sive Notoria or Magica Simonis Forman, dated 1600.

Another Version A manuscript is the Apollonius Flores Aureos ad Eruditionem found at Munich, Bayerische Staastsbibliothek, Clm 268, f. 1-16v, 14th century. The manuscript can be viewed here:

There is also another manuscript called Art de la Mémoire found in Paris at the Bibliotheque nationale de France with the shelf number NAL 1565 (i.e., NAL is a French acronym for Nouv. Acq. Lat.). The folios are 1-20 and it is dated to the 14th century. The manuscript might be classed as either Version A2 or Version B. The manuscript can be viewed here:

In Vatican City, at the Biblioteca Apostolica, there is a manuscript that may be classed as Version A labeled Latin 3185, f. 1-26v, which is dated between 1340-1350. The manuscript can be viewed here:

In Klosterneuburg, at Augustiner-Chorherrenstift, there is a late 14th-century manuscript labeled CC 221. The magical figures are featured in my book.

There is another manuscript called Recueil d'astrolgie but contains the Flores Aurei ad Eruditionem, which may be classed under Version A. The manuscript is kept at Carpenteras, Bibliotheque Municipale, 0341, f. 1-51, 15th century. A couple of images are displayed here: . I have the entire digitalized manuscript on pdf and may post those images in a future blog post.

There is a single figure belonging to the first figure of rhetoric found in a copy of Euclid's Elements. The figure can be viewed here:

A Parisian manuscript found at the Bibliotheque nationale de France labeled Latin 7153, dated to the 15th century, may be classed as a Version B manuscript. The manuscript can be viewed here:

There is also Latin 7154 in the same place and collection, which appears to be a copy of Latin 7153. The Latin 7154 manuscript can be viewed here:

At the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin there is a manuscript labeled Lat. Fol. 326 comprised of 142 sheets, dated 1567-1600. I have two poorly pixeled thumbnails of the manuscript, showing the magical figures of the first figure of grammar on one folio and then on the other folio the figure of justice, peace, and fear and the figure of reprehension and taciturnity. I have lost the hyperlink, but if anyone finds it, please notify me, and I will post it here.

There is a Hebrew manuscript held at St. Petersburg at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences with shelf number B 247, which may contain a Hebrew version of the Ars Notoria on folios 90v-94r. This work is explored in my book.

In London, there is a Hebrew handbook of magic titled Sefer Mafteah Shelomoh, dated 1600-1799. The book contains a few magical figures from a Version B manuscript. The manuscript can be viewed here:

I may add more online manuscripts to this blog entry as my time permits.

This digital edition by Matthias Castle, Copyright 2023. All rights reserved.

Please do not copy this text to your website, or for any purpose other than private use.

The image associated with this blog entry comes from BnF, Latin 9336, which can be found here:

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