grimoire

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The frontispiece and title page of a French translation of a grimoire allegedly, but unlikely to have been, written by Pope Honorius III (1150–1227).[n 1]

Borrowed from French grimoire, a variant of grammaire,[1] from Old French gramaire (grammar; grimoire; conjurer, magician), from Latin grammatica (grammar; philology), from grammaticus (of or pertaining to grammar, grammatical), from Ancient Greek γρᾰμμᾰτῐκός (grammatikós, knowing one's letters; concerned with textual criticism), from γράμμα (grámma, that which is drawn or written; letter; book, writing) + -ῐκός (-ikós, suffix added to noun stems to form adjectives). γράμμα is derived from γρᾰ́φω (gráphō, to cut into, scratch; to draw, paint; to write) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *gerbʰ- (to carve)) + -μᾰ (-ma, suffix added to verbal stems forming neuter nouns denoting the result of, a particular instance of, or the object of an action). The English word is a doublet of glamour, grammatic, and grammar.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

grimoire (plural grimoires)

  1. (occult) A book of instructions in the use of alchemy or magic, especially one containing spells for summoning demons.
    • 1821, “M.” [pseudonym], “The Traveller”, in The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal, volume II (Original Papers), number XII, London: Henry Colburn and Co. [], OCLC 7489271, page 544:
      There is something exceedingly unpleasant in being obliged to answer "No," to a traveller's "Pray, Sir, were you ever abroad?" and to sit mum-chance all the time that he is running over the "grimoire" of outlandish technicalities. For my own part, I am convinced that man is, par excellence, a travelling animal; [...]
    • 1835 August, “Contes Populaires, Préjugés, Patois, Proverbes, Noms de Lieux, de l’Arrondisement de Bayeux, recueillis et publiés par Frédéric Pluquet. Deuxième Edition, 8vo. Rouen. Londres, Pickering. [book review]”, in The Gentleman’s Magazine, volume IV (New Series), London: William Pickering; John Bowyer Nichols and Son, OCLC 320982087, page 159, column 2:
      One day, a curate of the neighbourhood of Bayeux, who kept up a constant intercourse with the devil, left his grimoire thoughtlessly on the table. His domestic, a lad who was very curious, had long sought an opportunity to open the mysterious book. [...] Scarcely had he pronounced a certain word, which presented itself accidentally to his eyes, when the devil suddenly made his appearance in the form of a great black man, with red eyes, and a terrible mouth. [...] The poor man was nearly dead with fright, and promised readily that he would never again read in the grimoire.
    • 1902, Arthur Edward Waite, “Book VII: Some Christian Students of the Kabalah”, in The Doctrine and Literature of the Kabalah, London: The Theosophical Publishing Society, OCLC 611866033, page 353:
      The Kabalah for Paracelsus, when it is not something quite fantastic and unimaginable, is a species of practical magic, and here we shall do well to remember that the adept of Hohenheim flourished at a period when, as we have seen, the spurious literature of clavicles and grimoires was fast multiplying.
    • 1922, Éliphas Lévi [pseudonym; Alphonse Louis Constant], “Legends”, in Arthur Edward Waite, transl., A History of Magic: Including a Clear and Precise Exposition of Its Procedure, Its Rites and Its Mysteries [...] Translated, with a Preface and Notes, 2nd edition, London: William Rider & Son, Limited, [], OCLC 1064108783, page 203:
      There is extant among the old Grimoires a prayer attributed to the St. Cyprian of legend, who is possibly the holy Bishop of Carthage: its obscure and figurative expressions may have given credit to the idea that prior to his conversion he was addicted to the deadly practices of Black Magic.
    • 1976, Jean Franco, “Preface”, in César Vallejo: The Dialectics of Poetry and Silence, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, page viii:
      Nevertheless, to generations of writers after Independence, the printed word was a kind of magic, the grimoire that would bring about liberation.
    • 1994, Donald Michael Kraig, “The Conjuration”, in The Truth about Evocation of Spirits (Llewellyn’s Vanguard Series), St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn Publications, →ISBN, page 36:
      In this conjuration you are calling the spirit and helping the seer to further attune to the spirit so she can see it through the magic mirror. The name of the spirit you are evoking is left blank. Fill it in from one of the spirits listed later in this book or from one of the grimoires.
    • 2009, Owen Davies, “Introduction”, in Grimoires: A History of Magic Books, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 5:
      If writing was so important to grimoire magic, what was the effect of the print revolution from the late fifteenth century onwards? [...] While print drained power from the grimoire in terms of its magical integrity, it also empowered it through growing access and social influence. Furthermore, print did not usurp the role of manuscript; the magic latent in the words contained in print grimoires could be reactivated through transcription.
    • 2011, Kris Hirschmann, “Associating with Demons”, in Demons (Monsters and Mythical Creatures), San Diego, Calif.: ReferencePoint Press, →ISBN, page 46:
      One well-known grimoire is called The Grand Grimoire, sometimes called The Red Dragon. This book was published sometime between the early 1500s and the 1700s (historians are not sure exactly when). It describes many frightful demons, including their names, habits, and powers. [...] A grimoire called the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum offers similar help. Published around 1583, this book lists 68 demons. It explains the rituals that summon each entity, and also pinpoints the best hours to perform these rituals.

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Related terms[edit]

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See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Pope Honorius III (allegedly) (1760 [actually 1810?]) Grimoire du Pape Honorius, avec un Recueil des Plus Rares Secrets [Grimoire of Pope Honorius, with a Collection of the Rarest Secrets], Rome [actually Paris?]: [s.n.], OCLC 559778262.

References[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

A variant of grammaire,[1] from Old French gramaire (grammar; grimoire; conjurer, magician), from Latin grammatica (grammar; philology), from grammaticus (of or pertaining to grammar, grammatical), from Ancient Greek γρᾰμμᾰτῐκός (grammatikós, knowing one's letters; concerned with textual criticism), from γράμμα (grámma, that which is drawn or written; letter; book, writing) + -ῐκός (-ikós, suffix added to noun stems to form adjectives). γράμμα is derived from γρᾰ́φω (gráphō, to cut into, scratch; to draw, paint; to write) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *gerbʰ- (to carve)) + -μᾰ (-ma, suffix added to verbal stems forming neuter nouns denoting the result of, a particular instance of, or the object of an action).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

grimoire m (plural grimoires)

  1. (occult) grimoire

Descendants[edit]

  • English: grimoire
  • Portuguese: grimório
  • Spanish: grimorio

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]