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Three Books of Occult Philosophy

Translated with commentary by Eric Purdue

• Corrects the many mistranslations, copyist mistakes, and errors introduced from other editions, drawing on new research and access to Agrippa’s source texts

• Restores all of Agrippa’s original illustrations

• Presents a nearly complete bibliography of Agrippa’s primary sources

One of the most important texts in the Western magical tradition for nearly 500 years, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa’s 1533 work Three Books of Occult Philosophy collates a multitude of sources from the Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance periods and organizes them into a coherent explanation of the magical world. Divided into three parts--the natural world, the celestial world, and the divine world--the book systematically explains the philosophy, logic, and methods of magic and astrology and how they work, offering numerous examples, diagrams, techniques, and analogies.

Agrippa’s seminal masterpiece provided the basis for 19th-century magical orders such as the Golden Dawn and has been a primary source for countless books on magical uses of stones, herbs, incense, and astrology. Additionally, Agrippa’s many lists and diagrams, especially the planetary seals and magic squares, have proven invaluable to magicians since the 16th century. Yet, up until now, all English editions of Agrippa’s Three Books were based on the same flawed 1651 translation from the mysterious “J.F.”

In this new translation from the original 1533 Latin edition, Eric Purdue corrects the many mistranslations, copyist mistakes, and errors introduced from other editions, as well as restores all of Agrippa’s original illustrations. He notates every correction from earlier editions and offers commentary to rectify the original translator’s mistranslations. Drawing on major developments in the research of older magical and astrological texts since the 1990s, Purdue also presents a nearly complete bibliography of Agrippa’s primary sources, revealing how Agrippa was not writing from missing or secret texts but was a mainstream scholar of his day.

Presenting the first new English translation of Three Books of Occult Philosophy in more than 350 years, this three-volume set repairs the gaps in knowledge pervasive in the original translation as well as restores the magical spirit of Agrippa’s masterpiece, allowing us to hear Agrippa speak again.

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486-1535) was a German polymath, physician, legal scholar, soldier, theologian, and occult writer. He is considered one of the most influential occultists of the early modern period.