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WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as stub, and the rating on other projects was brought up to Stub class. BetacommandBot 03:30, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

The article doesnt actually say, is there a complete English translation of The Picatrix? Or is it just a partial translation? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:48, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Next Steps To Expand A Stub[edit]

This stub needs work. Just for starters it needs a real citation for the Arabic title (I've no recollection of the subtitle "in sorcery"). Also, the suggestion that the work clearly comes from a non-European "ethos" is a little bizarre. I'm not sure what all that means. I'm working with a limited library at the moment, so I'll do what I can for now. --Picatrix (talk) 21:56, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

"Just for starters it needs a real citation for the Arabic title (I've no recollection of the subtitle "in sorcery")." Actually, the Arabic version printed in the UK and edited by Steven Ashe translates the subtitle with "in sorcery." Though the title translation is usually the shortened version - "The Goal of the Wise" - I don't think the addition of "in sorcery" is incorrect. Of course, this depends on whether there is a precedent for translating the Arabic term as "sorcery" and not something else like "magic". I'd have to look further into it. That said, it isn't absolutely necessary to use the longer title.GooferMan (talk) 17:23, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

I've rewritten the article. This is a basic start. I'll be adding a summary of the four books as soon as I have time. --Picatrix (talk) 19:29, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

New Intro Paragraph[edit]

I've reworked the introductory paragraph to reflect the problem of attribution and the use to the term 'Picatrix' to refer to the author and the book.GooferMan (talk) 23:04, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Authorship Section[edit]

I've reworked the authorship section. Mostly to clarify a few points. GooferMan (talk) 23:16, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Author's Sources[edit]

I've started a new section that discusses the sources used by the author. GooferMan (talk) 23:25, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Comments On Recent Edits[edit]

Thanks for coming in and helping to fill this article out. However, I want to raise a few issues:

1. I think we should deal with the Ghaya and the "Picatrix" version here in the same article, rather than having a separate article for the original Arabic version. I'm not suggesting that anybody said we should split things up, I'm just pointing this out because this should be realized explicitly, in order to understand the context for further points (i.e. we should discuss all versions in the Picatrix article, so we have to be careful not to be confusing). From this point of view, the former text:

"'Picatrix' was the name used in Christian Europe for a text originally written in Arabic, probably in the 10th or 11th century, entitled Ġāyat al-Hakim. This title is sometimes translated as 'The Aim of the Sage' or 'The Goal of The Wise.'"

Is a superior formulation compared to the one you put into place – though I'll grant it makes sense to point out that the term also is sometimes used to refer to the author, and I'll grant "was the name used" should probably be changed to reflect the fact that the name is still used.

2. I see no reason why we should not indicate alternative translations, "Goal of the Wise" and "Aim of the Sage" have different emphases, and removing the footnote about the other senses of the Arabic (utmost limit or boundary) seems kind of like throwing away a valuable little insight for people who might care to know more about what the title suggests.

3. You removed a sourced assertion:

"Under the name Picatrix, the work became available in the West through a Latin translation of the 13th century, based on an earlier Spanish translation, both of which appear to have been produced at the court of Alphonso The Wise.[1]"

and replaced it with an unsourced assertion:

"Later, Andalusian translators created a Latin version based on both the Arabic and Spanish manuscripts."

Can you provide a source for this? If not, I'd prefer to see a sourced statement rather than an unsourced one. In any case, if there are two sourced views, we should mention both, so even if you have a source, why remove the alternative view?

4. You state that "according to its prologue "Picatrix" was translated into Spanish […]" etc. This is a rather confusing assertion. I'm thinking it would be more clear to specify "according to the prologue of the Spanish version […]"

5. You have changed much of the text about attributions of authorship and in so doing, you removed a couple of important academic sources in English and replaced them with one French title. I'm happy to see the French reference of which I was not aware, however, it seems a bit counter-productive to dump hard-to-find English citations that I went to the trouble to find (and which meet a high academic standard) and to also dump the points they raise.

As for the business of "Goal of the Wise in Sorcery", I can see putting that "translation" into a footnote just to mention it and to point out that nothing in the Arabic title suggests "wise in sorcery". But why would a crass addition to the title of the Arabic version, such as "wise in sorcery" belong in the main discussion? We can note opportunism or ignorance in "translation", but we shouldn't perpetuate it in the article. Unless, of course, you are aware of an Arabic manuscript that is titled "The Goal of The Wise in sorcery"--Picatrix (talk) 13:51, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Started reworking this to replace removed content and make some of the phrasing better. Not all the way there yet.. I'll be returning to this bit by bit, as I'm currently pressed for time. -Picatrix (talk) 03:38, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

What might help is to put it in context with the Rutbat al-Hakim, as the higher of the two capstones of Islamic academic knowledge, in the heirarchy of scholastic rank the introduction to the Rutbat refers to. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:57, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Stephen King is messing with us[edit]

The current unsourced claim that the Picatrix inspired the Necronomicon [1] can be traced back to text in Stephen King's Revival (novel):

"The last one [The Grimoire of Picatrix], along with De Vermis Mysteriis, was supposedly the basis of H.P. Lovecraft's fictional grimoire, called The Necronomicon."

Note that De Vermis Mysteriis is a fictional book from recent horror stories (so far as we know :) ) so there is no chance of this statement being fact-based. But it is made within the context of reference to the Wikipedia articles on these topics, so he tends to plant the seed for people to come in and add this stuff.

At the moment, I can't really see adding the one-off sentence as a cultural reference, and certainly it doesn't belong as fact. Nor is it really entertainment ... because no matter what fiction people write about magic or the history of philosophy, the truth will always be stranger. :) Wnt (talk) 16:35, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ David Pingree, 'Between the Ghāya and Picatrix. I: The Spanish Version', in Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Vol. 44, (1981), pp. 27-56