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The Ghâyat al-Hakîm fi’l-sihr, or Picatrix, as it is known in the West, is an important Arabic magical text. It is perhaps the largest and most comprehensive of the grimoires, or handbooks of magic. The attribution to the Andalusian mathematician al-Majriti (or al-Madjriti) (d. ca. 1004-7) is considered pseudo-epigraphic. The Latin translation dates to 1256 and the court of Alphonso the Wise, king of Castille, and exerted a considerable influence on Western magic thereafter. It is said that much of Ficino’s astrological magic derives from the Picatrix (see I.P.Couliano, Eros and Magic in the Renaissance, University of Chicao Press, 1987, p. 118). The Picatrix is mentioned by Johannes Trithemius in Book 2 of his notorious Steganographia (1500) and in his Antipalus Maleficiorum (c. 1500). One copy (British Library, Sloane manuscript 3679) passed down from Simon Forman (d. 1611) to Richard Napier (d. 1634) to Elias Ashmole (d. 1692) to William Lilly (d. 1681).

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E.M. Butler wrongly associates it with Gio. Peccatrix, (no doubt a pseudonym) who edited an Italian version of the Key of Solomon (British Library, Sloane manuscript 1307). Misled by some comments by Mathers and others, Dr. Butler incorrectly concluded that the Picatrix was “an Italian edition of the Clavicle, strongly impregnated with black elements” (Ritual Magic, 1949, p. 135.)
Recent editions include:
(Arabic)
Pseudo-Magriti, Das Ziel des Weisen, Herausgegeben von Hellmut Ritter, B.G. Teubner / Liepzig / Berlin 1933. Studien der Bibliothek Warburg Herausgegeben von Fritz Saxl. XII. Picatrix (“Das Ziel des Weisen” von Pseudo-Majriti) 1. Arabischer Text.
(English)
Picatrix — A Medieval Treatise on Astral Magic, Translated with an introduction by Dan Attrell and David Porreca. Translation based on Latin version as critically edited by Pingree. (2019)
(German)
“Picatrix” Das Ziel des Weisen von Pseudo-Magriti, Translated into German from the Arabic by Hellmut Ritter and Martin Plessner, London, The Warburg Institute, University of London, 1962
S. Matton, La magie arabe traditionelle, Paris, 1977 (incomplete)
(Latin)
Picatrix: The Latin Version of the Ghâyat Al-Hakîm, ed. David Pingree (London, Warburg Institute, 1986).
(Spanish)
Abul-Casim Maslama ben Ahmad: Picatrix
The Complete Picatrix, translated by John Michael Greer & Christopher Warnock from Pingree’s Latin critical edition (Renaissance Astrology Press, 2010) ISBN 978-1-257-76785-4
An English translation of the first two books of Picatrix was released in August of 2002, and Volume Two with books 3 and 4 in 2008, by Ouroboros Press, translated from the Arabic by Hashem Atallah.
I hope that by giving this account of its contents, other editions and studies of this important text may be encouraged:
(From Martin Plessner’s introduction, pp. lix-lxxv.)
The following pages are intended as a guide to and an epitome of this often disorderly book. A glance at the table of contents is enough to show that the sequence of chapters is erratic and closer inspection reveals that the scope of individual chapters is far wider than appears at first sight. Philosophic doctrines (which, according to the author, are the basis of the talismanic art), theory of magic, astronomical, astrological and physical lore, extensive directions for the practice of the art, and accounts of the peoples by whom it is employed are jumbled together throughout the book, with no discernible guiding principle. If a systematic arrangement is anywhere perceptible, it is in the astrological and astronomical material, though even this is far from self-contained or methodically ordered. Subjects which belong together are separated (e.g., the geographical sections on pp.171 ff. and 394 ff.), long, discursive definitions, appearing in unexpected places, further break the sequence (e.g., pp.78 and 343)-. and there is a great deal more to make the reader’s task more difficult.
This manner of writing may well be intentional, whether to make the magical sections appear less suspect by interlarding them with theoretical passages, or to make certain doctrines seem less strange by administering them in small doses, or to demonstrate the equal validity of the magical and philosophical material, or for a combination of all three reasons. At all events, a similar method of presentation is apparent in one of the principal sources of The Aim of the Sage, the encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity (Ihwân al-Safâ).

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