Criticism of the Necronomicon



( John Gonce literally wrote the book on debunking the Necronomicon,
and as his descriptions and assertions are astute and useful to us here,
I refer briefly to his article. (See John's contribution at gateways. )

Gonce: " The goal of the Maqlu ritual was to judge, punish and destroy
all evil sorcerers and sorceresses [witches], whether living or dead. Dead
sorcerers [witches] were exhumed and destroyed, live ones were slain,
and all were annihilated and deprived of any chance for burial. Thus they
were prevented from finding any refuge in the underworld and were
expelled from the cosmos . The word maqlu itself means "burning",
which refers to the destruction of the effigy of an evil sorcerer by burning
or melting a doll or poppet of the sorcerer made of wax, bitumen, wood,
dough, or clay... So let us begin by examining a section of the Simon
Necronomicon that most scholars agree is one of the most authentically
Mesopotamian parts of the book: "The MAKLU Text".

Even before we turn to page 75 of the Simon book to read his version
of the so-called "MAKLU Text" (more properly known as the Maqlu
Series) we find ourselves facing an Assyriological aberration. Throughout
his seemingly interminable introduction (pages vii through lvi, comprising
about an eighth of the book) Simon claims that his Necronomicon is a
work of authentic Sumerian magick. But the Maqlu Series of tablets,
translated into German by Knut L. Tallqvist [1], on which Simon based
his "MAKLU Text", date from the Babylonian period and not from ancient
Sumer, as Simon would have us believe. Even so, the magickal practices
of the Babylonians were inherited from the Sumerians, and Babylonian
magickal incantations were often written and spoken in Sumerian, so this is
not, by itself, such a terrible mistake from the standpoint of the practitioner
who wants to connect with the magickal current of ancient Mesopotamia.

But even in "The MAKLU Text" Simon's scholarship falls wide of the mark.
From my careful study of Tallqvist's work compared to "The MAKLU Text"
in the Simon Necronomicon, the evidence shows that Simon has merely taken
abbreviated forms of some of Tallqvist's translations, mixed them with fictional
material of his own creation, and used them in his book."



Meier, from Ross Sinclair, at Enenuru:



While Tallqvist's efforts on the Maqlu texts were pioneering, Gerhard Meier's
works in the 30's and 40's helped greatly to recover and refine the Maqlu Series,
which in fullest form consists of 9 tablets (1 ritual tablet and 8 incantation
tablets, containing almost 100 incantations, from the Neo-Assyrain period onward.)
Meier's untimely demise during the war years cut short an inspiring career and this may
in turn have stunted progress on the series. Accessing these
texts had, even as late as the 1990's remained a very daunting prospect for the
enthusiast, and for the curious layman alike - outside the horrible english translation
found in the Necronomicon, the Maqlu texts were available only in Meier's isolated
German editions (or in the earlier Tallqvist.)

I would take this oppurtunity to mention the one English speaking enthusiast who
took it upon themselves to improve the situation: Ross Sinclair [Bel Murru]
has been a great reader and researcher of Mesopotamian belief and his particular
focus has been with regards to Babylonian Magic. His personal site on the subject [here],
has served to initiate many who had had virtually no access point to the Academic understanding.
With this same spirit in the late 90's, Ross and a German speaking friend worked together to
translate Meier's edition into English, and this is what we present in the following page.

The Enenuru use of the Meier with Ross' translation:

We include this translation here for the best of reasons, among which we hope,
with Ross, to make easily accessible to the English speaking world that text which has been
unavailable to those who would know better authenticity.
We hope to win the text back in some small way for those academically minded.
And further, the above rare act in itself embodies enenuru -
inspiration breeds inspiration, and through this medium we make precedent and context.

Finally, regard must be given to the progress and achievement of Assyriology
and it must be stressed that the most scientific and recent edition of the
Maqlu series is to be sought and found with the scholar discussed below, whose
work appears in its most complete form as late as 2002,
and which contians many up to date English translations. All zealous or academically
bound persons must duely refer to him.




Tzvi Abusch and Mesopotamian Witchcraft:

Abusch is an impressive scholar who studied at one point under Th. Jacobsen, and is
currently the Rose B. and Joseph Cohen Professor of Assyriology and Ancient Near
Eastern Religion at Brandeis University. His primary fields of research and publication
are: Mesopotamian religion, magic, literature, and thought as well as Biblical and Babylonian
interconnections and he has taught a course on Mesopotamian magic (very rare I'm going to
say.)

Abusch had made it much of his work to translate and interpret the Maqlu series, and
his work of decades is known in 13 articles combined and presented in his 2002 book
"Mesopotamian Witchcraft: Towards an understanding of Babylonian Witchcraft beliefs and
literature
." As Gonce explains above, the rituals and incantations that form the Maqlu ceremony
target black magic, and specifically human protagonists in the form of Sorcerers/Witchs.
It is through this anti-witchcraft literature that we receive our only insights into Mesopotamian
witchcraft itself, of which Abusch is particularly keen in elucidating.

Among the important observations he makes, is that the ritual tablet not
"a simple catalogue, [but] is in factthe manual for the complete ceremony." Abusch
proposes that the Maql was in fact a complex ceremony, tablets I-V and VI-VII 57
to be performed in the night, VII 58- VIII to be performed the following morning "beginning at dawn".
Finally the performance of this complex ceremony is suggested to be in the month of Abu,
during the period of the disappearance of the moon at the end of the month."

 
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