Mysticism, Occultism
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Cyprianus aka The Black Book

Cyprianus, Uricus and Paymon, from Clavis Inferni..., Late 18th Century

These illustrations are from a late 18th century book about magic, the Clavis Inferni sive magia alba et nigra approbata Metratona by M. L. Cyprianus. There is not much information available about the book or author, but the writer of the Res Obscura blog suggests the author might actually be St. Cyprian. The official captions state,

Cyprianus is also known as the Black Book, and is the textbook of the Black School at Wittenburg, the book from which a witch or sorceror gets his spells. The Black School at Wittenburg was purportedly a place in Germany where one went to learn the black arts.

Maymon and Egyn, from Cyprianus, Clavis Inferni, late 18th Century

llustrations showing kings wearing gold crowns, represented by Maymon – a black bird – as King of the South; and Egyn – a black bear-like animal with a short tail – as King of the North.

Archangel Metratron, from Cyprianus, Clavis Inferni, late 18th Century

Ink and watercolour image of the Archangel Metratron with seven lighted candles and seven gold stars, surrounded by alchemical/magical symbols in red ink

Pentagram Seal, from Cyprianus, Clavis Inferni, late 18th Century

Illustration in black ink showing pentagram seal – a five-pointed star with magical symbols

Dragon devouring Lizard, from Cyprianus, Clavis Inferni, late 18th Century

Ink and watercolour showing a red-winged dragon wearing a gold crown and devouring a lizard. Between the two figures is a snake entwined around a cross with a skull and crossbones at its base.

Orobouros, from Cyprianus, Clavis Inferni, late 18th Century

Page from Cyprianus showing the serpent Ouroboros surrounding a circle with lettering in Latin and Hebrew.

Seal of Approbata from Cyprianus, Clavis Inferni, late 18th Century

Illustration in black and red ink showing the Seal of Approbata – a six-pointed star surrounded by alchemical and magical symbols

Header image caption: Illustrations showing kings wearing gold crowns, represented by Uricus – a red-crowned and winged serpent – as King of the East; and Paymon – a black cat-like animal with horns, long whiskers and tail – as King of the West.

Source and license: The book was purchased by the Wellcome Library in London and the images are available on Wellcome Images under CC BY 4.0. All captions were taken from the Wellcome Library.

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