Session Title

Occult Blockbusters of the Islamicate World I: The Picatrix (A Magical Bestseller)

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Research Group on Manuscript Evidence; Societas Magica

Organizer Name

David Porreca

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of Waterloo

Presider Name

Claire Fanger

Presider Affiliation

Rice Univ.

Paper Title 1

The Goal of the Sage: What's It Take?

Presenter 1 Name

Daniel Attrell

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of Waterloo

Paper Title 2

The Latin Picatrix: A New English Translation, A New Assessment

Presenter 2 Name

David Porreca

Paper Title 3

Me and Pingree: Comprehending the World-View of Maslama al-Qurṭubī's Ghāyat al-Ḥakīm

Presenter 3 Name

Liana Saif

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of Oxford

Start Date

12-5-2018 1:30 PM

Session Location

Bernhard 204

Description

The Picatrix, as is well known, was without question historically the most popular of all Arabic occult-scientific manuals—but only in Latin Europe. The first session of this pair will focus on the Picatrix at the intersection of the Latin and Arabic worlds, featuring new research based on a forthcoming new critical edition of the latter and a new scholarly translation with commentary on the former. While the Picatrix's Arabic original (Ghāyat al-ḥakīm, or Goal of the Sage) was certainly long prized in the Islamicate world as well, however, other Arabic and Persian manuals came to far outstrip it in popularity and influence from the 12th century onward, and circulated over geographical areas equally vast. Due to persistent eurocentrism, these occult blockbusters of the Islamicate world remain virtually unknown to the scholarship on medieval and early modern Western (Islamo-Judeo-Christianate) occultism. To help rectify this gross imbalance, the second session presents four Islamicate occult-scientific manuals, three in Arabic and one in Persian, that too enjoyed blockbuster status over centuries.

David Porreca

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May 12th, 1:30 PM

Occult Blockbusters of the Islamicate World I: The Picatrix (A Magical Bestseller)

Bernhard 204

The Picatrix, as is well known, was without question historically the most popular of all Arabic occult-scientific manuals—but only in Latin Europe. The first session of this pair will focus on the Picatrix at the intersection of the Latin and Arabic worlds, featuring new research based on a forthcoming new critical edition of the latter and a new scholarly translation with commentary on the former. While the Picatrix's Arabic original (Ghāyat al-ḥakīm, or Goal of the Sage) was certainly long prized in the Islamicate world as well, however, other Arabic and Persian manuals came to far outstrip it in popularity and influence from the 12th century onward, and circulated over geographical areas equally vast. Due to persistent eurocentrism, these occult blockbusters of the Islamicate world remain virtually unknown to the scholarship on medieval and early modern Western (Islamo-Judeo-Christianate) occultism. To help rectify this gross imbalance, the second session presents four Islamicate occult-scientific manuals, three in Arabic and one in Persian, that too enjoyed blockbuster status over centuries.

David Porreca