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From Lansdowne MSS. 1203, ' 7'he Veritable Clavicles of Solomon, translated from the Hebrew into the Latin language by the Rabbi Abognazar.' 1

EVERY one knoweth in the present day that from time immemorial Solomon possessed knowledge inspired by the wise teachings of an angel, to which he appeared so submissive and obedient, that in addition to the gift of wisdom, which he demanded, he obtained with profusion all the other virtues; which happened in order that knowledge worthy of eternal preservation might not be buried with his body. Being, so to speak, near his end, he left to his son Roboam a Testament which should contain all (the Wisdom) he had possessed prior to his death. The Rabbins, who were careful to cultivate (the same knowledge) after him, called this Testament the Clavicle or Key of Solomon, which they caused to be engraved on (pieces of) the bark of trees, while the Pentacles were inscribed in Hebrew letters on plates of copper, so that they might be carefully preserved in the Temple which that wise king had caused to be built.

This Testament was in ancient time translated from the Hebrew into the Latin language by Rabbi Abognazar, who transported it with him into the town of Arles in Provence, where by a notable piece of good fortune the ancient Hebrew Clavicle, that is to say this precious translation of it, fell into the hands of the Archbishop of Arles, after the destruction of the Jews in that city; who, from the Latin, translated it into the vulgar tongue, in the same terms which here follow, without having either changed or augmented the original translation from the Hebrew.


1:1 I fancy this Must be a corruption of 'Aben Ezra.'

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