Copyright © 2001 Michael Lewis
There are those who believe in this grimoire, in its existence
and in its potency, and there are those who do not. Those who believe say
that this grimoire, originally named Al Azif, and written by Abdul Alhazred
around 700 AD, contains the rituals that, if performed correctly, will open the
gates between this world and another, more sinister world, allowing the demons
that once ruled this world to return and re-establish their
Accordingly, the rituals were given to Abdul Alhazred by a
demon wishing that the rituals should be performed so that it might gain entry
to this world. However, Abdul refused to perform the rituals and in Damascus,
around 738 AD, he was set upon and eaten by this demon, causing the Al Azif to
be lost from his guard. Let loose upon the world, the Al Azif was
translated into Greek by Theodorus Philetas of Constantinople, who named it the
Necronomicon. The Necronomicon was then translated into Latin by Olaus
Wormius in 1228 and in 1232, Pope Gregory IX banned both the Greek and the Latin
versions of the volume. The original version, according to Wormius, was
lost. Years later, an English translation was made by Dr. John Dee, and it
was this version that captured the intrigue of H.P. Lovecraft.
However, at the time that H.P. Lovecraft was writing at the
beginning of the 20th century, the book did not really exist. It was a
complex fantasy, concocted by an author of a certain genius, who referred to the
book in such a way as to make it seem as a genuine volume. All that can be
said to exist of the Necronomicon is the few 'quotes' that appeared in
Lovecraft's writings. Lovecraft was a member of the W.T. group of authors
who made references to each other's fictitious tomes to create a background of
illusion. In his letter to Miss Margaret Sylvester on 13th January 1934,
Lovecraft confesses that "This pooling of resources tends to build up quite a
pseudo-convincing background of dark mythology, legendry, and bibliography."
Around the middle of the 20th century copies of the
Necronomicon began to surface. These texts were hugely sought after,
although they were often only a few pages, translated and copied from surviving
fragments of the original volumes. The most famous of these, which was an
almost complete copy, is what we now call the Simonomicon. Like the
authors of all the other copies, the text was based on the 'quotes' by
Lovecraft, and then added to using the authors imagination, but uniquely in this
case, also using Sumerian legend which added credibility and substance to the
text. However, just like all the other copies of the Necronomicon, the
Simonomicon is a mere fabrication, a continuation of the mythos invented by
Lovecraft years ago, and a tribute to his genius.
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