A Lapidary of Sacred Stones: Their Magical and Medicinal Powers Based on the Earliest Sources
A comprehensive dictionary of sacred and magical gem lore that draws on the rarest source texts of Antiquity and the Middle Ages
• Reveals the healing and magical virtues of familiar gemstones, such as amethyst, emerald, and diamond, as well as the lore surrounding exotic stones such as astrios, a stone celebrated by ancient magicians
• Examines bezoars (stones formed in animals’ bodies) and “magnets” that attract materials other than metal
• Based on ancient Arabic, Greek, Jewish, and European sources, ranging from the observations of Pliny the Elder to extremely rare texts such as the Picatrix and Damigeron’s Virtue of Stones
Our ancestors believed stones were home to sacred beings of power, entities that if properly understood and cultivated could provide people protection from ill fortune, envy, and witchcraft; grant invisibility and other magical powers; improve memory; and heal the sick from a wide variety of diseases. These benefits could be obtained by wearing the stone on a ring, bracelet, or pendant; through massage treatments with the stone; or by reducing the gem into a powder and drinking it mixed with water or wine.
Drawing from a wealth of ancient Arabic, Greek, Jewish, and European sources--from the observations of Pliny the Elder to extremely rare texts such as the Picatrix and Damigeron’s Virtue of Stones--Claude Lecouteux provides a synthesis of all known lore for more than 800 stones. He includes such common examples as the emerald, which when engraved with the figure of a harpy holding a lamprey in its claws will banish panic and nightmares, and beryl, which when appropriately carved can summon water spirits or win its owner high renown, as well as more exotic stones such as astrios, a stone celebrated by ancient magicians and whose center glows like a star. Lecouteux also examines bezoars--stones formed in animals’ bodies--as well as “magnets” that attract materials other than iron, such as gold, flesh, cotton, or scorpions.
This comprehensive dictionary of sacred and magical gem lore, drawn from the rarest sources of Antiquity and the Middle Ages, represents a one-of-a-kind resource for gem enthusiasts and magical practitioners alike.
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1st Romanesque translation 2nd Lapidary agate Albertus Magnus Alexander Neckham Alphabetical Lapidary Arnoldus Saxo Avicenna Bartholomaeus Anglicus XVI bearer Beauvais VIII Bodl called Cambridge lapidary Cantimpré 14 carbuncle carved Christian lapidary chrysolith Closener color Damigeron Digby 13 Dimishqî Dioscorides emerald engraved Eschenbach 791 gold heals Hildegard von Bingen Hortus sanitatis Isidore of Sevilla jacinth Jacob van Maerlant jasper Kerygma King Philip Konrad von Megenberg Kyranides Lambert de Saint-Omer Lapidary in prose Lapidary of King Lapidary of Marbode lapidibus preciosis lapis Leonardi Leonardi II LeonardiII Liber ordinis rerum Liber secretorum Lombard Dioscorides Luka ben Serapion Maerlant XII magnet Mandeville Meliteniotes one’s Phisice Picatrix Pliny 37 Poridat protects Pseudo-Dioscorides Pseudo-Mandeville Pseudo-Plutarch resembles ring saga Saint Florian Saint-Omer 55 sapphire sardonyx Secrez Sevilla 16 Solin stone found Summarium Heinrici Thomas de Cantimpré Vincent de Beauvais virtutis lapidum Vocabularius ex quo Volmar wears Wolfram von Eschenbach worn