De Occulta Philosophia Libri Tres, Vol. 48 (Studies in the History of Christian Traditions) Hardcover – October 1, 1992
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Alastair Hamilton, Heythrop Journal, 1994.
'...is a long...critical edition of one of the most important Renaissance works on magic.'
Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, 1994.
'...an edition of the highest caliber.'
Robert Mathiesen, Gnosis Magazine, 1994.
'Das besondere Verdienst der neuen Ausgabe besteht m.E. allerdings in der Identifikation und dem Nachweis der Quellen, auf die sich Agrippa stützt.'
Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philologie und Theology, 1995.
'A major work of Renaissance scholarship beautifully achieved.'
Bibliothèque d'Humanisme et Renaissance, 1993.
'...this work will have a serious impact on early modern scholarship. ...Perrone Compagni's edition is a work of high scholarship upon which much future research can be built.'
William Newman, ISIS, 1995.
About the Author
- Publisher : Brill Academic Pub; Illustrated edition (October 1, 1992)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 660 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9004094210
- ISBN-13 : 978-9004094215
- Item Weight : 2.3 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.5 x 1.75 x 9.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,101,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Now, assuming that you know who Agrippa (1486-1535) was, and roughly what his Occult Philosophy was, let's talk about this volume.
This is a scholarly critical edition. The copious annotations do not so much explain the text as tell you what Agrippa is quoting or referring to, so you can look up more texts. The introduction is functional, but not terribly helpful to the nonspecialist. On the other hand, when I wrote my book on Agrippa, this thing was a constant and trusty companion; boy am I ever glad I shelled out for this!
Agrippa's book itself is obscure and difficult, but at the same time it is the seminal attempt to develop a philosophical framework for magic as a practice. If you just want to read the book, read it in English (buy the Llewellyn edition) unless your Latin is stunningly good. So if you don't already know the book well, you shouldn't be spending money on this.
The editing is meticulous, including constant explications of Agrippa's many references and sources. There is a wonderful index and bibliography, making the volume exceptionally useful -- Agrippa himself is deliberately confusing and at times seems disorganized. On top of everything else, the editor has included angle braces and further notes so that we get a complete edition of the Juvenile Draft (1510) woven into the final edition (1531/33). I can't say enough good things about the edition.
Every library with a serious early modern collection should have this. Brill's books are extremely expensive, of course, but they are permanent. The paper is acid-free, the binding is very toughly stitched, and so forth. If you shell out for this text, you will still have it a long time from now. If you are not in control of a library's budget, though, you'd better try to get your librarian to order this.
In short, this is a volume for a library, a specialist, or a wealthy Latinist. If you are wealthy enough to afford this and just want a cool edition, bear in mind that you can sometimes find Agrippa's _Opera_ in early 17th C editions for about what this volume costs --- no critical material, of course, but pretty. If you have good reason to want a critical edition, though, this one is not likely to be superseded.
The original Latin text of Agrippa's classic is presented along with critical apparatus clearly showing variant readings in the editions. Includes a great introduction (in English) with a detailed analysis of Agrippa's sources and as well as an insightful and in-depth analysis of Agrippa's extensive 1533 expansion and revision of the text. Complete with helpful bibliographies and indices.
The only disappointment I had was the fact that this edition does not include Agrippa's lengthy recantation, which was included in the 1533 edition.
This is one of the most expensive books I've ever bought, but worth the price, especially for those with a command of Renaissance Latin.