The Lesser Key of Solomon, also known as the Clavicula Salomonis Regis or Lemegeton, is an anonymous grimoire (or spell book) on demonology. It was compiled in the mid-17th century, mostly from materials a couple of centuries older. It is divided into five books—the Ars Goetia, Ars Theurgia-Goetia, Ars Paulina, Ars Almadel, and Ars Notoria.
The most obvious source for the Ars Goetia is Johann Weyer's Pseudomonarchia Daemonum in his De praestigiis daemonum. Weyer does not cite, and is unaware of, any other books in the Lemegeton, indicating that the Lemegeton was derived from his work, not the other way around. The order of the spirits was changed between the two, four additional spirits were added to the later work, and one spirit (Pruflas) was omitted. The omission of Pruflas, a mistake that also occurs in an edition of Pseudomonarchia Daemonum cited in Reginald Scot's The Discoverie of Witchcraft, indicates that the Ars Goetia could not have been compiled before 1570. Indeed, it appears that the Ars Goetia is more dependent upon Scot's translation of Weyer than Weyer's work in itself. Additionally, some material was used from Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy, the Heptameron by pseudo-Pietro d'Abano, and the Magical Calendar. Weyer's Officium Spirituum, which is likely related to a 1583 manuscript titled The Office of Spirits, appears to have ultimately been an elaboration on a 15th-century manuscript titled Le Livre des Esperitz (of which 30 of its 47 spirits are nearly identical to spirits in the Ars Goetia). In a slightly later copy made by Thomas Rudd, this portion was labelled "Liber Malorum Spirituum seu Goetia", and the seals and demons were paired with those of the 72 angels of the Shemhamphorasch, who were intended to protect the conjurer and control the demons he summoned. The angelic names and seals were derived from a manuscript by Blaise de Vigenère, whose papers were also used by Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers in his works for the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Rudd may have derived his copy of Liber Malorum Spirituum from a now-lost work by Johannes Trithemius, who taught Agrippa, who in turn taught Weyer. This portion of the work was later translated by S. L. MacGregor Mathers and published by Aleister Crowley under the title The Book of the Goetia of Solomon the King. Crowley added some additional invocations previously unrelated to the original work, as well as essays describing the rituals as psychological exploration instead of demon summoning.
The Seventy-Two demonsEdit
The demons' names (given below) are taken from the Ars Goetia, which differs in terms of number and ranking from the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum of Weyer. As a result of multiple translations, there are multiple spellings for some of the names, which are given in the articles concerning them. King Bael, Duke Agares, Prince Vassago, Marquis Samigina, President Marbas, Duke Valefor, Marquis Amon, Duke Barbatos, King Paimon, President Buer, Duke Gusion, Prince Sitri, King Beleth, Marquis Leraje, Duke Eligos, Duke Zepar, Count/President Botis, Duke Bathin, Duke Sallos, King Purson, Count/President Marax, Count/Prince Ipos, Duke Aim, Marquis Naberius, Count/President Glasya-Labolas, Duke Buné, Marquis/Count Ronové, Duke Berith, Duke Astaroth, Marquis Forneus, President Foras, King Asmoday, Prince/President Gäap, Count Furfur, Marquis Marchosias, Prince Stolas, Marquis Phenex, Count Halphas, President Malphas, Count Räum, Duke Focalor, Duke Vepar, Marquis Sabnock, Marquis Shax, King/Count Viné, Count Bifrons, Duke Vual, President Haagenti, Duke Crocell, Knight Furcas, King Balam, Duke Alloces, President Caim, Duke/Count Murmur, Prince Orobas, Duke Gremory, President Ose, President Amy, Marquis Orias, Duke Vapula, King/President Zagan, President Valac, Marquis Andras, Duke Flauros, Marquis Andrealphus, Marquis Cimeies, Duke Amdusias, King Belial, Marquis Decarabia, Prince Seere, Duke Dantalion, and Count Andromalius.
These 72 spirits are under the power of Amaymon (Moymon, Maimon), Corson, Ziminiar and Gaap, who are the four great kings ruling four cardinal points East, West, North and South; some translations list the four kings as Asmodai, Beleth, Belial and Gaap without giving directions. These four are usually called Oriens (Uriens, Urieus, Uricus) in the East, Paymon (Poymon, Paymonia) in the West, Egin (Ariton, Egyn, Aegym, Egion) in the North and Amaymon in the South; and frequently entitled by the Rabbins as Samael in the East, Azael in the West, Mahazael in the North and Azazel in the South. There are two other lists provided for identities of four cardinal kings: Bael, Poymon, Egyn and Moymon; and Asmodel (Asmodeus, Amodeo) in the East, Paymon in the West, Aegym in the North and Maimon in the South.