Joseph Peterson - Arbatel : Concerning the Magic of Ancients

Joseph Peterson - Arbatel : Concerning the Magic of Ancients

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As the fall of man made himself and all other creatures subject to vanity; so, by reason thereof, the most noble arid excellent Arts wherewith the Rational soul was indued, are by the rusty canker of Time brought unto Corruption. For Magick itself, which the ancients did so divinely contemplate, is scandalized with bearing the badge of all diabolical sorceries: which Art (saith Mirandula) Pauci intelligunt, multi reprehendunt, & sicut canes ignotos semper allatrant: Few understood, many reprehend, and as dogges barke at those they know not: so doe many condemn and hate the things they understand not. Many men there are, that abhor the very name and word Magus, because of Simon Magus, who being not Magus, but Goes, that is, familiar with evil Spirits, usurped that Title. But Magicke and Witchcraft are far differing Sciences; whereof Pliny1 being ignorant, scoffeth thereat: for Nero (saith Pliny) who had the most excellent Magicians of the East sent to him by Tyridates king of Armenia, who held that kingdom by him, found the Art after long study and labour altogether ridiculous.