Simon Necronomicon

The Simon Necronomicon (or Simonomicon) is the best-known version of the fictional Necronomicon. It is called the "Simon Necronomicon" because its introduction was written by a man identified only as "Simon." The book is largely based on Sumerian mythology and attempts to identify the Great Old Ones and other creatures from Lovecraft's Mythos with gods and demons from the Sumerian myths. The myths presented in the book are a blend of Mesopotamian myths (not only Sumerian, but Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian as well), and a storyline of unknown authenticity about a man known only as the "Mad Arab."

The book was released in 1977 by Schlangekraft, Inc. in a limited leatherbound edition of 666, which was followed by a clothbound edition of 3333, and later by an Avon paperback.

Simon's introduction

The introduction to the book (comprising about 50 pages of a total of around 250) is the only part that Simon indicates that he wrote. It relates how Simon and his associates were said to have been introduced to a copy of the Greek Necronomicon by a mysterious monk. The introduction also attempts to establish links between Lovecraft, Aleister Crowley and Sumerian mythology, as well as draw parallels to other religions (such as Christianity, Wicca, and Satanism).

The testimony of the Mad Arab

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The Testimony is in two parts that form a prologue and an epilogue to the core Necronomicon. The author is described as a "Mad Arab".

The prologue tells how the Mad Arab first came to know of the existence of the dark secrets he is writing down (by accidentally witnessing an arcane ritual performed by a cult of the Ancient Ones).

In the epilogue, the Mad Arab is haunted by demons and monsters. He fears that his gods have foresaken him due to some sin he believes to have unwittingly committed. He is taken away by these demons before he is able to sign his work, thus becoming nameless.

Ancient Ones

The Ancient Ones mentioned in the book include the following:

Magic

Much of the book is a guide to magic. Many magical incantations, seals and rituals are described. Most of these are used to ward off evil or to invoke the Elder Gods to one's aid. Some of them are curses to be used against one's enemies. The incantations are written in a mix of English and ancient Sumerian with a few possible misspellings in the Sumerian words.

The many magical seals in the book usually pertain to a particular god or demon and are used when invoking the entity. In some cases there are specific instructions on how to carve the seals, including the materials that should be used and the time of day it should be carved. In other cases, only the seal itself is given.

Good versus evil

A main theme of the book is the struggle between good and evil. The principal forces of good and evil are the "Elder Gods" and the "Ancient Ones", respectively. These two sides are populated with authentic Mesopotamian gods and monsters as well as fictitious ones. The Ancient Ones are older and represent primeval chaos. Chief among them is Tiamat. The Elder Gods are younger entities, children of the Ancient Ones, who rebelled against them and prevailed.

Included in the Simon Necronomicon is a story which is a variant of the Enuma Elish, the Babylonian creation epic. It relates how Marduk (one of the Elder Gods) slew Tiamat, clove her body in two and created the Heaven and the Earth from the two halves. The Elder Gods also created Mankind from the blood of Kingu (an Ancient One). Other Ancient Ones are imprisoned beneath the Earth or beyond the Heavens. To this editor's knowledge, all of this is derived from authentic myths (except, perhaps, the terms "Elders Gods" and "Ancient Ones" themselves; these seem like an obvious attempt to draw parallels to Lovecraft's stories).

Simon's introduction claims that Lovecraft's Mythos, just like the Sumerian mythology, is a story of the struggle between good and evil, there personified by the good "Elder Gods" and the evil "Great Old Ones". This is incorrect. Such a "cosmic war" does indeed appear in August Derleth's version of the Cthulhu Mythos, but not in Lovecraft's stories. (See Cthulhu Mythos for more information on this subject.) The theme of "cosmic war" derives instead from Lovecraft's essay, "Supernatural Horror in Literature", where he mentions the apocryphal Book of Enoch. The Book of Enoch elaborates on Genesis 6:1-4, describing how rebellious angels, variously known as Watchers or Grigori, looked upon the daughters of humankind and took them as wives, subsequently giving birth to demonic offspring. At this point the Flood ensues, submerging the Abominations beneath the sea. The Ancient Ones now lie "dead but dreaming", awaiting a day when they may return to life. To do this, they are dependent on the positions of the stars as well as the sacrifices of their mortal followers. This is an obvious attempt to reconcile these myths with Cthulhu Mythos stories such as The Call of Cthulhu and with the Armageddon and Apocalypse of Judeo-Christianity where, following the conflagration of the End Times, the flesh of the vanquished Leviathan is then served up to the victorious survivors for dinner.

Controversy

Considerable debate has occurred over the historic authenticity of the Simon Necronomicon. No manuscript has ever been made available for examination, so the controversy centers around the book's content.

The question of whether the Necronomicon displays influences from later civilizations is no longer under dispute, as Simon has stated in Dead Names that the book contains Gnostic and Neoplatonic material. Some see the Necronomicon as an ancient work that has been corrupted down through the ages, while their opponents maintain that the book is a modern hoax combining published Mesopotamian material with Lovecraft's fiction and modern magical practices.

According to one book on the topic, The Necronomicon Files, several portions of the Necronomicon bear striking similarities with other works mentioned in its bibliography, such as R. C. Thompson's The Devils and Evil Spirits of Babylonia and Pritchard's Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, to an extent that it becomes unlikely that separate translations could have arrived at the same result. In addition, two members of the Magickal Childe scene, Khem Caigan (the Necronomicon's illustrator) and Alan Cabal, have independently stated that the book was widely known as a hoax in the local occult community. Simon has yet to produce any other individuals who are willing to back up his version of events.

A crucial difficulty with the Necronomicon being authentic is the question of how Lovecraft would have learned about the book before 1921, and why he would have maintained that he invented it. Some proponents assert that Lovecraft was an unconscious medium who learned about a real book in his dreams, or cite links to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn or other magical orders for which documentation has yet to appear.

Many practitioners of magic maintain that, no matter what the book's origins, the Simon Necronomicon provides a complete and workable system that can be pursued on a path of personal revelation and growth. Others warn that it is dangerous, and the rituals it contains should never be attempted.

Possible attribution

The authorship of the Simon Necronomicon has been attributed to figures as diverse as Sandy Pearlman and Anton LaVey. Some attribute it to James Wasserman [1], a well-known producer and designer of occult books and protege of Samuel Weiser, the largest publisher of occult books in America (Wasserman has been associated with the recent re-publishing of many of the works of Aleister Crowley). The more likely author would be nonfiction writer Peter Levenda, a possibility "Simon" (whether intentional or accidentally) does little to deny in Dead Names. Levenda had not yet officially published any books at the time of the first printing. Subsequently he has done so, publishing nonfiction works on the topic of the influence of occult secret societies on international politics. The U.S. Copyright Office identifies Levenda as the author and copyright holder of Gates of the Necronomicon.

Dead Names

In 2006, Avon published Simon's Dead Names: The Dark History of the Necronomicon (ISBN 0-06-078704-X), in which he details the history of the Necronomicon and attacks his critics who claim the book is a hoax. The book's conclusions are considered suspect by some [2].

Related links

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    Mesopotamian mythology is the collective name given to Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, and Babylonian mythologies from the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq.
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    A Great Old One is a type of fictional being in the Cthulhu Mythos based in the stories of HP Lovecraft. Though Lovecraft created the most famous of these fictional deities, the vast majority of them were created by other writers, many after Lovecraft's death.
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    The Cthulhu Mythos encompasses the shared elements, characters, settings, and themes found in the works of H.P. Lovecraft and associated horror fiction writers. Together, they form the that authors writing in the Lovecraftian milieu have used — and continue to use
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      Mesopotamian mythology is the collective name given to Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, and Babylonian mythologies from the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq.
      ..... Click the link for more information.


        Mesopotamian mythology is the collective name given to Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, and Babylonian mythologies from the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq.
        ..... Click the link for more information.


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