- What is the Necronomicon?? And where did
the idea come from????
The Necronomicon was the creation of the horror
writer H.P. Lovecraft, and served as a collection of supernatural
wonders, a collection of myths of pre–human species on earth and/or
a book of spells . However the Necronomicon ex mortis which appears
in these films bears many differences from Lovecraft's book. This
book was written more than 3000 years ago and vanished around 1300
Lovecraft cites the meaning of the title
as a translation from Greek – 'An image of the law of the dead,'
nekros (corpse), nomos (law), eikon (image). However a more prosaic
translation can be derived by conjugating 'nemo' (to consider) :
Concerning the Dead.
In 1927 Lovecraft wrote a brief pseudo-history
of the Necronomicon that was published in 1938, after his death,
as The History of the Necronomicon. In the history Alhszred is said
to have nee a half crazed Muslim who worshipped the Lovecraftian
entities Yog-Sothoth and Cthulhu. He is described as being from Sanaa
I Yemen and as visiting the ruins of Babylon. In his last years
he lived in Damascus, where he wrote Al Azif (original name for
Book of the dead) before his sudden and mysterious death in 738.
In subsequent years, Lovecraft wrote, the Azif 'gained considerable,
though surreptitious circulation amongst the philosophers of the
age. In 950 it was translated into Greek and given the title Necronomicon
by Theodorus Philetas, a fictional scholar from Constantinople.
this version 'impelled certain experimenters to terrible attempts'
before being 'suppressed and burnt.' In 1050 by patriarch Micheal.
After this attempted suppression the work
was 'only heard of furtively' until it was translated from Greek
into Latin by Olaus Wormius (1228). Both the Latin and Greek text,
the History relates, were banned by pope Gregory ix in 1232, though
Latin editions were apparently published in 15th century Germany
and 17th century Spain. A Greek edition was printed in Italy in
the first half of the 16th century. The Elizabethan magician
John Dee allegedly translated the book - presumably into English
- but Lovecraft wrote that this version was never printed and only
fragments survived. According to Lovecraft, the Arabic version of
Al Azif had already disappeared by the time the Greek version was
banned in 1050. The Greek version, he writes, has not been reported
since the burning of a certain Salem man's library in 1692 - an
apparent reference to the Salem witch trials.
The Necronomicon is mentioned in a number
of Lovecraft's short stories and in his novels 'At the mountain
of madness' and the Case of Charles Dexter ward.
Of course the evil dead films spurned the
Necronomicon ex mortis, a book that is similar in many ways to Lovecraft's,
but was not initially inspired by it. Instead writer and director
Sam Raimibased the book in his film on sumerian mythology and the
Ancient Egyptian book of the dead. So the book was described as
a text from ancient sumeria 'bound in human flesh and inked in human
blood, that can ressurect demons and turn humans into monsters.