Trithemius Gustavus Selenus English

Gustavus Selenus, Cryptomenices III xv: English translation

Twelve Trithemian Modes, tied with a Gordian Knot.

We would not keep it secret that yet more modes, to the total of the signs of the Zodiac, devised by Trithemius are found in manuscripts but have never yet appeared in print. For this we rely on our own manuscript which we copied from a certain old codex of Johannes de Woesbruck, master of the great tollhouse of Bruges from the year 1520. We strove to see the author’s original version, which he sent to Philip the Elector Palatine, to compare it with ours. But we heard that Franciscus Junius, sometime Librarian of the Heidelberg Library, got a bee in his bonnet and sacrificed the original version to the flames, like Bovillus and the other halfwits, imagining it to be infected with magical impurity.

Therefore, since we have no way of getting to our original manuscript, we shall nevertheless give those modes as they are written there, mainly for the benefit of those who want to know everything about the steganographic enigmas. We here extend them with a cautionary note to the reader. They are found in Book One of Trithemius’s Steganographia after chapter 31, the mode of Bydiel, omitting the less important modes. They are immediately followed by Book Two, the transpository modes. We have decided to ignore the precedent of this ordering of Trithemius and moved them here to the position of an appendix.

The first of these (or chapter 32 of Steganographia appears under the name of MALCHIDAEL, taking the first position in the oblique Zodiac, with its keys, like those of the eleven following modes, hidden in conjurations preceded by an example of the mode. These keys are shared with preceding and following modes and have been transferred here. But we would not prejudge anything. Here, then, is the ostensible key of this mode:

Malchidael guera lamedo prois ili astrofel guaros lodor Hamilcharsi Planen Merafil holu Dermol Solamun aforas mesos omeran fabelmerusyn Perodes baricharat moson astropendason, that is

An example of MALCHIDAEL

Johannes Trithemius, abbot of Sponheim, to his friend Jakob Kymolanus of the order of Carmelites.

A few days ago when I arrived in Cologne by river, I heard that you were here in the convent of your order. I was doubtful, but our friend Jakob von Maseck confirmed it today when I invited him to dinner. As soon as the food was removed from the table I put pen to paper and wrote you the enclosed letters, not wanting to put off your wishes any longer. I insist on your coming here tomorrow morning to dine and to set aside the whole day for discussion with me. There will be nobody to interrupt us: I am alone with my household with need only for the mathematician of the Margrave of Brandenburg, indeed an extremely humane man. Let nothing keep you from coming. My servant bearing this will tell you my address. Farewell.

From my lodging house here in Cologne, 9 July 1505.

A spell, concluding chapter 32:

Malchidael Proys Dilamon Veroni Ditrum Abrael Made bados cadipil pason loref masarat damon omos dromit
nastris varo drus astropenason madebit rassut larot fabelmeri
. that is…