Monday, October 25, 2010

The Necronomicon in English, Latin and Greek: A comparison

Because I do not believe that knowledge of earlier editions of the Necronomicon should be so thoroughly concealed from interested parties by our institutions of higher learning, I group together in a single post the English, Latin and Greek versions of the famous couplet quoted by H.P. Lovecraft. Discussion of how the newly discovered Latin and Greek verses differ from the English, and how I came to transcribe them, may be found here and here.
That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die.

Illud non moritur quod polleat usque morari:
temporibus miris, Mors, potes ipsa mori.
(Olaus Wormius the Elder, 1228)

οὐκ ἔλαχον θανάτοιο μέρος κατακείμενοι αἰεί·
καινοτέρων ἐτέων καὶ θάνατος θάνεται.
(Theodorus Philetas, ca. 950)
The eighth-century Arabic original is still lacking and may be lost for good (unfortunately I have no knowledge of the relevant language).

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