The Ars Nova
Ars Nova – Book Five of the Lemegeton
Transcribed from Sloane MS. 2731 and
prepared in Adobe Acrobat format by Benjamin Rowe, June, 1999.
Typeset in Adobe Caslon
There is some question whether the Ars Nova qualifies as a separate book of the
Lemegeton. In my copy of the manuscript (Sloane 2731) it consists of a single sheet
of paper. It is only distinguished from the preceding Ars Almadel by the word “Finis”
at the end of that book; there is no new title for the text that follows.
It is my belief that the lack of a title – and an error at whatever time the pages
were numbered – has caused previous publishers and commentators on the Ars Nova
to put its two pages in the reverse of the sequence in which they should be shown.
Using the opposite of the accepted order puts the presentation in a logical sequence,
and clears up the mystery surrounding the “Mighty Oration”, which has puzzled
Sloane 2731 is characterized by an almost obsessive concern with conserving
space. Each sheet of paper is used to the maximum. The writing is minuscule. The
margins are very narrow, and the copyist wrote in what we now call “landscape” ori-
entation in order to fit as many words as possible on each line. There are only two
places in the manuscript where as much as a half-page is left blank, and one of these
is in the Ars Nova. If the accepted order of the pages is used, this blank comes in the
middle of the presentation, for no obvious reason. It seems more reasonable to con-
clude that this blank comes at the end of the section, and thus at the end of the
entire Lemegeton; it is blank because the work is finished at that point.
Most of the text of Ars Nova clearly relates to the first book of the Lemegeton,
the Goetia, and the “tools of the trade” described therein: the magickal circle and tri-
angle, the hexagrams within the circle and the pentagrams surrounding it. It lists the
divine names written in each of these, and adds a short prayer, with o