1566 : The most complete work on demonology ever published.

Johannes Wierus
De Praestigiis Daemonum

Of utmost rarity.

Wonderful blindtooled contemporary binding with original clasps.


Basileae, Per Joannem Oporinum, 1566. 8vo (18 cm). 745 pp (66) pp (index).

Binding: Very fine original 16th century calf over wooden boards, dated 1568. Both boards are blindstamped with an intricate design of fleurons and rolled borders representing figures. Initials G.N. on the first board. Still have the original metal clasps what is quite rare. Gilt spine with three raised bands. First hinge split and upper part of spine lacking. Overall an exeptional contemporary binding that is worth a little restoration.

Interior complete and in perfect condition.

Third edition (the first was published in 1563). Probably the rarest manual of demonology ever published. Unlike most works on witchcraft that were written by inquisitors or witch hunters, here is a book written by a genuine occultist and defender of witches, Johannes Wierus, the very disciple of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, the greatest magician of the Renaissance. With a deep insight in the real nature of the Devil, having himself managed to fathom the hellish hierarchy, Wierus condemned the superstitions contained in the Malleus Maleficarum, establishing a clear boundary between true Sorcery and the mere illusions of mentally ill women. As the first book ever to defend witches it was almost immediately sentenced to fire by the inquisition, only a few copies remain.

Contains a strange engraving (see below)

Exact title :

De praestigiis daemonum, et incantationibus ac veneficiis, livri V.

Contains :

Liber I : De Diabolo origine stvdio et potentia. (31 - 116)
Liber II : De magis infamibus Lamiis et veneficis, eorumque potentia (117 - 367)
Liber III : De iis qui lamiarum maleficio affecti putantur (367 - 480)
Liber IIII : Curatio eorum qui lamiarum maleficio affici, vel daemonis obsidione subigi creduntur (481 - 610)
Liber V : De magorum infamium sagarum & veneficorum poenis.(610 - 721) Epistolae (721 - 741)
Epistolae (721 - 741)
Authores in hoc opere citati (741 - 745)
Huge Index (66 pages)