Archive for August, 2013

Miniscule Hiatus

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2013 by sonsofsolomon

The Sons of Solomon will be away from this blog for a few days. We will be near the mountain village of Scadlarrd collecting eggs of the great Western Egress. We will join you here again very soon. Omelettes for everyone upon our return.

What it Takes (to do this work)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 21, 2013 by sonsofsolomon

Using a poor PDF scan of the 1863 edition of The Dictionnaire Infernal, the first thing to do is to use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to convert the PDF image to readable text.

Next, the text is copied and pasted into Microsoft Word. Since the text is French nearly everything is underlined as a spelling error so the next thing is to convert the document to read as French. This shows that a lot of the text is quite legible and only the questionable items are underlined. Even though I can’t read French, Microsoft Word can.

The next step is a side by side comparison of the Word document and the PDF page to hand correct any word that isn’t a proper noun.

Once all the text is accurate to the original document, it can then be placed in Google Translate, a section at a time, and translated to English.

Next comes the interpretation of the English text into coherent sentences, as true to the original as possible. This usually includes researching subjects outside of this work in order to ascertain correct meaning and intent.

Finally, a retype and pagination of the English translation and images and there you have it.


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Dictionnaire Infernal – All known editions

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 15, 2013 by sonsofsolomon

Below are links (all local) to download every edition of Dictionnaire Infernal. This list represents the entire history of the book’s publication during the author’s life. They are all in downloadable PDF format. All that is asked is that you leave a thanks in the comment box if you download any or all of them.

Dictionnaire Infernal 1818

Dictionnaire Infernal 1845

Dictionnaire Infernal 1848

Dictionnaire Infernal 1853

Dictionnaire Infernal 1863


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Dictionnaire Infernal image cleanup

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 15, 2013 by sonsofsolomon

Here’s a worst case scenario example of some of the work that goes into cleaning up images for the English translation of Dictionnaire Infernal.

retoration comparison

As you can see by the example above, some images are quite muddy. This is due to bleedthrough. This example is especially bad because there is an image directly on the reverse of the original page. its ghost image was picked up by the scanner.

The end result is nowhere near perfect, but this is not intended as an attempt at restoration, it’s just a basic cleanup. Eventually, the plan is to acquire an original copy of the book and scan all the images as cleanly as possible.


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A new problem

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 14, 2013 by sonsofsolomon

Well, a new problem has occurred. The official scan from the French archives is missing 2 pages that appear to be the two sides of a single physical leaf. Was it ripped out? Is it a printer’s error? the former is probably true since the data jumps from DIA on page 212 to DIC on page 215. Only an original copy will provide this information. Why was the page removed?

<addendum 01>: It’s now verified that a page is missing. An attempted translation of the last partial paragraph of page 212 and the first partial paragraph of page 215 revealed that the result makes no literary sense.

<addendum 02>: The replacement pages were located and placed back into their correct context. Not only that, but the pages came from a beautiful hardcover reproduction of this edition. Every illustration is reproduced in the highest quality available. A copy has been ordered for research and scans.


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An alternate image of Belzebub

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 12, 2013 by sonsofsolomon

A small discovery in the Dictionnaire Infernal. (Left) An alternate image of Belzebub (Belzebuth, Beelzebub) not reproduced in the Demonographia nor Mather’s Goetia. The image on the right is the version we’re all used to seeing.


Dictionnaire Infernal translation 02 (preface)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 10, 2013 by sonsofsolomon

Here is the preface as translated from the 1863 edition of the Dictionnaire Infernal.


PREFACE (1863).
The immense collection of materials that compiles the Infernal Dictionary includes confusing aberrations and erroneous origins  that almost always grazes the truth. The Church, whose torch never fades, can be a sure guide in these eccentricities. The works of which, before this book, have addressed these varied and extremely numerous materials. Materials that are generally, with few exceptions, indigestible clusters of extravagant ideas, incomplete compilations, interminable discussions, and disordered or bad books in every sense of the word. Before now, the reader who wanted to navigate this mysterious maze of distorted, misleading beliefs, was required to seek out and collect many rare books with little subject matter, spend years and large sums of money researching and risking his faith on many occasions. The money, pain and risk are not required by this new edition of the Infernal Dictionary.

We say “this new edition,” because, in the first two published in 1818 and in 1825, the author, fighting the huge phalanx of popular errors and mysterious deceptions, fell deep into fatal distraction. He wanted the truth out of the source, instead of relying on the unalterable Church, he was dazzled by the light of a proud philosophy without authority, whose teachings have misled frivolous minds for a very long time. There he had studied till 1841, until finally realizing the light was missing and found only in the unwavering and always safe doctrines. So he completely redesigned the work, recognizing that superstitions, crazy beliefs, science and occult practices, more or less tacit insurrections against the religion came as deserters of faith or heresy or schism, or lines less defined.
Any man who studies history with righteous intentions recognizes that the Church constantly struggles against superstitions and infernal trickery; It never stops shedding light on false beliefs about foolish fears and the dangerous practices of doctor’s secret sciences.

To cite only a few testimonials, Augustine says that superstitions are the reproach of mankind. He condemned Origen more strongly and with more weight than encyclopaedists. Pope Leo X proclaimed those engaged in divination and other superstitious practices as infamy. The fourth council of Carthage excludes them from the congregation. The provincial council held at Toulouse in 1590 ordered the confessors and preachers to uproot by frequent exhortations and solid reasons, the superstitious ignorance of religion that was introduced into practice. The Council of Trent, after condemning these various errors, formally ordered the bishops to defend the faithful from anything that can bring them to superstition and the next scandal.

Thousands must meet this need of testimony. Suffice it to add, without any fear of denial, for the Church alone has the means and graces needed to address these aberrations so often dangerous and always abominable.
What may have been overlooked amid the clamor by interested philosophers is that the only men who are free from superstitions are faithful children of the Church, because they alone possess the truth. The doubters, the otherwise, all seem to justify this great belief, that those who are separated from God have a strayed mind, because, among them, the most incredulous are the most superstitious. They reject the revealed dogmas, and they believe in ghosts and have fear of the number 13; they have a prejudice against Friday, they seek the explanation of dreams, they consult fortune-tellers, they study in the future combinations of numbers; they fear the omens. A quoted scholar of today continues the elixir of life; a famous mathematician believes populated elements, cabalistic species; a philosopher who does not know if he believes in God and who performs ceremonies out of a grimoire to bring the devil.

This book therefore reproduces the aspects of the most strange developments of the human spirit; It exposes everything that affects the spirits, elves, fairies, genies, demons, ghosts, witches and their evil spells, the prestige of the sorcerers, the nomenclature and the functions of demons and of the magicians, the superstitious traditions, the-narratives of supernatural facts and popular tales. It opens the hundred fantastic doors of the future, by clear definition of divinations, from the chiromancie of bohemians up to the art of predicting by the mark of coffee or the game of cards. Astrology, alchemy, the Cabbala, phrenology, magnetism, have their records here, summarized from many pages. Finally, spiritualism, talking tables and the progress of magnetism are located in these pages. For forty-five years, the author has continued to patiently expand his research through thousands of volumes. Before him, no one had thought to bring together in one body of work all varieties that compiles the Infernal Dictionary, and no one can deny the usefulness of this endeavor.

If a group can create and prove their deformities, superstitions and errors will always corrupt or betray an obscurred foundation of truth. Thus, gradually, the light is produced in poor intelligences who refuse to rise to the sublime mysteries of faith, and subside firmly in the belief of the grossest frauds. This book provides weapons to friends of the truth, to confound the disappointments that the spirits offer who think they are superior because they do not feel their own weakness. On top of these benefits, we wanted to satisfy the taste of our time, requiring spicy readings, and helping subjects, we provide very frequently these eccentricities, these oddities to fulfil that need.

The author has reviewed this sixth edition with great care,  and has increased the work with an additional 800 articles and 550 illustrations, among which 72 portraits of demons, drawn by M. L. Breton according to the documents of the most curious demonographer, Wierus.


So there you have it. A complete, translated preface that stays as true as possible to the original text, without sounding like it was written by Yoda.

More to come


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