The Immaterial Book of St. Cyprian


Folk Concepts & Views on The Book as a Cultural Item through the Reading of Folk Narratives

The Immaterial Book of St. Cyprian is a collection of 31 Iberian stories, myths, and “rural legends” about the infamous spellbook of the saint of occultists. It charts the purported powers of this grimoire, and the powers such a tome confers upon the bearer. Newly translated from the Portuguese by José Leitão, these collected legends of Cyprian’s Book illuminate Iberian conceptions of local witchcraft and countermagic, enchanted treasures, the Devil and the mysterious mouros and mouras – faerie-like denizens that manifest to tempt and terrify the unwary and the foolhardy. Each legend appears in the original Portuguese as well as in English, in facing-page translation. Leitão also provides a rich introduction contextualizing the legends and discussing the various themes arising in them. This volume is an indispensable companion to Leitão’s The Book of St. Cyprian: The Sorcerer’s Treasure(Hadean Press, 2014).
The Immaterial Book of St. Cyprian is the second volume in the Folk Necromancy in Transmission series, conceived and curated by Dr Alexander Cummins and Jesse Hathaway Diaz for Rubedo Press.

About the author: JOSÉ LEITÃO is a Portuguese Saint Cyprian devotee. He holds a PhD in experimental physics from the University of Delft and has finished a second Master’s degree in religious studies at the University of Amsterdam in 2016. His current research interests focus on using ethnographic and folkloric methodologies to map the concepts of folk magic, sorcery, and witchcraft as described in the records of the Portuguese Inquisition. He produced the first English translation of one of the traditional Portuguese grimoires attributed to Saint Cyprian, The Book of St. Cyprian: The Sorcerer’s Treasure (Hadean Press, 2014), and is currently working on collecting manuscripts and low circulation Portuguese Saint Cyprian literature to further progress the international understanding of the Sorcerer Saint.

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