The Necronomicon or Al Azif of Abdul AlhazredOne of Lovecraft’s best-known creations, he refers to the Necronomicon or Al Azif in no less than 18 of his stories. The original Arabic title of this manuscript was Al Azif, being a reference to the nocturnal sound of insects believed to be the howling of demons. Alhazred lived in Damascus, where the Necronomicon was written. In 738 A.D., he was set upon by an invisible monster who devoured him publicily in broad daylight. The Al Azif was translated into Greek by Theodorus Philetas of Constantinople, who gave it the name Necronomicon. Olaus Wormius then made a Latin translation in 1228.In 1232, shortly after Wormius’ translation, Pope Gregory IX banned both the Greek and Latin versions of the volume. Wormius indicates that the original Arabic text was lost by this time. Dr. John Dee made a translation into English, but only fragments of that version remain. At present, a 15th century Latin translation exists in the British Museum, and 17th century editions exist at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, the Widener Library at Harvard, the University of Buenos Aires, and the Miskatonic University at Arkham. Understandably, all these copies remain under lock and key.The first appearance of the Necronomicon was in Lovecraft’s “The Hound” (September 1922), although Abdul Alhazred, the book’s author, was mentioned earlier in “The Nameless City” (January 1921). It was in this latter tale that the best-known quote from The Necronomicon first appeared:That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may dievia


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