is a textbook of magic, typically including instructions on how to create magical objects like talismans and amulets, how to perform magical spells, charms and divination, and how to summon or invoke supernatural entities.
The earliest known written magical incantations come from ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), where they have been found inscribed on cuneiform clay tablets that archaeologists excavated from the city of Uruk and dated to between the 5th and 4th centuries BC.
The Egyptian magical system, known as heka, was greatly altered and enhanced after the Macedonians, led by Alexander the Great, invaded Egypt in 332 BC.
Under the next three centuries of Hellenistic Egypt, the Coptic writing system evolved, and the Library of Alexandria was opened. This likely had an influence upon books of magic, with the trend on known incantations switching from simple health and protection charms to more specific things, such as financial success and sexual fulfillment.
Around this time the legendary figure of Hermes Trismegistus developed as a conflation of the Egyptian god Thoth and the Greek Hermes; this figure was associated with writing and magic and, therefore, of books on magic.
there is definite evidence of grimoires being used by certain, particularly Gnostic, sects of early Christianity. In the Book of Enoch found within the Dead Sea Scrolls, for instance, there is information on astrology and the angels. In possible connection with the Book of Enoch, the idea of Enoch and his great-grandson Noah having some involvement with books of magic given to them by angels continued through to the medieval period.
Israelite King Solomon was a Biblical figure associated with magic and sorcery in the ancient world. The 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian Josephus mentioned a book circulating under the name of Solomon that contained incantations for summoning demons and described how a Jew called Eleazar used it to cure cases of possession.
The pseudepigraphic Testament of Solomon is one of the oldest magical texts. It is a Greek manuscript attributed to Solomon and likely written in either Babylonia or Egypt sometime in the first five centuries AD, over 1,000 years after Solomon's death.
The work tells of the building of The Temple and relates that construction was hampered by demons until the angel Michael gave the king a magical ring. The ring, engraved with the Seal of Solomon, had the power to bind demons from doing harm.
Sefer Raziel HaMalakh - the book of Raziel the angel - is a grimoire of Practical Kabbalah from the Middle Ages written primarily in Hebrew and Aramaic.
It draws heavily on Sefer Yetzirah and Sefer HaRazim "Book of Secrets". There are multiple manuscript versions, containing up to seven tractates. The printed version of Sefer Raziel is divided into five books, some of it in the form of a mystical midrash on Creation. It features an elaborate angelology, magical uses of the zodiac, gematria, names of God, protective spells, and a method of writing magical healing amulets.
Adam the spiritual laws of nature and life on earth, including the knowledge of the planets, stars and the spiritual laws of creation.
The angel Raziel also taught Adam the knowledge of the power of speech, the power of thoughts and the power of a person's soul within the confines of the physical body and this physical world, basically teaching the knowledge with which one can harmonize physical and spiritual existence in this physical world.
The angel Raziel teaches the power of speech, the energy contained within the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, their combinations and meanings of names.
The Heptameron, ascribed to Petrus de Apono, is based on the Book of Raziel.