"The very act of studying the text is inherently dangerous, as those who attempt to master its arcane knowledge generally meet terrible ends."
The Necronomicon is a Grimoire written by Abdul Alhazred in the early 8th Century, originally titled
The Kitab Al Azif - "Book of the Howlings of the Desert Demons" - which contains an account of The Old Ones, their history, and the means for summoning them.
A poet in the court of a nobleman in the city of Sanaá, Alhazred left the city for reasons unknown and wandered the deserts for ten years, visiting The City Of The Pillars, the ruins of Babylon, the "subterranean secrets" of Memphis, The Catacombs of Egypt, The Temple of Nug and Yeb in the Crimson Desert and the Empty Quarter of Arabia - where he discovered the Nameless City below Irem.
It was at an old age that Alhazred, by now a follower of Cthulhu, settled in the great city of Damascus, where
The Kitab Al Azif was produced before his sudden and mysterious death in 738.
The Kitab Al Azif gained considerable circulation amongst the philosophers of the age and in 950 a Greek translation was made whereby the official title, Necronomicon, was introduced.
Nekros - νεκρός • Nomos - νόμος • Eikon - εικών
"an image of the law of the dead"
Translations and suppresions
This version impelled certain experimenters to terrible attempts and was therefore suppressed and burnt in 1050 by Patriarch Michael, which contributed to the works substantial obscurity until it was translated again into Latin in 1228.
The Greek and Latin versions crawled through history, heard of only furtively in certain circles, making their way to Germany, Spain and Italy by the 17th Century despite being banned by Pope Gregory IX in 1232.
Though an English translation was allegedly made by Elizabethan magician John Dee sometime between 1527 and 1609, the version was never printed and only fragments have survived.
By the time the Greek version was banned in 1050 the Arabic version of The Kitab Al Azif had already disappeared, though a secret copy is rumoured to have appeared in San Francisco during the 20th century that later perished in fire. The Greek version has not been reported since the burning of a Salem library in 1692 - no doubt a byproduct of the Salem Witch Trials performed by the zealous Christians of the time.