A couple years ago, Atlas Obscura posted an article about book curses – curses laid upon books to afflict any that might dare purloin them. And let’s be honest, the concept likely seems attractive to many bibliophile occultists! Towards the end of the last millenia Marc Drogin collected a number of these curses and published them in Anathema! Medieval Scribes and the History of Book Curses. An excerpt from the articleereads:
“Given the extreme effort that went into creating books, scribes and book owners had a real incentive to protect their work. They used the only power they had: words. At the beginning or the end of books, scribes and book owners would write dramatic curses threatening thieves with pain and suffering if they were to steal or damage these treasures.
“They did not hesitate to use the worst punishments they knew—excommunication from the church and horrible, painful death. Steal a book, and you might be cleft by a demon sword, forced to sacrifice your hands, have your eyes gouged out, or end in the ‘fires of hell and brimstone.’”
Thanks to Soror Amy for the tip!