The New York Times Book Review recently published a review on The Bad Ass Librarians of Tibuktu, a book documenting the courageous work being done in sub-Saharan Africa to protect a mind-blowingly rich literary legacy not to mention one of the world’s great troves of ancient texts. What does this have to do with Ordo Templi Orientis? We do claim inspiration from the example of the Knights Templar who were among the Europeans who benefited by their incursions into the Middle East where they accounted a vast amount of literature that had been preserved since late Antiquity by Islamic culture — this was learning that made its way back to Europe and sparked the Renaissance. And this literature did includes works on magick!
“While Europe was still groping its way through the dark ages, Timbuktu was a beacon of intellectual enlightenment, and probably the most bibliophilic city on earth. Scientists, engineers, poets and philosophers flocked there to exchange and debate ideas and commit these to paper in hundreds of thousands of manuscripts written in Arabic and various African languages…
“As well as religious texts, those treasures included works of poetry, algebra, physics, medicine, jurisprudence, magic, mathematics, history, botany, geography and astronomy…”
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