The City of Adocentyn


The name Adocentyn derives from the imaginary Hermetic city described in the Picatrix, a 13th century Latin translation of an Arabic magico–medical and astrological grimoire:

“There are among the Chaldeans very perfect masters in the art and they affirm that Hermes was the first who constructed images by means of which he knew how to regulate the Nile against the motion of the moon. This man also built a temple to the Sun, and he knew how to hide himself from all so that no one could see him, although he was within it. It was he, too, who in the east of Egypt constructed a City twelve miles (milaria) long within which he constructed a castle which had four gates in each of its four parts. On the eastern gate he placed the from of an Eagle; on the western gate, the form of a Bull; on the southern gate the form of a Lion, and on the northern gate he constructed the form of a Dog. Into these images he introduced spirits which spoke with voices, nor could anyone enter the gates of the City except by their permission. There he planted trees in the midst of which was a great tree which bore the fruit of all generation. On the summit of the castle he caused to be raised a tower thirty cubits high on the top of which he ordered to be placed a light-house (rotunda) the colour of which changed every day until the seventh day after which it returned to the first colour, and so the City was illuminated with these colours. Near the City there was abundance of waters in which dwelt many kinds of fish. Around the circumference of the City he placed engraved images and ordered them in such a manner that by their virtue the inhabitants were made virtuous and withdrawn from all wickedness and harm. The name of the City was Adocentyn.”

Picatrix, Lib. IV, cap 3 [Sloane 1305, f. III recto], quoted in Frances A. Yates, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964, p. 54.