Picatrix is the name used today, and historically in Christian Europe, for a grimoire originally written in Arabic titled غاية الحكيم Ġāyat al-Ḥakīm, which most scholars assume was written in the middle of the 11th century, though a supported argument for composition in the first half of the 10th century has been made. The Arabic title has been translated as "The Aim of the Sage" or "The Goal of The Wise". The original Arabic work was translated into Spanish and then into Latin during the 13th century. The name "Picatrix" is also sometimes used to refer to the author.
Picatrix is a composite work that synthesizes older works on magic and astrology. One of the most influential interpretations suggests it is to be regarded as a "handbook of talismanic magic".
Hermeticism, Sabianism, Ismailism, astrology, alchemy and magic produced in the Near East in the ninth and tenth centuries A.D." According to Eugenio Garin "In reality the Latin version of the Picatrix is as indispensable as the Corpus Hermeticum or the writings of Albumasar for understanding a conspicuous part of the production of the Renaissance, including the figurative arts." It has significantly influenced West European magical thinking from Marsilio Ficino in the 15th century, to Thomas Campanella in the 17th century. The manuscript in the British Library passed through several hands: Simon Forman, Richard Napier, Elias Ashmole and William Lilly.
Spanish from the Arabic by order of Alphonso X of Castile at some time between 1256 and 1258. The Latin version was produced sometime later, based on translation of the Spanish manuscripts. It has been attributed to Maslama ibn Ahmad al-Majriti (an Andalusian mathematician), but many have called this attribution into question. Consequently, the author is sometimes indicated as "Pseudo-Majriti".