The title, as translated from the Greek language, meant “an image of the law of the dead”: nekros – νεκρός (“dead”), nomos – νόμος (“law”), eikon – εικών (“image”). Professor Robert M. Price notes that the title has been variously translated by others as “Book of the names of the dead”, “Book of the laws of the dead”, “Book of dead names” and “Knower of the laws of the dead”. Dr. S. T. Joshi states that the etymology is “almost entirely unsound. The last portion of it is particularly erroneous, since -ikon is nothing more than a neuter adjectival suffix and has nothing to do with eikõn (image).” Joshi translates the title as “Book considering (or classifying) the dead.”
Almost nothing is known about its contents, and it is thought lost. The world, it is thought, is better without this dread-book in it.
Though the book is not written in english, the following exerpt is widely accepted as from the beginning:
“THE TESTIMONY OF THE MAD ARAB
TTTTTHIS is the testimony of all that I have seen, and all that I have
learned, in those years that I have possesed the Three Seals of
MASSHU. I have seen One Thousand and-One moons, and surely this
is enough for the span of a mans life, though it is said the
Prophets lived much longer. I am weak, and ill, and bear great tiredness
and exaustion, and a sigh hangs in my breast like a dark lantern, I am old."