The Egyptian Hermes
A Historical Approach to the Late Pagan Mind
By (author) Garth Fowden
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Egyptian Hermes by Garth Fowden
Book DescriptionSage, scientist, and sorcerer, Hermes Trismegistus was the culture-hero of Hellenistic and Roman Egypt. A human (according to some) who had lived about the time of Moses, but now indisputably a god, he was credited with the authorship of numerous books on magic and the supernatural, alchemy, astrology, theology, and philosophy. Until the early seventeenth century, few doubted the attribution. Even when unmasked, Hermes remained a byword for the arcane. Historians of ancient philosophy have puzzled much over the origins of his mystical teachings; but this is the first investigation of the Hermetic milieu by a social historian. Starting from the complex fusions and tensions that molded Graeco-Egyptian culture, and in particular Hermetism, during the centuries after Alexander, Garth Fowden goes on to argue that the technical and philosophical Hermetica, apparently so different, might be seen as aspects of a single "way of Hermes." This assumption that philosophy and religion, even cult, bring one eventually to the same goal was typically late antique, and guaranteed the Hermetica a far-flung readership, even among Christians. The focus and conclusion of this study is an assault on the problem of the social milieu of Hermetism.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691024981
(235mm x 155mm x 15mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 1-Jun-1993
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Garth Fowden
Abraham or Aristotle? First Millennium Empires and Exegetical Traditions, Paperback (April 2015)
Introduces a newly fashionable subject - the 'Abrahamic' religions in comparative perspective - within an innovative historical periodization, the First Millennium.
Qusayr 'Amra, Hardback (August 2004)» View all books by Garth Fowden
"Three features make this book remarkable. First, its scholarship is impeccable, unusually broad, and complete. Second, its author has a clear story to tell. Third, it illuminates the world of Late Antiquity, which is only now beginning to be understood."--Oleg Grabar, author of "The Shape of the Holy "
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