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The Hermetica are a body of theological-philosophical texts written in late antiquity, but long believed to be much older. Their supposed author, Hermes Trismegistus, was thought to be a contemporary of Moses, and the Hermetic philosophy was regarded as an ancient theology, parallel to the received wisdom of the Bible. This first English translation based on reliable texts, together with Brian P. Copenhaver's comprehensive introduction, provide an indispensable resource to scholars in ancient philosophy and religion, early Christianity, Renaissance literature, and history, the history of science, and the occultist tradition in which the Hermetica have become canonical texts.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521425438
ISBN-10: 0521425433
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 138mm x 23mm)
Pages: 408
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 12-Oct-1995
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » These are spiritual texts of unknown origin written down in the second and third centuries AD. They contain religious and philosophical teachings ascribed to Hermes Trismegistus ('Thrice Great Hermes'), whom the Greeks identified with Thoth, the ancient Egyptian god of wisdom. It is the conventional scholarly view that the ideas here are no older than the epoch in which the texts were written down. However, my own readings have convinced me that this cannot possibly be so and that the Hermetica pursue precisely the same quest for immortality through knowledge, in the same way as The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts. There is a clear sense of human life as a precious opportunity for the soul to learn, grow and develop, to confront moral and intellectual challenges and to make choices that will have a heavy bearing on our immortal destiny. Review by Graham Hancock, whose books include 'Heaven's Mirror: Quest for a Lost Civilization' (Kirkus UK)

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