The Egyptian Hermes: A Historical Approach to the Late Pagan Mind
CUP Archive, 18 déc. 1986 - 244 pages
The sage, 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 a whole library of books on magic and the supernatural, alchemy, astrology, theology and philosophy. Starting from the complex fusions and tensions that moulded Graeco-Egyptian culture, and in particular Hermetism, in the centuries after Alexander, Dr 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' that led the initiate from knowledge of the World through knowledge of the Self to knowledge of God. The focus and conclusion of the book is an assault on the problem of the social milieu of Hermetism by looking at the mythological facade of the texts themselves and deploying the numerous allusions to be found in other sources of the period.
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alchemical Alexandria allusion ancient aretalogy Ascl Asclepius astrological attributed Bitys body books of Hermes C.H. xm century Chaeremon Chaldaean Christian circles context Coptic Corpus Hermeticum cult cultural daemons demotic divine doctrine Egypt Egyptian Egyptian priests Ennead fate Festugiere gnosis gnostic gods Graec Graeco-Egyptian Greek Gundel Hellenism Hellenistic Hermes Trismegistus Hermes's Hermetic Hermetic texts Hermeticum Hermetists Hermoupolis hieroglyphic hymns Iamblichus Ibid inscriptions instruction intellectual Isis knowledge Kore kosmou Lact Lactantius late antique least literary literature magical papyri magician Mahe Manetho Memphis milieu Myst mysteries Nag Hammadi native nature Ogdoad Ogdoad reveals oracle origin papyrus parallels passage Perfect discourse perhaps philosophical Hermetica Plato Platonist Plotinus Poimandres Porph Porphyry prayer priestly Ptolemaic quoted reference religion religious reveals the Ennead ritual Roman period soul spiritual technical Hermetica temple Thebes Theosebia Thessalus theurgy Thoth tradition translation treatise wisdom writings Zosimus Zosimus of Panopolis