Hermetica II (Cambridge UP 2018)


Finally gathered under one cover are the scattered fragments and testimonies regarding Hermes Thrice Great that complete Copenhaver’s 1992 translation of the Hermetica. Contained within are the 29 fragments from Stobaeus (including the famous Kore Kosmou), the Oxford and Vienna fragments, an expanded selection of fragments from various authors (including Zosimus of Panopolis, Augustine, and Albert the Great), and testimonies about Hermes from 38 authors (including Cicero, Pseudo-Manetho, the Emperor Julian, Al-Kindī, Michael Psellus, the Emerald Tablet, and Nicholas of Cusa). All translations are accompanied by introductions and notes which cite sources for further reading. These Hermetic texts will appeal to a broad array of readers interested in western esotericism including scholars of Egyptology, the New Testament, the Classical World, Byzantium, medieval Islam, the Latin Middle Ages, and the Renaissance.

This book is not just for scholars, but for any reader interested in western esoteric lore from antiquity to the Middle Ages. Those interested in ancient Egypt, philosophy, magic, astrology, medicine, theology, talismans, gems, amulets, divination, theosophy, and theurgy will profit from this work. Hermes Thrice Great had a truly global impact, making his home in Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Arabic, and medieval European traditions. How and why Hermes made such a great impression in the Renaissance can only be understood through the history of reception—Hellenic, Christian, and Muslim—traced in this book.