Hermeticism (also Hermetism ) is the modern term for an ancient religious-philosophical doctrine of revelation , especially in the Renaissance . The name refers to the mythical figure of Hermes Trismegistos ( ancient Greek Ἑρμῆς Τρισμέγιστος Hermḗs Trismégistos ), the "three times greatest Hermes ", who was considered to be the giver of knowledge. This is about an Egyptian Hellenism resulting syncretic amalgamation of the Greek god Hermes with Thoth , who in Egyptian mythology and religion is the god of wisdom and science. However, in some texts Hermes does not appear as the author of the revelation, but as its human recipient and herald.
Doctrine gained considerable influence during the Roman Empire . The content of many different writings was traced back to communications from Hermes Trismegistus. They are summarized in research under the name "Hermetica". This heterogeneous literature falls into two groups: In addition to theoretically oriented works that convey religious and philosophical material, there are practice-oriented writings with the aim of providing the reader with useful knowledge about nature. The religious-philosophical hermetics gives explanations for the origin and nature of the world and gives instructions for the attainment of wisdom and the purification and redemption of the soul . The "technical" hermetics aims to master life and mastery of nature through occult knowledge and magic. Your literature describes a variety of magical, astrological and alchemical ideas.
In the early Renaissance , the previously lost Corpus Hermeticum , a collection of ancient hermetic revelation writings, was discovered. Marsilio Ficino translated it from Greek into Latin . The effect was strong and lasting, because many Renaissance humanists considered Hermes Trismegistus to be a herald of time-honored wisdom doctrines from the time of the Old Testament prophets . It was believed that his teachings were compatible with the Christian faith and could even provide support. However, the humanistic veneration of Hermes was stripped of its foundation when Isaac Casaubon demonstrated in 1614 that the allegedly ancient corpus was formed during the imperial period. However, the Hermetic Revelations continued to fascinate in occult and esoteric circles.
Modern research asks about the origin of ideas and deals with the embedding of hermetics in the overall context of the cultural history of the imperial era. The ancient Egyptian roots and the references to Platonism are emphasized . An often discussed topic is the relationship between the world interpretation of religious and philosophical revelations and the occult techniques of "popular" hermetism. It is about the connection between the two main elements of hermetics: the search for wisdom of an educated elite and the interest of broader layers in tangible magical means of power. It has been shown that a clear separation between philosophical and technical hermeticism is not possible and unhistorical; rather, there is significant overlap.
Hermes Trismegistus as a mythical author and his admirers
The special reputation of the Hermetic Scriptures was based on the belief that they were testimonies to ancient knowledge which had been proclaimed by Hermes Trismegistus, a god or divinely inspired man of primeval times. The god Thoth was considered omniscient in Egypt; the most important inventions, especially writing and arithmetic, were traced back to him. Already in the age of Hellenism Thoth was used to equate with Hermes. In the Egyptian language it was extolled three times as great; the repetition expressed an elative (“very large in every way”), and translation into Greek gave rise to his honorary name Trismegistos (“three times the greatest” or “three times the greatest”). According to the prevailing research opinion, this is only attested at the turn of the 1st to the 2nd century; the first mention is found in Philon von Byblos , whose description has only been passed down indirectly. A presumed evidence in hieroglyphic script from around 200 BC. Is controversial.
According to popular research, hermetics was an exclusively or predominantly literary phenomenon. Whether there were organized communities of practicing followers and a cult is controversial. Some researchers see no convincing evidence for the existence of a cult community, rather there are weighty signs of a purely literary character of the writings. Others believe that the Hermeticists were at least partially organized and held meetings for readings, meditations, and rituals. Peter Kingsley accepts an intensive collaboration between teachers and students.
Pseudo- Manethon , the unknown author of the imperial era of the only fragmentary Sothis book , distinguished two figures named Hermes. The first was Thoth; he lived before the flood and recorded his knowledge in hieroglyphics on steles . After the flood, the texts were translated into Greek and the second Hermes, the Trismegistus, translated them into books. The church father Augustine also knew this distinction. He attached importance to the statement that the elder Hermes (Latin Mercurius ), the grandfather of Trismegistus, had already lived after the time of Moses and that the Egyptian wisdom was younger than the biblical revelation.
A difference between the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian Hermes Trismegistos is that the Greek Hermes was often depicted figuratively, while Trismegistos, despite his popularity, no ancient images are known.
The religious-philosophical teachings
The traditional philosophical literature of the ancient Hermetics comes for the most part from the Roman Empire, although it cannot be ruled out that individual texts as early as the 1st century BC. Were created. However, apparently only a small part of the entire, very rich production has been preserved. According to the information provided by the church father, Clement of Alexandria , there were 42 basic "Books of Hermes"; 36 of them contained the entire "philosophy of the Egyptians", the remaining six dealt with medical topics. In addition to the books dealing with the cult of gods, Clemens also included astronomical, astrological and geographical works in the “philosophical” literature. The late antique Neo-Platonist Iamblichus reported, referring to sources that are now lost, that Hermes presented his teachings in 20,000 or even 36,525 books. All works that have come down to us were originally written in Greek; however, some of them are now only available in Latin, Coptic or Armenian translations.
Some of the most important writings are compiled in the Corpus Hermeticum , a collection that may not have been put together until the Middle Ages; its current name is modern. The first scholar to know this collection or at least part of it demonstrably, Michael Psellos , lived in the 11th century. The corpus comprises seventeen Greek treatises of various origins, some of which have been handed down in poor condition, which are not coordinated with one another and in some cases even contradict one another. Some are designed in dialogue form, with Hermes mostly teaching his older son Asklepios or his younger son Tat. At the beginning of the collection, the unknown editor placed the Poimandres , one of the most famous works of philosophical hermetics. That is why the whole corpus was previously called pimander or poemander , because it was believed that the tracts were chapters of the same work. The most extensive of the known Hermetic writings, the Dialogue Asclepius, has survived outside the corpus .
A number of fragments have been preserved on papyrus and in quotations from ancient authors. The anthology of the late antique scholar Johannes Stobaios contains forty excerpts of very different sizes ; 29 of them come from writings lost today. Further quotations from unknown hermetic works can be found in the church fathers Laktanz and Kyrill von Alexandria . A wealth of material from a previously unknown hermetic script came to light in the Nag Hammadi papyrus find in December 1945, but was not made available to the public until 1971/72 through an edition and a facsimile. Text fragments from other hitherto unknown works are in two Viennese papyri and in an Oxford manuscript of the 13th / 14th centuries. Century handed down. Another source are the Hermetic Definitions , short doctrines, most of which are only available in an Armenian translation from the 6th / 7th centuries. Century. These sentences were intended for spiritual exercises with which the Hermetists wanted to strengthen their spiritual powers.
The Poimandres (Greek Ποιμάνδρης Poimándrēs "man shepherd", " man guardian ") is named after the name with which the revealing deity introduces himself in this treatise. Otherwise only Poimandros is attested as a personal name in Greek ; the form Poimandres was apparently created by the author of the treatise himself, referring to the similarly sounding, otherwise unproven Coptic expression p-eime nte-rē (“spiritual faculty of the sun god ”). He was therefore very familiar with both the Greek and Egyptian traditions and achieved a skilful linguistic fusion. With Poimandres Thoth is apparently meant, but this figure can also be understood as the personification of the individual spirit of the human recipient of revelation - that is, the individualized divine spirit present in him. Then the revelator does not approach man from outside, but speaks to him as an inner authority within himself.
The first-person narrator appears as the recipient of the revelation. He tells of a vision in which Poimandres appeared to him, the "spirit of the highest power" or "spirit ( nous ) who has the highest power". This deity revealed to him the origin of the world and humanity and the destiny of man. The writing reflects the course of the dialogue.
According to the author's description, one day he thought about beings , whereby his sensory perception was switched off. At the same time his thinking rose to great heights. Then he perceived a figure of immeasurable size who introduced himself as Poimandres and offered him all the knowledge he wanted about God and the world. First, the divine teacher illustrated the process of the creation of the world through visual and acoustic symbolism. According to the vision report, at the beginning there was only a clear, pleasant light that aroused longing in the viewer. Then there was a terrible darkness, twisted in curves, as it were, which reached down and turned into a damp, tangled nature that emitted smoke. This first made a pitiful sound and then an inarticulate scream. In response to this, a “holy logos ”, the Pneuma , descended from the light to nature, whereupon a pure fire arose there, which was light and rose powerfully. Following the Logos, the element of air found its way up and reached the sphere below the fire. So the two natural kingdoms of lightness were formed, the cosmic fire on top and the airy area below. Below the two heavy elements earth and water remained mixed. They were moved by the pneuma that hovered over them.
According to the explanation that Poimandres gives, he himself is the light. The Logos that the light sent to nature is the " Son of God ". Both are also present in man, undivided: the Father God as the human spirit and the Logos as the authority that receives the sensory perceptions. The unity of father and son is what defines life. The logos that nature absorbed enabled her to see the spiritual pattern of the cosmos - meaning the world of platonic ideas - and since this archetype is beautiful, she imitated it. In this way she was enabled to become a cosmos herself, the physical world.
The divine spirit, which Poimandres describes as androgynous and as "life and light", gave birth to a second, subordinate deity, the demiurge , who then established the physical world. The Demiurge created the seven “administrators”, the deities of the seven planets, who as power of fate ( Heimarmene ) rule the world. According to the will of the Demiurge, the planets began to revolve around the center of the world, which contained the two heavy elements that made up the earth as the center of the world. Now the solid and the liquid separated, so that the earth assumed its present form. The lower three kingdoms of nature - air, water and earth - brought about the animal world, stimulated by the circular movements of the planets: the air produced the flying animals, the water the swimming ones, the earth the running and crawling ones. Since the divine Logos, the source of reason, had left the lower realms alien to him and had united with the demiurge, the animals remained irrational.
Then the androgynous deity of light gave birth to the beautiful, immortal prehistoric man who is her image and whom she therefore loves. This divine man was given dominion over all created things by his creator. Then primitive man contemplated the creation of his brother, the demiurge, in the lower kingdoms of nature. He turned to the mortal beings living there and showed them his beautiful figure, which was reflected in the water and cast a shadow on the earth. When the lower nature perceived this reflection, it was seized by love for primitive man. At the same time he fell in love with his own image, which mirrored nature, and now wanted to live where it was. His will was realized immediately, and so he took up residence in a material human body. Earthly nature received him as her lover, and they were united in love. That is why man is the only living being that has a dual nature: According to his true nature, the "essential man", he is immortal, but with regard to his body, mortal.
Then Poimandres describes the further fates of the earthly living beings, which, according to him, were initially androgynous and only later split into the two sexes. He explains death as a consequence of the circumstances of the creation of the world: from the terrible darkness the humid nature emerged and from this the physical body, which is made in such a way that death can nourish itself from it. Love for such a mortal body is the reason why man has lost his way in the darkness and remains there until he realizes his true light-like nature. As a wisdom teacher, Poimandres encourages his listener to turn away from the ephemeral and return home to the kingdom of light of the divine Father. If - according to Poimandres - the material body dissolves in death, the immortal, essential human being can, thanks to divine grace, have the opportunity to ascend into the kingdom of God. The prerequisite for this is that the person striving for salvation has previously acquired self-knowledge and the virtues . Self-knowledge has given him the insight that he consists of life and light, that is, of divine substance, and with his good lifestyle he has secured the support of his father. What is left of his passions and desires, he now leaves behind in the realm of unreasonable nature. During the ascent of the right-minded person through the spheres of the seven planets, one of the human vices in each of them - including malicious cunning, striving for domination and greed for money - falls away from him, it has lost its power over him and has become ineffective. Finally, completely purified, he reaches the “eighth nature” above the seven zones, in which only his true spiritual being remains. From there he goes up to his father. This is how he attains deification. It is different for bad people, for whom their irrationality blocks the path of salvation. Following their boundless desires, they become entangled ever deeper in misery.
The vision ends with the Poimandres requesting his listener to announce the received message and to become the guide of the teachable. The narrator reports that he has taken on this assignment. He ends the treatise with a rhythmically designed hymn to the “Father of All”.
Tracts II – X of the Corpus Hermeticum
The second script is a dialogue in which Hermes explains the deity and the cosmos to his son Asklepios. The starting point is the question of the principle of movement. The relevant tenets of Aristotelian natural philosophy are partly adopted and partly rejected. According to the teaching presented here, that in which something is moved must be larger than that which is moved, the mover must be stronger than that which is moved, and that in which something is moved must have an opposite nature, i.e. stand still. This also applies to the cosmos. This is a moving body. Thus its movement can only take place in something immaterial and static. This is the topos (“place” or “space”) that the author identifies with the universal mind, the nous . The cosmos is the largest body; it penetrates and fills everything and is compact, there can be no vacuum . God is neither the nous nor the light, but rather the cause of both and to be equated with the good .
The third tract, which has been handed down in poor condition, is entitled Hierós lógos (Holy Instruction) . It deals with cosmogony and the divinity of nature. The author defines the divine as "the whole cosmic structure that is renewed by nature".
In the fourth tract, Hermes teaches his younger son Tat. He informs him that God sent man into the world to adorn it. So serve a mortal being as an ornament of the immortal cosmos. God gave the logos (understanding) to all people, but not all could have received the nous - the spirit that enables the knowledge of the divine, although God did not want to withhold it from anyone. The treatise is called The Mixing Jug , because the author uses the metaphor of the mixing jug (κρατήρ kratḗr ). God sent the jar filled with nous down to the people in order to make this possible for all who wanted to receive the gift of the Spirit. However, some were not able to do so. These unspiritual people therefore led an animal life and saw in it the meaning of existence. They are unable to appreciate what is admirable.
The fifth treatise reproduces a teaching lecture by Hermes intended for Tat, in which the glory and order of the cosmos is extensively extolled. God is not perceptible through the senses, but can be grasped in thought as the originator of all sensual phenomena. There can only be an idea of what has been created, not of the eternal, because imagining is assigned to the realm of becoming. Let the excellence of the world reveal the greatness of the Creator. This is present everywhere: “There is nothing in all that all that is not itself. He himself is everything that is and everything that does not exist, because he let beings become visible, the non-existent he conceals within himself. "
The sixth treatise is shaped by a point of view that is in stark contrast to the worldview of the fifth. It is a lecture addressed to Asklepios, in which the cosmos is described and judged from the aspect of its questionability. Here Hermes proclaims that the good and the beautiful are inseparable from God and cannot be found in the cosmos. A material body cannot absorb the good because it is surrounded on all sides by badness. Therefore, there is nothing really good in the human world, rather only what is not excessively bad can be called “good”. But through knowledge of God one can grasp the beautiful and the good.
The short seventh tract, a missionary address, also offers a negative assessment of the physical world. The speaker calls for the "fabric of ignorance" to be torn apart with which man is clothed, because it destroys the soul.
The eighth tract, the text of which has come down to us in a very poor condition, is about immortality. The cosmos knows no real annihilation; since he is divine, nothing can perish in him. Rather, only change takes place, the matter is immortal.
In the ninth treatise, Asklepios is taught by Hermes about the connection between perception and thinking. Here the teacher emphasizes the contrast between the pious and the mass of people. Piety consists in the knowledge of God, which fills people with everything good. The pious are exposed to the hatred of the multitudes who despise them and consider them mad. Evil is necessarily on earth, for it is its natural place. But the pious are capable of making good out of bad.
The tenth text, entitled The Key of Hermes Trismegistus , contains an introduction to the Hermetic worldview intended for Tat. This representation was carelessly compiled by an editor from various older treatises that have now been lost. Therefore it is contradicting itself. A central theme here is the fate of the soul, which is described in the context of a doctrine of reincarnation . The succession of rebirths causes the decline of souls when they lose their ability to discern and allow themselves to be carried away by the physical affects . Having become blind, they are no longer able to recognize the good and themselves. Their wickedness consists in their ignorance. In contrast to this is the piety based on knowledge, which leads to good action and enables the soul to ascend. What is noticeable in this writing is the high esteem for people endowed with reason. This is enthusiastically glorified; he is a divine living being and as such is equal to or even superior to the heavenly gods.
Tracts XI – XIV of the Corpus Hermeticum
In the eleventh tract, the divine spirit, the nous, appears in conversation with Hermes. Here Hermes appears as a confused student who has heard contradicting opinions and is now asking the mind for clarity. The subject is God's creative activity. In the introduction, the Nous explains the order of creation: God creates the principle of eternity , Aion , Aion the cosmos, the cosmos time, time becoming. This creation is not to be understood in the sense of a temporal beginning of the world; the cosmos has no beginning and no end, it is always becoming through the Aion, nothing in it will ever perish. On earth, creation means continuous arising and perishing. Becoming can never come to a standstill, because God cannot cease creating, otherwise he would no longer be God. Likewise, man could no longer exist as such if he stopped his activities. The unity of the Creator can be inferred from the unity of the created. The author's view of the world is pantheistic : the God who gives life to creatures is at the same time identical with this life, he is nothing other than the life principle that is uniform throughout the ensouled cosmos . Therefore it is by no means invisible, rather it becomes visible through everything. The author is very optimistic about human knowledge. He is convinced that the human mind can in principle understand anything, you just have to want it. Nothing in heaven is so high, nothing in the sea so deep, nothing on earth so hidden that it eludes exploration. Whoever advances to the knowledge of all natural conditions and grasps them all at the same time, knows God. The author sees the lack of self-confidence as the original sin, and the worst wickedness he considers the renunciation of the knowledge available to them by faint-hearted people. Through their own fault, everything beautiful and good is closed to such failures.
In the twelfth tract, Hermes addresses his son's questions. The origin and activity of the spirit, the role of fate and the nature of the cosmos and living beings are discussed. According to the teaching proclaimed here, the nous, the general spirit that works in the world and in all living beings, comes from the essence ( ousia ) of God. From there it radiates into the cosmos like sunlight from the sun. The nous helps animals by interacting with their instinctual disposition. In the sensible people, however, who are guided by him, he opposes the harmful passions and desires that they have in common with animals. All living beings are subject to the power of fate. Good and bad people are equally exposed to the blows of fate; they only differ in their posture. If man uses his mind and reason properly, no distinction can be found between himself and the immortals. He acts everywhere and makes use of everything, while the animals are limited to their respective areas of life. The entire cosmos is animated, nothing in it is immobile; he is a great god and the image of a greater god. There is no death in the sense of perdition and destruction, because all dying is to be understood as change that is brought about by the power of life. Hermes concludes with the words: "There is only one service: not to be bad."
The thirteenth tract is also in the form of a conversation between Hermes and his son Tat. He assures that he has "become alienated from the world"; he had inwardly turned away from their deceptions and gained strength. Therefore he is now able to understand the secret doctrine of spiritual rebirth, which the father had previously withheld from him. Here, “rebirth” does not mean a return to existence, but the attainment of a new, superior mode of being. Hermes explains to his son that rebirth cannot be taught as a subject. The womb, from which one is born in her, is the wisdom that lies in silence, and the seed is the "truly good" that is bestowed by God's will. By being born in this way, a person is deified. To achieve this, you just have to want it and create the conditions for it. According to Hermes, there are twelve plagues from which one must free oneself if one wants to experience rebirth: ignorance, sadness, excess, lust, injustice, covetousness, deceit, envy, cunning, anger, rashness and malice. These “torments of darkness” can - according to Hermes - be driven away by opposing qualities; For example, ignorance gives way to knowledge of God, grief to joy at the knowledge gained, the selfishness of the greedy giving way to common sense . This experience is actually given to Tat. He enthusiastically describes a vision in which he is everywhere at the same time like a pantheistic deity. Hermes ends his remarks with the “Hymn of Rebirth”, which is directed to the entire nature of the cosmos.
The fourteenth tract is in the form of a letter from Hermes to his son Asclepius. Here the teacher emphasizes the unity and inseparability of creator and creature. The Creator cannot exist without his creature, otherwise he would be separated from himself and robbed of his own nature; it would then no longer be what it is, the creative principle.
The treatises XVI – XVIII of the Corpus Hermeticum
The sixteenth tract is given by the author as a Greek translation of an Egyptian letter that Asclepius addressed to "King Ammon". The fictional author of the alleged Egyptian original text warns against a translation into Greek, because he considers the Greek language to be an inferior "word noise" and believes that it cannot correctly convey the meaning of the Egyptian words. The text does not seem to have survived in full. The author emphasizes the idea of unity: The universe forms a single entity ( pleroma ) and cannot be separated from God. The sun, which Asklepios equates with the demiurge, is praised as a creating, guiding and nourishing power in the cosmos. Subordinate to her are the numerous demons who are given power over earthly affairs. Some demons are good, others bad or of a mixed nature. The lower, unreasonable parts of the human soul are exposed to the confusing influences of demons, but the reasonable part remains free from the rule of demons and is therefore capable of receiving God.
Of the seventeenth tract, a conversation between Tat and a king, only a short part, the conclusion, has survived. Tat justifies the worship of gods with the fact that they are reflections of the spiritual in the physical world.
The eighteenth tract is an unfinished rhetorical text for the glorification of God and kingship. Neither Hermes nor his sons are named, but the content indicates that the script was written by a Hermetic. Peacekeeping is emphasized as an achievement of royalty.
The Asclepius is a dialogue between Hermes Trismegistus and his older son Asklepios. The younger son Tat and Ammon are also present, but they do not speak. All four are referred to here as men; they are human beings, not deities, but in the framework of the plot the anonymous narrator announces that the divine Eros is speaking from Hermes , and Hermes mentions his divine grandfather of the same name in the dialogue. The original Greek version of the script, which has only been handed down in its entirety in a Latin translation or paraphrase , was entitled Perfect Speech (lógos téleios) . Fragments of the Greek original have been preserved through quotations in late antique literature. Parts of the work are also available in Coptic translation. The Coptic text shows that the unknown editor who created the Latin version was very free with his model; he changed the content, shortened and expanded. He also translated incorrectly. Apparently the text at hand is the result of a careless combination of three or four originally independent writings. Therefore, the train of thought is sometimes difficult to understand, there are ambiguities and contradictions, and the explanations do not result in a coherent whole.
The original Greek version was written in the 2nd or 3rd century, the Latin translation by the beginning of the 5th century at the latest. The Latin Asclepius has come down to us among the works of Apuleius and was therefore previously ascribed to him, but the hypothesis that the famous writer translated the dialogue is almost unanimously rejected in recent research. It is widely believed in research that the translator probably lived in Africa.
First Hermes goes into the fundamentals of cosmology and emphasizes the unity of the manifold manifestations (species) , then he points out the special position of humans. He describes this as a great miracle that deserves recognition and admiration. Human nature has a divine and an earthly part. As a middle being, "settled in the happier place in the middle", according to Hermes' description, man is connected to all other creatures according to the heavenly order. He loves the beings below him and is loved by those above him. With his ingenuity he can reach and measure anything; neither the height of the sky nor the depth of the sea nor the density of the earth can prevent him. The spirit (spiritus) , which fills and animates everything, even enables man to know the divine plan.
Asklepios asks why man was placed in the material world instead of spending his life in the highest happiness where God is. Hermes does not immediately know the answer, he must ask God to reveal it to him. Then he makes the statement. It reads: The invisible supreme God, the Lord and Creator of all things, has created a second God, the sensually perceptible cosmos. This was filled with all good things and therefore seemed beautiful and lovable to his sire. Therefore, the Creator wanted there to be another being besides himself who could contemplate this beauty. Therefore he created man through a mere act of will and linked in him the eternal with the mortal nature. Through this dual nature he enabled his new creature to both admire and worship the heavenly and to direct the earthly through the application of the arts and sciences. Thus man is made to do justice to both parts of his nature. The earthly, ephemeral part of his being does not make him inferior; rather, mortality can be seen as a gain, because man seems to be better adapted to his purpose through his mortal part, the body. He is supposed to look after the earthly as well as love the divinity, and for the fulfillment of this double task it is essential that he as a composite being belong to both realms. In the ranking he is in third place after God and the cosmos. If he does his job of conscientious care for the world entrusted to him well, he is an ornament to the world and it to him.
Piety is of decisive importance because it makes people good. It is important to keep an inner distance from anything that has been possessed by physical desire; one should recognize that all earthly possessions are alien to man. The purpose of being a pious one is to fulfill one's duties in both areas, and thereby to obey the will of Godhead in a dignified and appropriate manner. This means that you carefully preserve and increase the beauty of the world and keep its beautiful shape in order through daily work and care with your body. Those who live in this way will be released from the supervision of the earthly after death, redeemed from mortality and led back into the divinity, which is their true nature. The impious, on the other hand, suffer a terrible fate as part of the transmigration of souls.
According to the cosmological model of Asclepius , three factors shape the world: God's creative activity, pneuma (literally "breath", Latin spiritus ) and matter. The pneuma is an ubiquitous spiritual substance which, as God's aid, cares for and enlivens everything in the cosmos. The matter nourishes the body, the pneuma the souls. Both matter and pneuma are "unborn", that is, without a beginning in time, and both have the ability to give birth and to produce.
Hermes then goes into numerous individual questions. Topics are the gods, the supreme deity, procreation, the spirit, the soul, human nature, the meaning of the images of gods, the nature of the cosmos, eternity and time, the fate and future of the world. The Trismegistos places special emphasis on the three basic cosmological principles of fate, necessity and order. Among other things, he presents the hermetic doctrine of the fullness of the cosmos and denies the possibility of a vacuum. The androgynous nature of the Creator God is particularly emphasized, which is reflected in the polarity of man and woman. In this context, as an illustration, Hermes describes the sexual act in an unusually precise manner for the time; he observes an exchange of properties between the sexes: through sexual union women acquire masculine strength, while men in turn wear out through this process in feminine indolence. The so-called " Apocalypse " of Asclepius , a prophecy about the future decline of the world and mankind, forms an insert in the text . According to this prediction, the gods will leave the earth, people will become impious and despise the cosmos. Evilness will prevail everywhere, the connection with the divine will be severed, religion will be abolished and the earth will lose its fertility. Eventually God will bring about the downfall of mankind to put an end to misery. Then he will restore the world to its old, admirable form.
After the teaching, the four men turn to prayer. Asklepios suggests adding incense and scents when praying . Hermes strongly rejects this suggestion. He considers every sacrifice made to the deity, including smoking, to be outrageous. Since God lacks nothing, nothing can be given to him. A right prayer consists of thanksgiving. The dialogue is concluded with a prayer of thanks.
The kore kosmu and related texts
From the hermetic book Kore kosmu (κόρη κόσμου kórē kósmu "pupil of the world") only an extensive excerpt has survived, which comes from a compiled presentation of the material. The present version shows that material from different traditions was superficially put together without the author of the last version ensuring consistency. Therefore, the philological indexing is very difficult, numerous individual questions remain unanswered. The “pupil” probably means the main character of the work, the Egyptian goddess Isis . According to one research hypothesis, the eye of the world, whose pupil is the goddess, is the sun.
The kore kosmu takes the form of a conversation between Isis and her son Horus , to whom the goddess tells about the creation of the world and the mythical prehistoric times. Hermes Trismegistus is mentioned and quoted, but is not present. He is the source of the knowledge that Isis has. Based on hermetic revelations, Isis and her husband Osiris laid the foundations of human culture. Thus the divine couple appears here in the role of students of Hermes. Isis now passes on a significant part of her knowledge to her son.
The goddess describes the creation of the world as a process in which order progressed from top to bottom. In an early phase the heavens inhabited by gods were already perfectly ordered, the stars circled on their regular orbits. The lower areas of the cosmos, on the other hand, were still in a chaotic and sterile state, where fear and ignorance prevailed. In order to remedy this evil, the creator of the world gave the world its present form at the request of the star gods. He gave birth to the physique, nature personified as an extremely beautiful female being, and gave her fertility. Physis married Ponos ("hardship") and gave birth to the daughter Heuresis ("invention"), who gave God the management of what had already become.
Isis then describes the creation of souls to whom God assigned heavenly abodes. On behalf of the ruler of heaven, the souls formed the animal bodies, and God gave the animals life and the ability to reproduce. But then the souls became cocky and exceeded the boundaries of the area allocated to them, because the locality seemed like death to them. As a punishment for this, God decided to lock them up in human bodies. This is how the creation of man came about. Each of the gods contributed to the endowment of humanity with different qualities and abilities. Hermes took on a central task: He shaped the human body and gave it beauty. The work succeeded and satisfied the Creator.
The souls lamented in horror the destiny of exile and imprisonment in bodies intended for them. Then the divine world ruler explained his decision to them: The guilty souls were condemned to live on earth and to inhabit bodies, but should be treated fairly. They were placed under the rule of the powers "love" and "necessity". Although they had to accept the human form of existence, depending on their behavior, they were offered the possibility of returning to their original homes. However, if they committed grave wrongdoing as humans, they would be born again on earth and wander about as unreasonable animals.
Isis then describes the considerations that were made in enclosing souls in bodies. Hermes was admonished by Momos , the personified blame addiction, to set limits to people's cheeky curiosity, and he took up these concerns. He introduced a strict law of fate to which all earthly processes should be subjected.
In the world of the new creatures, conditions were dire from the start. The early humans were fierce, belligerent, and cruel, the strong murdered the weak. So many iniquities were committed that the personified elements fire, air, water and earth revolted and complained to God. This promised a solution. He sent Osiris and Isis, the founders of civilization. The divine couple put an end to the killing, passed laws, established a judiciary, and instituted the arts and sciences. They had learned from Hermes that the Creator had created the lower analogous to the upper. Therefore, they established cults on earth that corresponded to heavenly conditions. Then they returned to heaven.
In addition to the excerpt from the Kore kosmu , there are three other excerpts from a treatise or from several writings with similar content. These are fragments of conversations in which Isis informs her son about the world order and about the nature and fate of souls. Here an ethnic self-confidence emerges: The Egyptians are portrayed as the most reasonable, prudent people. Isis explains this with the location of Egypt in the center of the earth, which is comparable to a human body lying on its back. Egypt is where the heart is in the human body, where the soul is located. Therefore it is a privileged country, the inhabitants of which combine all the advantages of the other peoples without being affected by their one-sidedness. Another factor is the favorable climate.
The origin of the teaching material
As in the figure of Trismegistos, elements from different cultures are mixed up in the teachings ascribed to him. Ideas that originate from the ancient Egyptian religion play a decisive role . The world view of the Hermetists is also strongly influenced by the Platonic natural philosophy and the doctrine of the soul, which is presented in Plato's dialogue Timaeus . Since the Hermetic literature originated in the age of Middle Platonism , the authors used to interpret Platonic philosophy in the sense of Middle Platonic understanding. In addition, influences of Stoic philosophy and Jewish religious thought can also be seen. In research, opinions differ on the weighting of the individual components; In the more recent specialist literature, the Egyptian roots of hermetics are strongly emphasized.
The "technical" hermetics
In addition to the hermetic literature, which contains religious and philosophical revelations, there was also extensive literature in antiquity that claimed to convey practical knowledge of the natural history of Hermes. It was claimed that the Trismegistus revealed knowledge about hidden natural laws, natural forces and occult connections. This group of writings is now summarized under the name "technical Hermetica" because it describes occult techniques. Concrete information is given that should help the reader to understand and master nature. Subjects of astrology, alchemy, magic and medicine are dealt with from a practical point of view. By attributing such works to "three times the greatest", one endows them with his authority.
Astrology, Magic and Medicine
The beginnings of astrological literature, which was disseminated under the name of Hermes Trismegistus from the Roman Empire at the latest, date back to the Hellenistic era. A Hellenistic archetype of this astrology was apparently described in the now lost Egyptian Astrologumena , whose origin is probably to be sought in priestly milieu. On the other hand, very late - according to current research not until the Byzantine Middle Ages - the Greek original text of a classic of technical hermetics was created, which has only been preserved in a Latin translation under the title Liber Hermetis Trismegisti (Book of Hermes Trismegistos) . This manual is also known as the book on the 36 deans because it deals with the “ deans ”, the 36 sections of the zodiac , each comprising 10 degrees . The ancient material compiled in it comes from different epochs, partly from the Hellenistic period, partly from late antiquity.
A significant part of the technical hermetic literature deals with magic. Some of the magical texts handed down on papyrus derived their authority expressly from Trismegistos, in whom one saw the founder of magic, in others hermetic material was used without the name of the mythical author being mentioned. The beginnings of this literature go back to the 1st century BC. BC back. One wanted to call the deity with the illustrated magical practices in order to open a communication with her and then to benefit from her knowledge and her willingness to help. In part, the magical phenomena were attributed to the fact that the god invoked had animated an object and took possession of it. Hermes was seen as a cosmic power, as a creator and as an omnipotent and omniscient world ruler, but at the same time as a person with whom one could enter into an intimate relationship.
An important topic was the use of astrological or magical knowledge for medical purposes. A knowledge of the hidden powers of animals, plants and stones should show the way to the determination of the respective effective remedies. Astrological therapies are based on the assumption that there are correspondences between the stars, the diseased organs and the appropriate remedies. One group of treatises claims that one can predict the outcome of an illness based on the constellation of the stars at the time of its outbreak.
A compilation of hermetic texts on magic and occult medicine that was hardly noticed in antiquity, but received a lot in the Middle Ages, is known as the kyranids . The oldest version was probably not made until the 4th century. The work claims to be the revelation of the god Hermes Trismegistus, who revealed to the recorder Harpokration the secrets of the healing powers of nature. The content consists primarily of information on the production of healing or otherwise magically effective means as well as descriptions of the animals, plants and stones from which the required substances are obtained. Some remedies are intended to help the user in the erotic or in his career.
Until the beginning of late antiquity, alchemical authors viewed their art as purely practical; they described transformation processes in metal processing. It was not until around 300 that alchemical literature began to emerge, which was influenced by the religious-philosophical ideas of hermetics. Now the human striving for salvation formed the background of the material transformation processes. The transformation of the metal became a symbol for mental and spiritual processes. The hermetic alchemists of late antiquity regarded metal finishing as a ritual with a religious character. The writings of the Egyptian alchemist Zosimos of Panopolis , who lived in the early days of late antiquity, were pioneering . Zosimos described the alchemical practice, but stated, referring to a book by Hermes Trismegistus, that a person who seeks knowledge of himself and God should not try to achieve anything with the help of magic. Rather, he should orientate himself on Poimandres and the Hermes mixing jug - the fourth treatise of the Corpus Hermeticum - in order to achieve spiritual perfection. Apparently Zosimos knew a hermetic script in which magic was principally rejected.
The hermetic discourse is shaped by argumentation patterns, the structure of which Thomas Leinkauf examined. Leinkauf has identified four types of argumentation which, according to his findings, “clearly show the rational structure of an analogical construction”. For these types, he suggests the following generalizations:
- (1) “A is related to B in X, as A 'is related to B' in Y.” That is, a complete parallelism or correspondence between two self-contained structures is asserted. Such structures are the intelligible and the sensually perceptible world; the spiritual is the pattern of the sensual. This results in the possibility of corresponding conclusions regarding the nature of the elements of the two structures.
- (2) “A behaves through m to B as C through m to D.” Thus, if C is the unknown quantity (for example God as the absolutely good), A becomes the indicative indicator for what at least one determination of C is is. For example, the farmer is to grain or a vine through his sowing and planting, just as God is through his manner of producing to what he produces in heaven and on earth.
- (3) “A contains in relation to C x in the same way as B contains in relation to C y.” For example, the medicinal plant A contains a force x whose functional status corresponds to the function which the injured organ y of human B or the cause of the injury in relation to the human organism (C). The therapeutic effect of the plant is attributed to this.
- (4) “A implies B and B is nothing else than the realization of this implication, so that the difference between A and B can be thought of as the separation of a unit into its moments A and A 'without the underlying unit being canceled . ”Thus every being is a more or less adequate development of its own seed-like unity.
In Western cultural history, hermetics has been widely and variedly received, especially in the Renaissance. The original ideas were also transformed and developed further. There is no uniform, self-contained, hermetic tradition that can be distinguished from related currents by means of clearly defined doctrines. Therefore, the usual delimitation criterion is formal: All works whose content has been traced back to the Trismegistos by their authors, editors or translators or classified as hermetic are considered "hermetic". In addition, there are different uses of terms in modern philosophy and literary studies.
There are many similarities between hermetics and early Christianity, but hypotheses about historical connections and ways of influencing them are difficult to prove. Two opposing tendencies can be seen in the reception of ancient church writers: on the one hand, some of these authors cited individual hermetic doctrinal statements with approval, which could be interpreted as confirmations of Christian dogmas; on the other hand, hermetics was rejected as a worthless product of paganism . In the course of time, the tendency towards a critical assessment increased.
In the early 3rd century, the Christian writer Tertullian described Trismegistus as the teacher of all natural philosophers. The apologist Laktanz showed great interest in the early 4th century . He used statements that were ascribed to the Trismegistos to show the correspondence of Christian teachings with insights of the pagan authority. Augustine, on the other hand, emphasized the incompatibility of Christianity and Hermetism. He took particular offense that "Hermes" advocated the worship of idols. Augustine related the apocalyptic prophecies of Asclepius to the victory of Christianity over paganism. Hermes had predicted the destruction of the pagan cults, but completely wrongly complained. The Greek church father Kyrill of Alexandria looked at hermetics from a different perspective . In Trismegistus he saw an Egyptian who lived in temples and knew Moses' doctrine of God. In his polemic against the pagan Emperor Julian , Kyrill quoted hermetic doctrinal statements.
The Manicheans considered Hermes to be an authentic messenger from God.
A powerful Pagan recipient of hermetic theology, cosmology and the doctrine of the soul was the late antique Neo-Platonist Iamblichus . He took up an abundance of hermetic concepts and combined them with his Platonic ideas. This made him groundbreaking for the close connection between hermeticism and Platonism, which flourished in the Renaissance.
Arabic speaking world
In the Arabic-speaking world, the occult tendency of ancient hermetism was received intensively, while the religious-philosophical tradition received far less attention. It is unclear to what extent the relevant literature in Arabic is based on translations of ancient Greek texts. One line of research assumes that Arab hermetics is based to a considerable extent on ancient writings that have now disappeared. On the contrary, most Arabic-speaking authors only used the Hermes tradition to gain authority for their own works by invoking the legendary sages or naming his name as the author.
Islamic scholars made Hermes (Arabic Hirmis ) a prophet and considered him the founder of the arts and sciences, especially alchemy. A well-received Arab legend, which combines material from Christian and Iranian traditions, originated in the 9th century. It reports on three important cultural bearers known as “Hermes”, with “Hermes” being understood as the title. The first Hermes was the prophet and science pioneer. He is equated with Enoch and the prophet Idrīs mentioned in the Koran . According to this representation, which partly agrees with the information in the ancient Sothis book , the first Hermes lived in Egypt before the Flood and built pyramids and temples. He recorded the scientific knowledge of the time on temple walls in order to protect it from destruction by the flood. The second Hermes was a scientist who worked in Babylonia after the Flood and, according to one version of the legend, immigrated to Egypt. The third was an Egyptian scholar who wrote writings on various sciences. He was Asclepius's teacher.
In a handbook of Arabic magic, which is known under the Latin title Picatrix , a Coptic tradition is reported, according to which five culturally important persons named Hermes can be distinguished. A Hermes - meaning the Trismegistos - is represented as a powerful magician who founded an Egyptian wonder city and installed powerful magical facilities there.
Another legend, which can be traced back to the 10th century, tells of only one Hermes who is identified with the prophet Idrīs and the Trismegistus of the Greeks. He is portrayed as an antediluvian world ruler, city founder and lawgiver who lived in Egypt. In the 13th century, Arab historians of philosophy mixed this legend with that of the three cultural bearers.
The hermetic scriptures in Arabic are numerous. Most of them belong to the occult literature. One of the most powerful texts is the tabula smaragdina (emerald table) , a short compilation of doctrines attributed to "Hermes endowed with triple wisdom". It has come down to us in various Arabic versions and Latin translations. Whether this work is of medieval origin or belongs to the translations from the Greek is disputed in research. The tabula became important for the natural-philosophical foundation of alchemy. It was considered the key to nature's final secrets. A central thought of the unknown author is the correspondence between the “upper” and the “lower”, the analogy between heavenly and earthly realities. This includes the thesis that the microcosm arises “in the manner of the macrocosm ”. The concept of the similarity of the different areas of the cosmos, widespread in technical hermetics, provided a theoretical basis for occult practices that presuppose such a structure of the world. The hermetic model made it possible to deduce from the nature of a known area that of an unknown but considered analog.
A story about the discovery of the emerald tablet connects the Hermessage with that of the ancient New Pythagorean Apollonios of Tyana , who was called Balīnūs in Arabic. This legend can be found in the book on the mystery of creation (kitāb sirr al-ḫalīqa) , a comprehensive natural-philosophical explanation of the nature of the universe, which is distributed under the name of Balīnūs . According to the report of the Balīnū, given there in the introduction, he discovered an underground passage in his hometown Tyana under a statue of the "three times wise" Hermes, in which he found a man - apparently the Trismegistus - sitting on a golden throne and a table made of green emerald. The "creation of nature" - alchemy - was described on the board. In front of Hermes was a book in which the mystery of creation and the knowledge of the causes of things were recorded. Balīnūs took the tablet and book and left the hall. Thanks to the knowledge he gained, he became famous as a sage. The motif of the encounter with the old Trismegistos, which leads to the discovery of his secret knowledge, appears in various stories.
A common concept in the Arabic-speaking hermetic reception is the individual “perfect nature” of every single person. By this the authors mean a part of the human soul that remains in heaven when the soul enters a body. The soul initially encounters this instance like an independent person who has superior knowledge. It helps the soul in its search for truth and teaches it, but finally it unites with it and turns out to be no different from it. Both are the individual named Hermes that serves as a pattern here. A representative of this concept was Shihāb ad-Dīn Yaḥya Suhravardī .
Iranian astrologers of the Islamic period were able to extract hermetic material of ancient origin from relevant literature in Middle Persian , which has now been lost and which was based on ancient Greek sources.
Middle Latin literature
In the early Middle Ages , only a few references to hermetics were made in Western and Central Europe. It was not until the 12th century that Middle Latin literature began to receive an intense reception. Since the Corpus Hermeticum was unknown, the Latin Asclepius formed the starting point. The benevolent reception of the hermetic teachings was supported by a patristic authority: in the late antique pamphlet Tractatus adversus quinque haereses by Bishop Quodvultdeus , which was erroneously attributed to the highly respected church father Augustine, a correspondence between the hermetic and Christian revelation in the doctrine of the Trinity is assumed. Thanks to the supposed approval of Augustine, the way to a positive appreciation of Asclepius was clear. Well-known theologians and philosophers followed up the explanations of the late antique source; in the 12th century, Petrus Abelardus , John of Salisbury , Robert of Melun and Alanus from Insulis expressed themselves in this sense. However, the criticism of the hermetics in Augustine's genuine work De civitate dei also had an effect ; A prominent representative of this negative reception was Wilhelm von Auvergne , who reviled Trismegistos as a magician and condemned his teachings as inspirations of demons. Among the high medieval authors who from theological and cosmological ideas of Asclepius were inspired, include Thierry of Chartres and Bernardus Silvestris . The optimistic anthropology of Bernardus Silvestris is influenced by the hermetic glorification of the role of man in the cosmos. The Glosae super Trismegistum , a detailed, incomplete commentary on Asclepius, come from Alanus ab Insulis or from his circle . There the hermetic worldview is presented as the forerunner of the Christian one, the Trismegistus appears as the greatest pagan philosopher.
During the 12th and 13th centuries, the image of hermetics changed with the spread of new material. Previously unknown writings now circulated, partly theological and cosmological, partly “technical” content, which were passed off as works of Trismegistos. Strong impulses came from the Arabic hermetics, which gradually became accessible through translations into Latin. This literature aroused great interest among scholars. Material from the Arabic-language legend of the antediluvian legislature Hermes became known in the West in the 13th century through translations into Spanish (Bocados de oro) and Latin. Late medieval Latin- speaking scholars had access to this material in the Liber philosophorum moralium antiquorum . The Arabic tradition of the three carriers of culture was also taken up in medieval Latin literature.
Probably in the second half of the 12th century an unknown Neoplatonist wrote the Liber viginti quattuor philosophorum (Book of the 24 Philosophers) , a text in which the definitions of God are presented and explained. In many manuscripts the Trismegistus is mentioned as the author. According to a hypothesis by the editor Françoise Hudry, the work is based on an ancient Greek model. Also from the 12th century comes the Liber de sex rerum principiis (book on the six principles of things) , a cosmological treatise, the author of which is named in the manuscripts "Hermes Mercurius Triplex", the triple Hermes Mercury. In the 13th century, Roger Bacon , Thomas of York, and Albert the Great dealt extensively with Asclepius ; they regarded the Trismegistos with great respect. Roger Bacon explained the epithet of the three times greatest Hermes with the fact that he was the originator of natural philosophy, ethics and metaphysics . Two important thinkers of the 14th century, Thomas Bradwardine and Berthold von Moosburg , also regarded Hermes as an outstanding authority among the pagan sages, although they condemned his advocacy of the cult of the images of gods. Both quoted the Asclepius extensively and also referred to the Liber viginti quattuor philosophorum and the Liber de sex rerum principiis . Berthold's worldview is based on a synthesis of Hermetism, Neoplatonism and Christian theology.
Even in the epoch of transition between the late Middle Ages and the early modern period , hermetics was highly valued as an expression of pagan knowledge of God and the world order. Nikolaus von Kues glossed his copy of Asclepius and examined this work in detail. He was of the opinion that the Trismegistus had already largely grasped the truth that lies in the Christian understanding of God and creation. Johannes Wenck, a decided opponent of Nikolaus von Kues, accused him of having adopted the pantheism of Trismegistos.
Much attention was paid to the “technical” literature on hermetics, which from the end of the 11th century became known to educated people who were literate in Latin in translations from Greek and Arabic. The scholar Michael Scotus , who worked as a translator in the early 13th century , announced that he had tried hermetic magic himself and found it to be effective. Two compilations of hermetic theses met with particularly strong response: the Centiloquium , an anthology of one hundred astrological aphorisms made after the middle of the 13th century , and the Tabula smaragdina , which had been in Latin since the 12th century. The commentary on the Tabula smaragdina , written in the 14th century by an alchemist named Hortulanus , had a lasting effect . The alchemist Bernardus Trevisanus (1406–1490) claimed that Hermes was called three times greatest because his occult knowledge comprised the three natural kingdoms - animals, plants and stones. He owed his knowledge to the antediluvian notes on stone tablets that he discovered after the flood. This legend comes from an Arabic script and is ultimately likely to go back to an ancient Greek source. Find stories were already popular in ancient Hermetics. Early modern alchemists took up the story of Bernardus Trevisanus and modified it; different variants circulated.
In addition to the positive reception of hermetic occultism, there was also no lack of sharp criticism. This was based on the assumption that the occult effects can be explained as the machinations of demons. Albertus Magnus initially tried to incorporate the magic and alchemy of hermetics into his natural philosophy, but later came to a negative assessment, pointing out the demonic aspect. He mentioned the opinion that Hermes was personally responsible for demonic magic without expressly agreeing to it. Roger Bacon denied that the occult writings circulating under the name of Trismegistus were actually written by the revered sage.
For the name of the "three times largest" one found the declaration, attested as early as the 12th century, that the Egyptian Hermes had distinguished himself as king, philosopher and prophet in three areas of activity.
Hermetic influence became noticeable in medieval Judaism in the 12th century, especially in Abraham ibn Esra , whose Pentateuch commentary had a strong aftereffect. From the middle of the 13th century, some Kabbalists built ideas of technical hermeticism into their systems. A broader reception of the Hermetic worldview was opposed to the judgment of the very influential thinker Maimonides , who found that the "Books of Hermes" were a worthless old philosophy and that it was a waste of time to deal with them. However, the effect of Maimonides' verdict was weakened by the fact that later authors - probably Kabbalists - attributed utterances to him that made him appear as a representative of a Kabbalistic-hermetic religiosity.
In the Renaissance, as in the High and Late Middle Ages, the fascination of hermetics was the combination of a venerable pre-Christian theology with a cosmology that was largely regarded as valid and an appealing understanding of virtue. In particular, their emphasis on the special position of humans in the cosmos and emphatic affirmation of the human thirst for knowledge met the concerns of the Renaissance humanists.
As early as the 14th century, early humanists were interested in the Trismegistos; Coluccio Salutati compared Francesco Petrarca to the three times tallest Hermes. The reception gained a strong boost with the rediscovery of the Corpus Hermeticum , the main part of which - the first fourteen treatises - was translated from Greek into Latin by the humanist philosopher Marsilio Ficino . Ficino's translation, completed in 1463 and printed in 1471 under the title Pimander , made the corpus accessible to a broader educated public. It shaped the image of Hermes in the following years and became the starting point for an enthusiasm for hermetics that continued into the 16th century. Also of Asclepius , whose first edition was published in Rome in 1469, still found appreciation. By 1641, 24 complete editions of the corpus had been published.
Like medieval scholars, many Renaissance humanists believed that Hermes Trismegistus was a historical figure. He was believed to be a forerunner or contemporary of Moses, or it was assumed that he lived only a few generations after him. Humanists, who valued the hermetic thought, saw in its supposed herald a superior wisdom teacher and the first author of theology. They assumed that his authentic communications were passed down in the hermetic literature. His teaching appeared to them to be a confirmation of Christian truths of faith through the highest insights that a pre-Christian thinker could have attained. Hermetics enjoyed the greatest respect among the philosophers of the Renaissance, who wanted to fuse ancient “pagan” wisdom and piety with Christianity into a comprehensive, coherent world interpretation and ethics. Together with other time-honored pagan traditions - Platonism, Orphicism , Zoroastrianism and the teachings of the Chaldean oracles - it was regarded as a manifestation of the so-called "ancient theology" (prisca theologia) . By this one understood a coherent totality of philosophical knowledge and extra-biblical revelation knowledge from ancient times. A common explanation of the correspondence was that Plato acquired hermetic wisdom on his trip to Egypt.
The followers of hermetics believed that the treasure trove of "old theology" anticipated a substantial part of the worldview and ethics of Christianity. The similarities between pagan and Christian theology were explained differently in Renaissance Hermetism. It was widely believed that there was a historical connection. It was believed that the pagan sages' understanding of God and the world went back to the revelation knowledge of biblical patriarchs and prophets, which had come to the Gentiles. This interpretation model is based on the idea of a chain of tradition with Moses at the top. Another explanation, which was suspect from a church-dogmatic point of view, was that the pagan wisdom teacher Hermes Trismegistus was an independent bearer of revelation, who owed his insights to a divine message addressed directly to him. With this theologically bold assumption, the “heathen” Trismegistus was in fact raised to a position that corresponds to that of the Old Testament prophets. Both explanations can already be found in Ficino.
Ficino, Cristoforo Landino (1425–1498) and Francesco Giorgio (Francesco Zorzi, 1466–1540) were among the spokesmen for the direction that embedded Hermetism in the prisca theologia . Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463–1494) also developed a harmonizing concept of this kind. In his famous speech on human dignity, he took up the ancient hermetic anthropology by quoting a quote from the Trismegistos from Asclepius : “A big one Miracles, Asclepius, man is. ”Of the 900 philosophical and theological theses published in 1486 that Pico wanted to publicly defend in Rome, ten were hermetic. However, Pico fought against the technical astrology, which is propagated in hermetic literature, and in his late work came to an overall negative assessment of the cultural and scientific achievements of the ancient Egyptians, including hermetics. A staunch supporter of the “old theology”, however, was Ludovico Lazzarelli (1447–1500), who strongly advocated the revival of hermeticism. He worked out a Latin version of the last four tracts of the Corpus Hermeticum , which had not been translated by Ficino , and was only printed after his death in 1507. In his dialogue known as Crater Hermetis (The Mixing Jug of Hermes) , Lazzarelli advanced the bold thesis that the wisdom teacher, who calls himself in the Hermetic Corpus Poimandres, is Christ himself. The French humanist Jacques Lefèvre the Elder represented a much more moderate variant of Hermetism 'Étaples , who published a new edition of Ficino's translation of the Corpus Hermeticum in 1494 and added his own commentary. A new edition, expanded to include Asclepius and a shortened version of Lazzarelli's Crater Hermetis , appeared in 1505. Lefèvre d'Étaples accepted the authority of the “first theologian” Hermes, established by Ficino, but eliminated the aspects of hermetic thought that were offensive from the ecclesiastical point of view.
In the first half of the 16th century, Agostino Steuco emerged as a champion of the theory of correspondence; he saw in Hermetics the starting point of Greek philosophy and collected a wealth of evidence for his claim that the Trismegistos had anticipated Christian dogmas. A late proponent of the idea of making the prisca theologia fruitful for the present was Francesco Patrizi da Cherso (1529–1597), who wanted to use philosophical hermetics to defend the Christian faith against the skeptical currents of his time. He demanded their introduction into the teaching of church educational institutions instead of the then dominant Aristotelianism. Patrizi rejected the occult hermetic, however, he considered it inauthentic. He viewed his own teaching as a continuation and completion of the philosophy of Trismegistos. Even Giordano Bruno grabbed hermetic ideas and shared the widespread belief that the Trismegistos as a priest, magician and philosopher a significant representative of the prisca theologia is.
As a wisdom doctrine with an overarching tendency for denominations, hermetics also found resonance among dissident , undogmatic supporters of the Reformation. In Germany, the Reformation theologian Sebastian Franck appeared as a particularly determined advocate of the concept of "old theology". He considered the Trismegistus to be a contemporary of Abraham , so placed it before Moses, and wrote that the hermetic corpus contained everything essential for a Christian. Hermes was the prophet of the Egyptians, just as Moses taught the Hebrews and Plato the Greeks the truth about God. Hermes proclaimed God's message even more clearly than Moses. Franck placed the harmonization of religious and philosophical teachings at the service of his struggle for religious tolerance. In this sense, Philippe de Mornay (1549–1623), a spokesman for the Huguenots, worked in France . In his work On the Truth of the Christian Religion , he put together similarities between hermetic and Christian doctrines in order to gain an argument for his plea against dogmatic narrowness. The dissident theologian Valentin Weigel (1533–1588) was an enthusiastic hermetic , whose highly controversial teachings were disseminated by his ardent followers, the “Weigelians”. He thought the Trismegistus was an enlightened saint. The theologian Johann Arndt (1555–1621), influenced by Weigel , whose writings had a lasting impact and shaped later Protestant spiritualism , saw Trismegistus as a prophetic figure. He said that this wise Egyptian priest anticipated the figure of the Savior. Arndt was disappointed with both scholastic science and Lutheran dogmatics and hoped that a new Hermes would break out and name the divine truths under the sign of a living logos, beyond all book scholarship.
In addition to the religious-philosophical direction of Hermetism, the occultist movement also experienced an upswing in the Renaissance. This movement developed independently and had a focus north of the Alps. The representatives of “technical” Hermetism did not tie in with the Corpus Hermeticum and Asclepius , but with the alchemical literature, especially the Tabula smaragdina . The writings of the natural philosopher and alchemist Paracelsus , whom his followers celebrated as the second Hermes or German Trismegistus, were pioneering . However, Paracelsus himself kept his distance from the Egyptian Hermes; he cited the tracts circulating under the name of Trismegistos critically. His followers, the Paracelsists, on the other hand, admired Hermes unreservedly. In astrology, alchemy and medicine, recommended procedures and recipes were presented as hermetic application knowledge. Thereby emphasis was placed on the theoretical underpinning of the practices through concepts that, in the sense of the macrocosm-microcosm idea, the universe as animate, harmoniously ordered and consistent unit structured according to the same principles. Alchemy was also called "Hermetic Art". A characteristic of the hermetic alchemists is the fight against Aristotelianism, which they denounced as an unchristian doctrine that does not lead to the deciphering of natural secrets.
From the end of the Renaissance to the beginning of the modern age
The most momentous turning point in the history of modern hermetic reception was caused by the ancient scholarly study of the Corpus Hermeticum by the Graecist Isaac Casaubon , who published his results in 1614 in the treatise De rebus sacris et ecclesiasticis exercitationes XVI . He proved that the corpus in its present form could not have originated before the Roman Empire. From this he concluded that it could not be an authentic ancient Egyptian wisdom teaching. He described the author as a cheater who had exploited New Testament and Platonic ideas.
The usual early dating of the corpus had already been disputed by some scholars in the 16th century, but it was Casaubon's work that finally brought the clarification. Now the basis of the claim to authority that the Renaissance hermetic had asserted no longer existed, because the attribution of hermetic to a historical sage from ancient times could not be saved. The Cambridge platonist Ralph Cudworth asserted in 1678 that Casaubon had only provided evidence of inauthenticity for part of the corpus and that the Latin Asclepius could be based on an ancient Egyptian script, but his objections were hardly noticed by experts.
Nevertheless, the contents of the Hermetic Scriptures retained their high esteem in occult circles and among representatives of an esoteric natural philosophy such as Robert Fludd (1574–1637). The late dating of the corpus did not rule out the usability of the texts as sources for an authentic Egyptian theology, cosmology and occult science. In addition, the standard text of the alchemists, the Tabula smaragdina , was not affected by Casaubon's criticism. Like Cudworth, one could hold on to the opinion that the traditional Hermetic literature could contain ancient Egyptian teaching material. In this regard, recent research supports the critics of Casaubon's verdict. Casaubon had wrongly treated the Corpus as a unified work, the author of which only reproduced Greek philosophy and was not rooted in any ancient Egyptian wisdom tradition. The erroneous assumption of uniformity was criticized by Hermann Conring (1648) and Cudworth (1678), who pointed to the different origins of the texts. Today, the heterogeneity of the material handed down is emphasized in the specialist literature and a partly ancient Egyptian origin is assumed.
Johannes Kepler turned against the speculation of numbers by the hermetic Robert Fludd . In this controversy, which took place from 1619 to 1622, Kepler distinguished his “mathematical” understanding of mathematics from the “hermetic” Fludds, which is based on the concept of the analogy of macrocosm and microcosm. Kepler accused Fludd of using mathematics “in a hermetic way” - qualitatively instead of quantitatively - to describe astronomical reality and thus to follow a fundamentally flawed approach.
A conflict that directly affected the “technical” hermetics of the occult broke out in 1648 when Hermann Conring launched a general attack on the Paracelsists, the followers of the medical and alchemical teachings of Paracelsus. In this context, Conring denied the Paracelsists the right to appear as heirs to an ancient, hermetic tradition. In reality, nothing reliable is known about ancient hermetic medicine, and there is no substantive connection between ancient Egyptian medicine and Paracelsism. In addition, the idealization of ancient Egyptian medicine is inappropriate because its level was very low. Oluf Borch responded to this in 1674 with a detailed reply in which he praised the wisdom of the Egyptians and tried to refute the criticism. Another defender of hermetics was Wolf Freiherr von Metternich, who in 1706 published the first German translation of the Corpus Hermeticum under the pseudonym Alethophilus .
Hermetics was very well received in the 17th century by the early Rosicrucians , whose philosophy was equated with the hermetic doctrine both by their spokesmen and by their opponents.
Isaac Newton , who dealt intensively with alchemy, wrote a commentary on the Tabula smaragdina that remained unpublished. The manuscript probably dates from the early 1680s. The English naturalist was interested in the alchemical conception of material pairs of opposites, the poles of which interact, merge into one another and thereby create a third. From this he hoped to gain insight into the structure of matter and the relationship between spirit and matter.
In the late 17th century, the Lutheran theologian Ehregott Daniel Colberg made a name for himself as a sharp opponent of all forms of hermeticism . By this he understood a heretical mixture of Christianity with pagan ideas. His intention was to show that all "sects" of the "fanatical theology" of his time - the dissident currents, to which he counted the Paracelsists and Rosicrucians, among others - wrongly invoked the Trismegistus as a transmitter of ancient wisdom. Colberg relied on the results of Casaubon and Conring.
The Scottish writer Andrew Michael Ramsay used the Trismegistos motif in his novel Les Voyages de Cyrus , which appeared in 1727. There an Egyptian priest tells the story of Hermes, who introduced the cult, symbols and mysteries of the Egyptians. According to this fictional alienated representation, Hermes was born after a shipwreck on an uninhabited island. After his mother died giving birth, he was suckled by a goat. Later the god Hermes appeared to him, who taught him and gave him the name Trismegistus.
The historian Nicolas Lenglet du Fresnoy wrote a three-volume Histoire de la Philosophie Hermétique , which appeared in 1742. It is a story of alchemy, which the author equated with hermetism. Lenglet du Fresnoy considered the Trismegistus to be a historical figure, but not the author of the writings ascribed to him.
In the second half of the 18th century, the Freemasons became more interested in Trismegistos; the Hermetic tradition was invoked. Both in the Enlightenment movement of the Freemasons, of which Ignaz von Born was one of the spokesmen , and in Rosicrucian Freemasonry, they resorted to the hermetics of antiquity, which were seen as a forerunner of their own efforts. Von Born considered the Trismegistus to be a scientist and the founder of an order devoted to promoting the common good.
Johann Gottfried Herder wrote the two-part dialogue Hermes and Poemander , which he published in his magazine Adrastea in 1803 . There Hermes is the docile pupil who lets Poemander teach him. The literary model of dialogue is the first treatise of the Hermetic Corpus. Poemander helps his pupil to discover the world spirit, which Hermetics calls Nous, using the starry sky at night - the world order that has become visible - as a starting point. Herder adopted formal elements from his ancient model and used dialogue as a cladding for the presentation of key concepts in his natural philosophy. First and foremost, he was concerned with the discovery of the “one great rule” which, according to his understanding, specifies the primal principle of all educational laws of creative nature. By this he meant the basis of symmetry, harmony and unity in natural processes: the unity that underlies the relationship between the opposing, interacting and merging principles.
Classical Studies, Renaissance Studies and Religious Studies
Modern research into hermetics began with the treatise Symbolism and Mythology of the Ancient Nations , which Georg Friedrich Creuzer first published in 1810-12 and later revised. In the figure of Trismegistus, Creuzer saw a symbol of the spiritual life of Egypt. Hermes / Thot embodies “looking at oneself, thinking and teaching and writing”, he is the symbol of written culture and intellectual looking and knowing. Hermetism stands for the ideal as the opposite pole and complement to the real, but the trismegistus also has a relationship to physical reality, because he is presented as a demiurge. As a creator, he creates through the power of his mind. In this way he creates the connection between the real and the ideal and mediates between spirit and body.
The pioneering work of Richard Reitzenstein was groundbreaking , who in a study published in 1904 put forward the thesis that the founder of the "Poimandres community" was an Egyptian priest and that Egyptian religious tradition played a decisive role. However, Reitzenstein already warned of one-sidedness: “It can hardly be avoided that, depending on the inclination and course of study, one claims too much as Egyptian, the other too much as Babylonian, and the third everything as Persian.” Tadeusz Zieliński took a radical opposing position (1905/6) and Josef Kroll (1914), who traced the religious-philosophical content back to Greek thinking. Wilhelm Kroll (1912), who wrote the article on Hermes Trismegistus in Paulys Realencyclopadie der classical antiquity , expressed himself in this sense . He found that the Hermetic dogmas were entirely taken from Greek philosophy, not from Egyptian religion; Poseidonios' ideas in particular had a strong impact. Wilhelm Kroll stated that one could "strictly speaking not speak" of a uniform hermetic teaching; there is no lack of polemics between the Hermetic authors and contradictions even within the same scripture.
Later Reitzenstein changed his mind. In a work published in 1926, he derived the basic ideas from the Iranian religion; The author of Poimandres offers the " Persian teaching in Greek garb , which has been further developed in the sense of Gnosis, " and his entire account of creation comes from an Iranian myth. This hypothesis was criticized by Martin P. Nilsson (1950, 1961), who criticized both Reitzenstein's original view and the opposing view of Zieliński, Wilhelm Kroll and Josef Kroll as one-sided and questioned the alleged connection with the Iranian doctrine of creation, since the differences are striking and the similarities are modest. Nilsson said there was no evidence of the oriental origin of the Hermetic theorems. However, Jewish influence is clearly visible.
Hermetic research owes a significant impetus to André-Jean Festugière , whose four-volume presentation La Révélation d'Hermès Trismégiste, published between 1944 and 1954, was recognized as a standard work. Festugière was of the opinion that the Egyptian features in hermetics were insignificant. This view was shared by Arthur Darby Nock , whose critical edition of the Corpus Hermeticum , created jointly with Festugière and published in 1945–1954, is the authoritative edition to this day. The more recent French-language research, however, has come to the opposite conclusion: It weighs the Egyptian part very strongly in ancient hermetics and sees it as the original stock of the teaching material, which was later expanded by elements from other traditions. The oldest stratum came from Egyptian priestly circles and processed their theology. This view, which is based on the text finds from Nag Hammadi and on archaeological discoveries, has also established itself in the English and German-speaking regions. One of its numerous representatives is the Egyptologist Erik Iversen, who was able to show in 1984 that most of the hermetic teachings can also be found in Egyptian texts, which were written long before the emergence of Greek hermetic literature.
The connection between the philosophical and the technical teachings is assessed differently. The question arises as to the justification of combining them into an overall complex “Hermetics”. Festugière made a strict distinction between philosophical writings (hermétisme savant) and popular, practical hermetics (hermétisme populaire) . According to a prevailing opinion in the past, the two types of hermetic literature have little in common except the appeal to the same deity. In more recent times, however, there has been a tendency towards a holistic view of hermetics; The substantive connection between the two elements is emphasized and the divorce made by Festugière is considered questionable. However, the separation is also given a certain justification in more recent studies. Brian Copenhaver and Thomas Leinkauf expressed their views on this . According to Leinkauf's findings, a clear difference can be made between a “philosophical-mystical” and an “alchemical-technical” filiation; Despite some interference, the two filiations “maintained an astonishing degree of independence”.
In the past, the question of the relationship between hermetic and gnosticism was often answered with the assessment that hermeticism was part of the gnostic movement. Hans Jonas (1954) said that it was the earliest occurrence of Gnosis, namely its actually "Hellenistic" branch. In several investigations, because of the contradictory nature of the hermetic treatises, opposing directions have been identified among the ancient hermeticists, including one that shows particular proximity to Gnosticism. For example, Henri-Charles Puech (1955/56, 1986) distinguished two currents of thought in Hermetism: a monistic and optimistic one, inspired by Hellenistic philosophy , which is dominated by the idea of a cosmic God, and a dualistic and pessimistic one, which addresses an absolutely transcendent one Turning to God without any direct relationship to the world. The last-named school of thought shows the relationship with Gnosticism more clearly. The two currents correspond to two different schools of hermeticism, which were aware of the incompatibility of their respective views. However, there is a tendency in recent literature to emphasize the differences between gnosis and hermeticism. In terms of religious history, hermeticism is no longer understood as a variant of Gnosticism. According to a controversial hypothesis, the gnostic elements in hermetics can be traced back to Christian influence. According to Jörg Büchli (1987), the Poimandres is a “paganised Gospel”. In this treatise, Christian ideas were paganized, with particular use being made of the theology of the church writer Origen . Gnostic in the narrower sense - if one regards a radical contempt for the world as a special characteristic of Gnosis - the Scriptures are not. If, however, one understands gnosis as a redeeming knowledge of God, that is to say using the expression in a broader sense, then Poimandres is very much a gnostic work. Another line of research opposes overemphasis on differences and advocates stronger emphasis on the similarities between gnosis and hermetics; a general characterization of gnosis as anti-cosmic and dualistic and of hermetics as relatively cosmopolitan should be rejected as an inadmissible simplification.
The influence of hermeticism in Roman North Africa is estimated to be high. Jérôme Carcopino and Antonie Wlosok have emerged as representatives of this direction . Carcopino's argument is based on archaeological material from the burial chamber of Cornelia Urbanilla in Lambiridi ( Numidia ), who died in the 3rd century; According to his interpretation, Urbanilla belonged to a hermetic movement that prospered between 220 and 307. Jean-Pierre Mahé agrees with Carcopino's considerations and also asserts that Augustine's antihermetic polemics show that Asclepius was very widespread in North Africa in late antiquity. Andreas Löw, however, is skeptical, believing that the spread and influence of Hermetic Scriptures in Africa have been overestimated. Matthias Heiduk's assessment is similar.
The inner contradiction of the philosophical treatises has often been explained by assuming layers of different origin. Their inept mixing is attributed to the thoughtlessness of the respective editor. Since there was no binding dogmatics of the Hermetists, opposing views are not surprising. However, this approach has been criticized by some researchers as unsatisfactory. An alternative is the interpretation of Jean-Pierre Mahé, who attributes the contradictions to the fact that the Egyptian wisdom statements were formulated antithetically or put together in antithetical pairs; the opposing statements were dialectically linked and commented on. Furthermore, according to Mahé's interpretation, contradicting statements correspond to the different perspectives that one takes in different stages of progress on the hermetic path of knowledge. One must note that hermetism is a way and not a system. Peter Kingsley agrees; he considers the contradictions to be intentional and sees in them appropriately deployed means in a learning process directed by the hermetic teacher.
The dispute over a thesis by Frances A. Yates played an important role in the study of Renaissance Hermetism . In 1964, Yates published a study of the importance of the hermetic tradition for Giordano Bruno and for the development of modern natural sciences. She came to the conclusion that the hermetic tradition had been a determining factor in the early modern history of science. The striving of the Renaissance hermetic to capture and master hidden natural forces was a forerunner of modern research, which aims to unravel the secrets of nature through experiment. The analogy also extends to the method. There was also agreement with regard to the Copernican turn ; Bruno was involved in their implementation, and Hermetics provided an impetus for this. This view is known as the "Yates Thesis". It met with criticism and is now widely disproved or at least in need of correction. Among other things, it was asserted against them that Bruno's connection of the Copernican model with Hermetism was not representative, but represented a singular phenomenon.
Peter-André Alt determined seven indicators for hermetic thinking and its topics in the early modern period. According to his study published in 2012, these are the idea of the formal correspondence between nature and logos, the doctrine of the spiritual omnipresence of God , the idea of the unity of the individual and the many, the thought of the transformation of the elements of creation, the theorem of the beauty of one androgynous God, the renunciation of the idea of a Last Judgment in favor of a cosmologically conceived concept of salvation independent of the guilt principle and the imparting of deeper religious insights to specifically selected "inspired" people.
A major research center is the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica (The Ritman Library) in Amsterdam. It has the largest collection of Hermetic Scriptures in the world. A Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents has existed at the University of Amsterdam since 1999. The chair there is held by the cultural historian and religious scholar Wouter Hanegraaff .
Philosophy and cultural criticism
In 1931, the cultural critic Julius Evola attempted to renew the hermetic view of the world and the way of existence with his book La tradizione ermetica . By hermetism he understood the knowledge of change processes that take place in secret and require a symbolic interpretation. By this he meant transformation in the sense of alchemical understanding, both in natural processes and in the psychic world, where personality changes take place. Evola emphasized the fundamental contrast between modern people and traditional hermeticers with regard to the entire worldview and the means of knowledge. Hermetics cannot be understood in an objectifying way; rather, it can only be grasped by someone who leaps into their world.
Umberto Eco (1988, 1990) distinguished between a rational and an irrational model of interpretation. He defined “knowledge through the cause” as rational, based on the postulates of self-identity , non-contradiction and the excluded third party . Ancient Greek thought developed this model, but also an alternative one, Hermetism, which is irrational and does not recognize any commitment to the three principles of rationalism . The hermetic model is based on the concept of constant metamorphosis, the symbol of which is Hermes. It allows contradicting statements to be true at the same time. This view was asserted in the 2nd century, the heyday of hermetics. As a result, the rationally comprehensible meaning was lost and everything became a secret. According to Hermetism, the real message cannot be taken directly from the texts, but rather it is hidden in them and must be extracted through allegorical interpretation. The allegory, however, leads into arbitrariness, into boundlessness and thus into emptiness. One secret points to another, and there can be no ultimate secret.
Heinrich Rombach had a completely different opinion . In 1991, in his monograph The Coming God, he presented the concept of a “philosophical hermeticism”, to which he attributed timeless topicality. Rombach determined Hermes as the god of the hidden as well as of connection and living unity, in diametrical contrast to Apollon , the god of separation, distinction and analytical , dissolving knowledge. Hermetics means “the fact of being closed, inaccessible, incomprehensible” as a counter-concept to hermeneutics , the Apollonian “art of explaining, opening up, understanding”. There is an exclusionary relationship between them. The hermetic is the dimension of depth, of the "abyss"; it stands "behind everything justified and justifiable, behind everything understandable and comprehensible" and penetrates and saturates this at the same time. Life is very interested in the repression and suppression of the experience of hermetics, since it is "frightened by the inefficiency". Hermetics in this sense was first discovered and named by poets, above all by Friedrich Hölderlin . It is not an irrationality, but a "rationality of its own, which is not only proven a thousand times over in everyday life, but which can also be considered the root of all restricted rationality". Umberto Eco misunderstood the basis of rationality and disregarded the principle of evidence , the prerequisite for all causality . As a pure hermeneuticist, he was unable to find access to hermeticism.
In 1996 Ralf Liedtke also presented an interpretation in which the hermetic does not appear irrational. Rather, it is about "the original form of uncomfortable, sometimes 'uncanny', but above all critical thinking", a philosophizing that takes place "in the pattern of non-identity or difference" and thus a counter-model to the striving for identity of classical occidental metaphysics represent. This way of thinking is current, since the “identity-critical, eclectic and syncretistic present” finds its roots in the history of ideas in hermetics. In contrast to Rombach, Liedtke did not see any fundamental opposition between hermetics and hermeneutics, rather the two approaches were "two sides of the same philosophical world view".
Poetry, literary studies and aesthetics
The American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the poem Hermes Trismegistus in 1882 , in which he thematized the transience of the original Hermetic teachings.
In the 20th century, the concept of the hermetic in the sense of “mysterious” and “dark” penetrated the field of literary studies. At first it served a derogatory characterization. In 1936, in his monograph La poesia ermetica, the literary historian Francesco Flora described Giuseppe Ungaretti's poetry as "hermetic"; he thought it was a form of expression without precedents in Italian poetry. Flora disapproved of this impulse as a mistaken innovation. The originally critical term "hermetic seal" was then positively reinterpreted and adopted by the representatives of Ungaretti's style, while German-language poets such as Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann rejected it. What is meant are dark, ambiguous poems in which the sound and emotional value of the words make the essentials and no context is given that would enable the reader to understand the text directly. Peter-André Alt names “inaccessibility, density, seclusion, tendency towards private mythology, darkness of style and imagery” as characteristics. Language, hermetic in this sense, is not geared towards the depiction of the world. There is no substantive connection to ancient hermeticism.
Even Theodor W. Adorno took up the idea of a hermetic seal. In his Aesthetic Theory , referring to Friedrich Hölderlin, he determined the “hermetic character of art” as its “rejection of any use” and pointed out the “powerlessness and superfluity in the empirical world” that is a characteristic of hermetic works. This art rigorously blocks any consumability and social usefulness, it completely denies society and its functions. Adorno saw this as a criticism of what already existed. The criticized incomprehensibility of such works of art is "the confession of the enigmatic character of all art". In hermetic poetry, sealing the work of art against empirical reality has become an express program, but this closure should not be equated with incomprehensibility. Adorno regarded Paul Celan as the most important representative of this trend in contemporary German poetry.
Starting from a different approach, Hans-Georg Kemper used the term hermetic as part of his literary research into early modern religiosity as an overarching category for the recording of dissident currents from the 1980s. According to Kemper's concept, this spiritual and literary hermeticism is not a variant of the Christianity then ruling. Rather, it represents an independent, alternative religious conviction, a cross-denominational natural philosophy and worldview that was asserted in Baroque poetry , in Pietism , in the early Enlightenment , in positions of sensitivity and in almost all the important authors of Sturm und Drang , in the 18th century Century in pantheism , in deism and in nature and love poetry. Christian and Hermetic worldview and piety are theoretically incompatible. This hermeticism reached a climax in Goethe's personal religiousness . Rolf Christian Zimmermann had already worked out the hermetic element in the worldview of the young Goethe in 1969–1979 in a two-volume monograph. He stated that it was “the hermeticism of the German 18th century” that gave Goethe's youthful works “their enigmatic fluorescence”.
In 2012, Peter-André Alt called for a historical differentiation between hermetics and related thought patterns in Kabbalistics, magic and alchemy in a review of the development of hermeticism through early modern German research . This requirement had been neglected in the work that followed Kemper's results. The reference to the widespread syncretism should not lead one to forego differentiation between the individual currents. The collective term of the esoteric is inadequate. Alt suggested the term "Hermetic Spiritualism". As indicators for the delimitation of hermetism in literary texts, he named the substantial position of the Logos doctrine, which is decisive for the hermetic worldview, the central function of inspiration and the special importance of the didactic instruction of the student by the divinely guided teacher according to the treatises of the Corpus Hermeticum . These three indicators are "unique selling points for the hermetic doctrine", since they do not appear with comparable weighting in related systems. The direct reception of hermetic topoi was a special case in the early modern period; predominantly the knowledge of hermetic argumentation patterns is expressed through detours, hidden quotations and " intertextual references of high density". Alt wanted to prove that “hermetic structures dominated the literature of the 17th century to a far greater extent than was previously assumed”. This also applies to bucolic .
In the occult movement of the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century, hermetic literature was part of the time-honored literature that was considered a treasure trove of esoteric knowledge. The tabula smaragdina in particular was highly regarded .
Some occult groups resorted to the term "hermetic" when giving their names. It started with the Hermetic Society founded in Dortmund in 1796 by Carl Arnold Kortum and Friedrich Bährens , which dealt with alchemy. In the late 19th century, tensions arose in the British Theosophical Society between the dominant current, which was entirely oriented towards Far Eastern doctrines, and a group that drew its models from Western traditions such as Hermetics. The conflict led to a split, whereupon the defeated followers of western esotericism formed a new organization in 1884, the short-lived London Hermetic Society with Anna Kingsford as president. Another theosophical Hermetic Society was founded in Dublin in 1885 by the Irish poet William Butler Yeats and his friend Charles Johnston . A successor organization to this society existed in Dublin until 1939.
Rosicrucian and Masonic circles also claimed the Hermetic tradition for themselves. From this milieu came William Wynn Westcott , Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers and William Robert Woodman , who founded the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in 1888 , an esoteric order with its own rites, into which one was accepted through an act of initiation . At the turn of the 20th century internal tensions led to the collapse of the order, but successor organizations continued their activities.
Editions and translations
Editions (partly with translations)
- Paolo Lucentini, Vittoria Perrone Compagni (ed.): Hermes Latinus. Brepols, Turnhout 1994 ff. (Critical edition)
- Volume 2: Paolo Lucentini, Mark D. Delp (eds.): Hermetis Trismegisti De sex rerum principiis (= Corpus Christianorum . Continuatio Mediaevalis , Volume 142). 2006, ISBN 2-503-04421-2
- Volume 3, Part 1: Françoise Hudry (Ed.): Liber viginti quattuor philosophorum (= Corpus Christianorum. Continuatio Mediaevalis , Volume 143 A). 1997, ISBN 2-503-04433-6
- Volume 3, Part 2: Matteo Stefani (Ed.): Ps.Apulei Asclepius (= Corpus Christianorum. Continuatio Mediaevalis , Volume 143). 2019, ISBN 978-2-503-58477-5
- Volume 4, part 1: Simonetta Feraboli, Sylvain Matton (eds.): Hermetis Trismegisti De triginta sex decanis (= Corpus Christianorum. Continuatio Mediaevalis , Volume 144). 1994, ISBN 2-503-04441-7
- Volume 4, Part 2: Gerrit Bos et al. (Ed.): Hermetis Trismegisti astrologica et divinatoria (= Corpus Christianorum. Continuatio Mediaevalis , Volume 144 C). 2001, ISBN 2-503-04447-6
- Jean-Pierre Mahé (Ed.): Hermès en Haute-Égypte. 2 volumes. Les Presses de l'Université Laval, Québec 1978–1982, ISBN 0-7746-6817-2 and ISBN 2-7637-6983-7 (critical edition of the hermetic texts in the Nag Hammadi find as well as the Armenian translation of the hermetic definitions with French Translation, introduction and commentary)
- Claudio Moreschini (Ed.): Apulei Platonici Madaurensis opera quae supersunt. Volume 3: De philosophia libri. Teubner, Stuttgart / Leipzig 1991, ISBN 3-519-01058-5 , pp. 39–86 (critical edition of Asclepius )
Arthur Darby Nock (ed.), André-Jean Festugière (ed. And translator): Corpus Hermeticum. 4 volumes. Les Belles Lettres, Paris 1945 ff. (Critical edition; Greek and Latin texts with French translation)
- Volume 1: Traités I-XII. 1945, reprint 2018, ISBN 978-2-251-00135-7
- Volume 2: Traités XIII – XVIII. Asclepius. 1945, reprint 2002, ISBN 978-2-251-00136-4
- Volume 3: Fragments extraits de Stobée I-XXII. 1954, reprint 2002, ISBN 978-2-251-00137-1
- Volume 4: Fragments extraits de Stobée (XXIII-XXIX). Fragments diverse. 1954, reprinted 2009, ISBN 978-2-251-00138-8
- Paolo Scarpi (ed.): La rivelazione segreta di Ermete Trismegisto. 2 volumes. Mondadori, Milan 2009–2011, ISBN 978-88-04-58352-3 and ISBN 978-88-04-60426-6 (Greek and Latin texts with Italian translation and commentary; also contains an Italian translation of the Hermetic Definitions , the Script De triginta sex decanis with translation and commentary as well as fragments and testimonies)
Carsten Colpe , Jens Holzhausen : The Corpus Hermeticum German. Translation, presentation and commentary (= Clavis Pansophiae , Volume 7). Frommann-Holzboog, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997 ff.
- Part 1: The Greek treatises and the Latin "Asclepius". 1997, ISBN 3-7728-1530-8
- Part 2: Excerpts, Nag Hammadi texts, testimony. 1997, ISBN 3-7728-1531-6
- Part 3: Research History and Continuous Commentary. Not yet published, ISBN 3-7728-1820-X (with a contribution to Hermetism from the 16th to 18th centuries by Wilhelm Kühlmann )
- Karl-Gottfried Eckart: The Corpus Hermeticum including the fragments of the Stobaeus. Lit, Münster 1999, ISBN 3-8258-4199-5
- Christoph Auffarth : Hermetics. In: Manfred Landfester (ed.): Renaissance Humanism. Lexicon for the reception of antiquities (= Der Neue Pauly . Supplements. Volume 9). Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2014, ISBN 978-3-476-02469-5 , Sp. 414-419.
- Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism. Brill, Leiden / Boston 2006, ISBN 978-90-04-15231-1 , pp. 474-570 (Lemmata Hermes Trismegistus , Hermetic Literature , Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn , Hermeticism and Hermetic Societies , Hermetism )
- Paolo Scarpi: Hermetic tradition. In: Christoph Riedweg et al. (Ed.): Philosophy of the Imperial Era and Late Antiquity (= Outline of the history of philosophy . The philosophy of antiquity. Volume 5/2). Schwabe, Basel 2018, ISBN 978-3-7965-2629-9 , pp. 1155–1176
- Harry J. Sheppard, Alois Kehl, Robert McLachlan Wilson: Hermetics. In: Real Lexicon for Antiquity and Christianity . Volume 14, Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-7772-8835-7 , Sp. 780-808
- Karl-Wolfgang Tröger : Hermetica. In: Theological Real Encyclopedia . Volume 18, de Gruyter, Berlin 1989, ISBN 3-11-011613-8 , pp. 749-752
- Françoise Bonardel: L'Hermétisme. Presses Universitaires de France, Paris 1985, ISBN 2-13-039109-5
- Florian Ebeling: The Secret of Hermes Trismegistos. History of Hermetism. 2nd, revised edition, Beck, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-59343-7
- Antoine Faivre : The Eternal Hermes. From Greek God to Alchemical Magus. Phanes Press, Grand Rapids 1995, ISBN 0-933999-52-6
- Claudio Moreschini: Storia dell'ermetismo cristiano. Morcelliana, Brescia 2000, ISBN 88-372-1792-7
General monographs on ancient hermetics
- André-Jean Festugière: La Révélation d'Hermès Trismégiste. Gabalda, Paris 1944–1954
- Volume 1: L'Astrologie et les Sciences Occultes. 3rd edition, 1950 (1st edition 1944). Reprint: Les Belles Lettres, Paris 1981, ISBN 2-251-32594-8
- Volume 2: Le Dieu Cosmique. 1949. Reprint: Les Belles Lettres, Paris 1981, ISBN 2-251-32595-6
- Volume 3: Les Doctrines de l'Âme. 1953. Reprint: Les Belles Lettres, Paris 1983, ISBN 2-251-32596-4
- Volume 4: Le Dieu inconnu et la Gnose. 1954. Reprint: Les Belles Lettres, Paris 1981, ISBN 2-251-32596-4
- André-Jean Festugière: Hermétisme et mystique païenne. Aubier-Montaigne, Paris 1967
- Garth Fowden: The Egyptian Hermes. A historical approach to the late pagan mind. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1986, ISBN 0-521-32583-8
- Esteban Law: The Corpus Hermeticum - History of Effect: Transcendence, Immanence, Ethics. The Corpus Hermeticum as part of the occidental tradition. Part 1: Characteristics of the Corpus Hermeticum. Frommann-Holzboog, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 2018, ISBN 978-3-7728-2721-1
- Anna Van den Kerchove: La voie d'Hermès. Pratiques rituals et traités hermétiques. Brill, Leiden / Boston 2012, ISBN 978-90-04-22345-5
Monographs on individual ancient writings
- Jörg Büchli: The Poimandres. A paganized gospel. Linguistic and conceptual investigations on the 1st treatise of the Corpus Hermeticum. Mohr, Tübingen 1987, ISBN 3-16-145165-1
- William C. Grese: Corpus Hermeticum XIII and Early Christian Literature. Brill, Leiden 1979, ISBN 90-04-05781-1
- Gebhard Löhr: Glorification of God through philosophy. Hermetic Treatise II in the context of the ancient history of philosophy and religion. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1997, ISBN 3-16-146616-0
- Jonathan Peste: The Poimandres Group in Corpus Hermeticum. Myth, Mysticism and Gnosis in Late Antiquity. Department of Religious Studies, University of Göteborg, Göteborg 2002, ISBN 91-88348-26-1 (dissertation)
- Karl-Wolfgang Tröger: Faith in Mysteries and Gnosis in the Corpus Hermeticum XIII. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1971
Monographs on medieval and modern reception
- Peter-André Alt : Imaginary secret knowledge. Investigations into hermeticism in literary texts of the early modern period. V & R unipress, Göttingen 2012, ISBN 978-3-89971-675-7
- Kevin van Bladel: The Arabic Hermes. From Pagan Sage to Prophet of Science. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2009, ISBN 978-0-19-537613-5
- Eugenio Garin : Ermetismo del Rinascimento. Editori Riuniti, Rome 1988, ISBN 88-359-3187-8
- Matthias Heiduk: Open Secrets - Hermetic Texts and Hidden Knowledge in Medieval Reception from Augustine to Albertus Magnus. Dissertation, Freiburg 2012 ( online )
Collections of articles
- Peter-André Alt, Volkhard Wels (Hrsg.): Concepts of Hermetism in the literature of the early modern period. V&R unipress, Göttingen 2010, ISBN 978-3-89971-635-1
- Roelof van den Broek, Wouter J. Hanegraaff (eds.): Gnosis and Hermeticism from Antiquity to Modern Times. State University of New York Press, Albany 1998, ISBN 0-7914-3612-8
- Roelof van den Broek, Cis van Heertum (Ed.): From Poimandres to Jacob Böhme: Gnosis, Hermetism and the Christian tradition. In de Pelikaan, Amsterdam 2000, ISBN 90-71608-10-7
- Antoine Faivre (Ed.): Présence d'Hermès Trismégiste. Albin Michel, Paris 1988, ISBN 2-226-03436-6
- Ingrid Merkel, Allen G. Debus (Ed.): Hermeticism and the Renaissance. Intellectual History and the Occult in Early Modern Europe. Associated University Presses, Cranbury et al. 1988, ISBN 0-918016-85-1
- Paolo Lucentini et al. (Ed.): Hermetism from Late Antiquity to Humanism. La tradizione ermetica dal mondo tardo-antico all'Umanesimo. Brepols, Turnhout 2003, ISBN 2-503-51616-5
- Martin Mulsow (Ed.): The end of Hermetism. Historical criticism and new natural philosophy in the late Renaissance. Documentation and analysis of the debate about the dating of the Hermetic writings from Genebrard to Casaubon (1567–1614) (= Religion and Enlightenment , Volume 9). Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2002, ISBN 3-16-147778-2
- Gilles Quispel (ed.): The Hermetic Gnosis over the centuries. DRP-Verlag, Birnbach 2000, ISBN 90-6732-238-5
- Anne-Charlott Trepp , Hartmut Lehmann : Ancient wisdom and cultural practice. Hermetism in the early modern period. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-525-35374-X
Modern philosophical interpretations
- Ralf Liedtke : Hermeticism. Traditional philosophy of difference. Schöningh, Paderborn 1996, ISBN 3-506-75199-9
- Heinrich Rombach : The coming God. Hermetics - a new worldview. Rombach, Freiburg 1991, ISBN 3-7930-9060-4
- Carlos Gilly , Cis van Heertum (Ed.): Magic, alchemy and science. 15th – 18th Centuries. The influence of Hermes Trismegistus. 2 volumes. Centro Di, Florenz 2002, ISBN 88-7038-359-8 and ISBN 88-7038-385-7 (contains numerous articles)
- Dieter Georgi , John Strugnell (Ed.): Concordance to the Corpus Hermeticum. Tractate One: the Poimandres . Boston Theological Institute, Cambridge (Massachusetts) 1971
- ↑ Eusebius of Caesarea , Praeparatio evangelica 1,10,17. Cf. Carsten Colpe, Jens Holzhausen: The Corpus Hermeticum German , Part 2, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997, p. 565 f. For the history of research and the non-narrative sources, see Jan Quaegebeur : Thot-Hermès, le dieu le plus grand! In: Hommages à François Daumas , Vol. 2, Montpellier 1986, pp. 525-544.
- ↑ Gebhard Löhr: Glorification of God through Philosophy , Tübingen 1997, p. 268; Roelof van den Broek: Hermes Trismegistus I: Antiquity. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , Leiden 2006, pp. 474–478, here: 474–476.
- ↑ See Richard Goulet: Hermetica. In: Dictionnaire des philosophes antiques , Vol. 3, Paris 2000, pp. 641–650, here: 642 f .; Florian Ebeling: The secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, p. 60 f .; Gebhard Löhr: Glorification of God through Philosophy , Tübingen 1997, pp. 14 f., 285–297; Roelof van den Broek: Hermes and his community in Alexandria. In: Gilles Quispel (Ed.): The hermetic Gnosis in the course of the centuries , Birnbach 2000, pp. 9–26.
- ^ Peter Kingsley: An Introduction to the Hermetica: Approaching Ancient Esoteric Tradition. In: Roelof van den Broek, Cis van Heertum (ed.): From Poimandres to Jacob Böhme: Gnosis, Hermetism and the Christian Tradition , Amsterdam 2000, pp. 17–40, here: 25–40.
- ↑ Kevin van Bladel: The Arabic Hermes , Oxford 2009, p. 133 f .; Brian P. Copenhaver: Hermetica , Cambridge 1992, pp. XV f .; Gebhard Löhr: Glorification of God through Philosophy , Tübingen 1997, p. 270.
- ↑ Augustine, De civitate dei 18:39.
- ↑ Claudio Moreschini: Storia dell'ermetismo cristiano , Brescia 2000, p. 12
- ↑ Clement of Alexandria, Stromata 6.4.
- ↑ Iamblichos, De mysteriis 8.1.
- ^ Karl-Wolfgang Tröger: Hermetica. In: Theologische Realenzyklopädie , Vol. 18, Berlin 1989, pp. 749-752, here: 749 f.
- ^ Roelof van den Broek: Hermetic Literature I: Antiquity. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , Leiden 2006, pp. 487-499, here: 489, 493.
- ^ Jean-Pierre Mahé: Hermès en Haute-Égypte , Vol. 2, Québec 1982, p. 33.
- ^ Carsten Colpe, Jens Holzhausen: The Corpus Hermeticum German , Part 2, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997, pp. 487-504.
- ^ Roelof van den Broek: Hermetic Literature I: Antiquity. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , Leiden 2006, pp. 487-499, here: 496; Jean-Pierre Mahé: Introduction. In: Clement Salaman et al. (Translator): The Way of Hermes , London 2004, pp. 125–134, here: 126–130; Jean-Pierre Mahé: Hermès en Haute-Égypte , Vol. 2, Québec 1982, p. 39.
- ↑ Jens Holzhausen: The "Myth of Man" in Hellenistic Egypt , Bodenheim 1994, pp. 57–61; Jens Holzhausen: Poimandres. In: Der Neue Pauly , Vol. 9, Stuttgart / Weimar 2000, Col. 1192 f .; Peter Kingsley: Poimandres: The Etymology of the Name and the Origins of the Hermetica. In: Roelof van den Broek, Cis van Heertum (ed.): From Poimandres to Jacob Böhme: Gnosis, Hermetism and the Christian Tradition , Amsterdam 2000, pp. 41–76, here: 44–63. See Jörg Büchli: The Poimandres. A paganized Gospel , Tübingen 1987, p. 15 f.
- ^ Carsten Colpe, Jens Holzhausen: The Corpus Hermeticum German , Part 1, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997, pp. 4–10. See Jens Holzhausen: The “Myth of Man” in Hellenistic Egypt , Bodenheim 1994, p. 19 f.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 1, 1–5, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 1, Paris 1946, p. 7 f. Cf. Jens Holzhausen: The "Myth of Man" in Hellenistic Egypt , Bodenheim 1994, pp. 8-10.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 1,6–8, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 1, Paris 1946, p. 8 f. See Jens Holzhausen: Nature and God's will in the hermetic treatise 'Poimandres'. In: Hermes 120, 1992, pp. 483-489.
- ↑ See on androgyny Jan Zandee: Hermetism and ancient Egypt. In: Gilles Quispel (ed.): The hermetic gnosis in the course of the centuries , Birnbach 2000, pp. 98–176, here: 120–124.
- ↑ See also Jens Holzhausen: The “Myth of Man” in Hellenistic Egypt , Bodenheim 1994, pp. 46–49.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 1, 9–11, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , vol. 1, Paris 1946, p. 9 f. Cf. Jens Holzhausen: The “Myth of Man” in Hellenistic Egypt , Bodenheim 1994, pp. 14-19.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 1, 12-15, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 1, Paris 1946, pp. 10-12. Cf. Carsten Colpe, Jens Holzhausen: The Corpus Hermeticum German , Part 1, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997, p. 14 f .; Jens Holzhausen: The “Myth of Man” in Hellenistic Egypt , Bodenheim 1994, pp. 23–37.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 1.16-26, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 1, Paris 1946, pp. 12-16. Cf. Jens Holzhausen: The “Myth of Man” in Hellenistic Egypt , Bodenheim 1994, pp. 50–65.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 1, 26–32, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 1, Paris 1946, pp. 16-19. Cf. Jens Holzhausen: The “Myth of Man” in Hellenistic Egypt , Bodenheim 1994, pp. 65–67.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 2, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 1, Paris 1946, pp. 32-39. See Gebhard Löhr: Glorification of God through Philosophy , Tübingen 1997, p. 44 ff.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 3, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 1, Paris 1946, pp. 44-46. Cf. Angela Maria Mazzanti: Gli uomini Dèi mortali , Bologna 1998, pp. 39-41.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 4.1–3, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 1, Paris 1946, p. 49 f.
- ↑ See also Carsten Colpe, Jens Holzhausen: Das Corpus Hermeticum Deutsch , Part 1, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997, p. 43 f.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 5, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 1, Paris 1946, pp. 60-65.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 5.9, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 1, Paris 1946, p. 63 f. Cf. Angela Maria Mazzanti: Gli uomini Dèi mortali , Bologna 1998, p. 49 f.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 6, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 1, Paris 1946, pp. 72-76. Cf. Angela Maria Mazzanti: Gli uomini Dèi mortali , Bologna 1998, pp. 51-53.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 7, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 1, Paris 1946, p. 81. Cf. Angela Maria Mazzanti: Gli uomini Dèi mortali , Bologna 1998, p. 55 f.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 8, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 1, Paris 1946, pp. 87-89. Cf. Angela Maria Mazzanti: Gli uomini Dèi mortali , Bologna 1998, p. 57 f.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 9, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 1, Paris 1946, pp. 96-100.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 10, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 1, Paris 1946, pp. 113-126. Cf. Carsten Colpe, Jens Holzhausen: Das Corpus Hermeticum Deutsch , Part 1, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997, pp. 91-100.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 11, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 1, Paris 1946, pp. 147-157. Cf. Carsten Colpe, Jens Holzhausen: The Corpus Hermeticum German , Part 1, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997, pp. 114–122.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 12, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 1, Paris 1946, pp. 174-183.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 13, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 2, Paris 1946, pp. 200-209. See William C. Grese: Corpus Hermeticum XIII and Early Christian Literature , Leiden 1979, pp. 198 f .; Carsten Colpe, Jens Holzhausen: The Corpus Hermeticum German , Part 1, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997, pp. 174–188.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 14: 4-6, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 2, Paris 1946, p. 223 f. Cf. Angela Maria Mazzanti: Gli uomini Dèi mortali , Bologna 1998, p. 87 f.
- ↑ See also Jan Zandee: Hermetism and ancient Egypt. In: Gilles Quispel (Ed.): The hermetic Gnosis in the course of the centuries , Birnbach 2000, pp. 98–176, here: 135 f. See the interpretation by Anna Van den Kerchove: La voie d'Hermès , Leiden 2012, pp. 117–128.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 16, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 2, Paris 1946, pp. 231-238. Cf. Carsten Colpe, Jens Holzhausen: The Corpus Hermeticum German , Part 1, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997, pp. 200-213.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 17, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 2, Paris 1946, p. 243. Cf. Angela Maria Mazzanti: Gli uomini Dèi mortali , Bologna 1998, p. 93.
- ↑ Corpus Hermeticum 18, ed. by Arthur Darby Nock: Corpus Hermeticum , Vol. 2, Paris 1946, pp. 248-255. Cf. Carsten Colpe, Jens Holzhausen: The Corpus Hermeticum German , Part 1, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997, pp. 217-230.
- ^ Carsten Colpe, Jens Holzhausen: The Corpus Hermeticum German , Part 1, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997, p. 233 f .; Michel van Esbroeck: L'apport des versions orientales pour la compréhension de l'Asclepius dans les Philosophica d'Apulée. In: Massimiliano Pavan, Umberto Cozzoli (ed.): L'eredità classica nelle lingue orientali , Rome 1986, pp. 27–35, here: 29–33.
- ↑ See the argument of Mariateresa Horsfall Scotti: The Asclepius: Thoughts of a Re-opened Debate . In: Vigiliae Christianae 54, 2000, pp. 396-416.
- ↑ Claudio Moreschini: Storia dell'ermetismo cristiano , Brescia 2000, pp 105-108.
- ^ Asclepius 6.
- ↑ Asclepius 2-6. See Paolo Scarpi (ed.): La rivelazione segreta di Ermete Trismegisto , Vol. 2, Milan 2011, pp. 87 f., 494–497.
- ↑ For the interpretation of this passage see Claudio Moreschini: Storia dell'ermetismo cristiano , Brescia 2000, pp. 145–147.
- ↑ Asclepius 7-10. See Paolo Scarpi (ed.): La rivelazione segreta di Ermete Trismegisto , Vol. 2, Milan 2011, pp. 88 f., 497-500.
- ↑ Asclepius 11 f. See Paolo Scarpi (ed.): La rivelazione segreta di Ermete Trismegisto , Vol. 2, Milan 2011, pp. 500–502.
- ↑ Asclepius 14-18. See Paolo Scarpi (ed.): La rivelazione segreta di Ermete Trismegisto , Vol. 2, Milan 2011, pp. 89 f., 502 f.
- ↑ Asclepius 19-40. Cf. Jan Zandee: Hermetism and ancient Egypt. In: Gilles Quispel (ed.): The hermetic Gnosis in the course of the centuries , Birnbach 2000, pp. 98–176, here: 104–112.
- ↑ Asclepius 41. Compare Jan Zandee: Hermetism and ancient Egypt. In: Gilles Quispel (ed.): The hermetic Gnosis in the course of the centuries , Birnbach 2000, pp. 98–176, here: 147 f.
- ^ Carsten Colpe, Jens Holzhausen: The Corpus Hermeticum German , Part 2, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997, pp. 401-403; Hans Dieter Betz: Creation and redemption in the hermetic fragment "Kore Kosmu". In: Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche 63, 1966, pp. 160–187, here: 160 f., 171 f., 175.
- ↑ Carsten Colpe, Jens Holzhausen: The Corpus Hermeticum German , Part 2, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997, pp. 403-405, 419 f.
- ↑ Johannes Stobaios, Anthologion 1,49,44,2-13. Cf. Carsten Colpe, Jens Holzhausen: Das Corpus Hermeticum Deutsch , Part 2, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997, pp. 406-408, 421-424.
- ↑ Johannes Stobaios, Anthologion 1,49,44,14-30. Cf. Carsten Colpe, Jens Holzhausen: Das Corpus Hermeticum Deutsch , Part 2, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997, pp. 408-413, 424-431.
- ↑ Johannes Stobaios, Anthologion 1, 49, 44, 31-42. Cf. Carsten Colpe, Jens Holzhausen: Das Corpus Hermeticum Deutsch , Part 2, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997, pp. 413-416, 431-436.
- ↑ Johannes Stobaios, Anthologion 1,49,44,43-48. Cf. Carsten Colpe, Jens Holzhausen: The Corpus Hermeticum German , Part 2, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997, pp. 416-418, 437-439; Hans Dieter Betz: Creation and redemption in the hermetic fragment "Kore Kosmu". In: Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche 63, 1966, pp. 160–187, here: 176–178.
- ↑ Johannes Stobaios, Anthologion 1, 49, 44, 53-70. Cf. Carsten Colpe, Jens Holzhausen: The Corpus Hermeticum German , Part 2, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997, pp. 418-420, 440-446; Hans Dieter Betz: Creation and redemption in the hermetic fragment "Kore Kosmu". In: Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche 63, 1966, pp. 160–187, here: 180–187.
- ↑ Carsten Colpe, Jens Holzhausen: The Corpus Hermeticum German , Part 2, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997, pp. 446-480.
- ↑ Johannes Stobaios, Anthologion 1,49,45,11-15. Cf. Carsten Colpe, Jens Holzhausen: The Corpus Hermeticum German , Part 2, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1997, pp. 449 f., 455–457; Jan Zandee: Hermetism and ancient Egypt. In: Gilles Quispel (ed.): The hermetic Gnosis in the course of the centuries , Birnbach 2000, pp. 98–176, here: 132 f.
- ↑ Roelof van den Broek: Hermetism. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , Leiden 2006, pp. 558-570, here: 559 f., 568; Gebhard Löhr: Glorification of God through Philosophy , Tübingen 1997, pp. 4–8 (research report).
- ↑ See also Frances A. Yates: Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition , London / New York 2002, pp. 47–51; Roelof van den Broek: Hermetic Literature I: Antiquity. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , Leiden 2006, pp. 487-499, here: 487 f.
- ↑ See Simonetta Feraboli (ed.): Hermetis Trismegisti De triginta sex decanis , Turnhout 1994, pp. XXI f .; Wilhelm Gundel , Hans Georg Gundel : Astrologumena , Wiesbaden 1966, pp. 10-27; Harry J. Sheppard: Hermetics. A. Pagan Hermetics. In: Reallexikon für Antike und Christianentum , Vol. 14, Stuttgart 1988, Sp. 780–794, here: 781–783.
- ↑ Harry J. Sheppard: Hermetics. A. Pagan Hermetics. In: Reallexikon für Antike und Christianentum , Vol. 14, Stuttgart 1988, Sp. 780–794, here: 783 f .; Garth Fowden: The Egyptian Hermes , Cambridge 1986, p. 25 f.
- ↑ Harry J. Sheppard: Hermetics. A. Pagan Hermetics. In: Reallexikon für Antike und Christianentum , Vol. 14, Stuttgart 1988, Sp. 780–794, here: 783, 785 f .; Wilhelm Gundel, Hans Georg Gundel: Astrologumena , Wiesbaden 1966, pp. 16-21.
- ↑ Isabel Toral-Niehoff: Kitāb Ğiranīs , Munich 2004, p. 20 f.
- ↑ David M. Bain: Koiraniden (Kyraniden). In: Reallexikon für Antike und Christianentum , Vol. 21, Stuttgart 2006, Sp. 224–232, here: 224–229.
- ↑ Harry J. Sheppard: Hermetics. A. Pagan Hermetics. In: Reallexikon für Antike und Christianentum , Vol. 14, Stuttgart 1988, Sp. 780–794, here: 784 f .; Garth Fowden: The Egyptian Hermes , Cambridge 1986, p. 124; Florian Ebeling: The secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 47–49, 57. Cf. Gilles Quispel: Reincarnation and Magic in the Asclepius. In: Roelof van den Broek, Cis van Heertum (ed.): From Poimandres to Jacob Böhme: Gnosis, Hermetism and the Christian Tradition , Amsterdam 2000, pp. 167–231, here: 210 f.
- ↑ Thomas Leinkauf: Interpretation and analogy. Rational Structures in Hermetism of the Early Modern Age. In: Anne-Charlott Trepp, Hartmut Lehmann: Ancient wisdom and cultural practice. Hermetism in the early modern period , Göttingen 2001, pp. 41–61, here: 57–59.
- ↑ See on this problem Robert McLachlan Wilson: Hermetik. C. Hermetics and Christianity. In: Reallexikon für Antike und Christianentum , Vol. 14, Stuttgart 1988, Sp. 795–806, here: 795; Florian Ebeling: The secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 23–26.
- ^ Robert McLachlan Wilson: Hermetics. C. Hermetics and Christianity. In: Reallexikon für Antike und Christianentum , Vol. 14, Stuttgart 1988, Sp. 795–806, here: 800 f., 805 f.
- ^ Tertullian, Adversus Valentinianos 15.1. Cf. Andreas Löw: Hermes Trismegistos as a witness of truth , Berlin / Vienna 2002, pp. 47–52.
- ↑ A detailed study is offered by Andreas Löw: Hermes Trismegistos als Zeuge der Truth , Berlin / Vienna 2002, pp. 88–253; Balance sheet p. 254–256.
- ↑ Augustine, De civitate dei 8: 23-26.
- ↑ Claudio Moreschini: Storia dell'ermetismo cristiano , Brescia 2000, pp. 62-79, 82-88, 94-101; Roelof van den Broek: Hermetism. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , Leiden 2006, pp. 558-570, here: 568 f .; Peter-André Alt: Imaginary Secret Knowledge , Göttingen 2012, p. 29.
- ↑ Gilles Quispel: Hermes Trismegistus and the Origins of Gnosticism. In: Roelof van den Broek, Cis van Heertum (ed.): From Poimandres to Jacob Böhme: Gnosis, Hermetism and the Christian Tradition , Amsterdam 2000, pp. 145–165, here: 158 f.
- ↑ Florian Ebeling: The Secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 40–42; Garth Fowden: The Egyptian Hermes , Cambridge 1986, pp. 134-141.
- ↑ Manfred Ullmann : The natural and secret sciences in Islam , Leiden 1972, pp. 165 f., 369–371; Pierre Lory: Hermetic Literature III: Arab. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , Leiden 2006, pp. 529-533; Paolo Lucentini, Vittoria Perrone Compagni: Hermetic Literature II: Latin Middle Ages. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , Leiden 2006, pp. 499-529, here: 517 f.
- ↑ Kevin van Bladel: The Arabic Hermes , Oxford 2009, pp. 121-163; Martin Plessner : Hirmis. In: The Encyclopaedia of Islam , Vol. 3, Leiden / London 1971, pp. 463-465; Manfred Ullmann: The natural and secret sciences in Islam , Leiden 1972, pp. 371–373.
- ↑ Florian Ebeling: The Secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, p. 75.
- ↑ Frances A. Yates: Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition , London / New York 2002, pp. 57–59.
- ↑ Kevin van Bladel: The Arabic Hermes , Oxford 2009, pp. 184-196.
- ↑ Florian Ebeling: The Secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 76–78; Manfred Ullmann: The natural and secret sciences in Islam , Leiden 1972, pp. 170–172 (assumes Arabic origin); Gilles Quispel: Gnosis and Alchemy: the Tabula Smaragdina. In: Roelof van den Broek, Cis van Heertum (ed.): From Poimandres to Jacob Böhme: Gnosis, Hermetism and the Christian Tradition , Amsterdam 2000, pp. 303–333 (pleading for ancient origins).
- ^ Franz Rosenthal : Das Fortleben der Antike im Islam , Zurich / Stuttgart 1965, pp. 332–334; Martin Plessner: Hirmis. In: The Encyclopaedia of Islam , Vol. 3, Leiden / London 1971, pp. 463-465, here: 464.
- ↑ Antoine Faivre: The Eternal Hermes , Grand Rapids 1995, pp. 89-94.
- ↑ Seyyed Hossein Nasr : Islamic Life and Thought , London 1981, p. 109 f.
- ↑ Kevin van Bladel: The Arabic Hermes , Oxford 2009, pp. 24–63.
- ^ Carlos Gilly: The tradition of Asclepius in the Middle Ages. In: Roelof van den Broek, Cis van Heertum (ed.): From Poimandres to Jacob Böhme: Gnosis, Hermetism and the Christian Tradition , Amsterdam 2000, pp. 335–367, here: 337–342, 345–347; Claudio Moreschini: Storia dell'ermetismo cristiano , Brescia 2000, pp. 160-170; Florian Ebeling: The secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 69, 82 f .; Paolo Lucentini, Vittoria Perrone Compagni: Hermetic Literature II: Latin Middle Ages. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , Leiden 2006, pp. 499-529, here: 501-503, 505 f.
- ^ Paolo Lucentini, Vittoria Perrone Compagni: Hermetic Literature II: Latin Middle Ages. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , Leiden 2006, pp. 499-529, here: 503.
- ↑ Kevin van Bladel: The Arabic Hermes , Oxford 2009, pp. 193-195, 236.
- ↑ Paolo Lucentini, Mark D. Delp (ed.): Hermetis Trismegisti De sex rerum principiis , Turnhout 2006, pp. 5-9.
- ↑ Françoise Hudry (ed.): Liber viginti quattuor philosophorum , Turnhout 1997, p IX-XXIII. Cf. Françoise Hudry: Liber XXIV philosophorum. In: Richard Goulet (ed.): Dictionnaire des philosophes antiques , Volume Supplément , Paris 2003, pp. 745–747; Françoise Hudry: Le liber viginti quattuor philosophorum et la génération en Dieu. In: Paolo Lucentini et al. (Ed.): Hermetism from Late Antiquity to Humanism , Turnhout 2003, pp. 81–97, here: 91 f.
- ^ Paolo Lucentini, Vittoria Perrone Compagni: Hermetic Literature II: Latin Middle Ages. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , Leiden 2006, pp. 499-529, here: 503 f., 506-508; Claudio Moreschini: Storia dell'ermetismo cristiano , Brescia 2000, p. 183; Carlos Gilly: The tradition of Asclepius in the Middle Ages. In: Roelof van den Broek, Cis van Heertum (ed.): From Poimandres to Jacob Böhme: Gnosis, Hermetism and the Christian Tradition , Amsterdam 2000, pp. 335–367, here: 348–350.
- ↑ Claudio Moreschini: Storia dell'ermetismo cristiano , Brescia 2000, pp 187-190; Florian Ebeling: The secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 79 f., 82; Paolo Lucentini, Vittoria Perrone Compagni: Hermetic Literature II: Latin Middle Ages. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , Leiden 2006, pp. 499-529, here: 508 f .; Carlos Gilly: The tradition of Asclepius in the Middle Ages. In: Roelof van den Broek, Cis van Heertum (ed.): From Poimandres to Jacob Böhme: Gnosis, Hermetism and the Christian Tradition , Amsterdam 2000, pp. 335–367, here: 356–360.
- ↑ Florian Ebeling: The Secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 84–86; Paolo Lucentini, Vittoria Perrone Compagni: Hermetic Literature II: Latin Middle Ages. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , Leiden 2006, pp. 499-529, here: 510. Cf. the essays on the hermetic reception of Cusanus in Paolo Lucentini et al. (Ed.): Hermetism from Late Antiquity to Humanism. La tradizione ermetica dal mondo tardo-antico all'Umanesimo , Turnhout 2003, pp. 223-260.
- ^ Carlos Gilly: The tradition of Asclepius in the Middle Ages. In: Roelof van den Broek, Cis van Heertum (ed.): From Poimandres to Jacob Böhme: Gnosis, Hermetism and the Christian Tradition , Amsterdam 2000, pp. 335–367, here: 362 f.
- ↑ Jean-Marc Mandosio: La Tabula smaragdina ei suoi commentari medievali. In: Paolo Lucentini et al. (Ed.): Hermetism from Late Antiquity to Humanism , Turnhout 2003, pp. 681–696, here: 688 f .; Florian Ebeling: The secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 77–79, 87; Paolo Lucentini, Vittoria Perrone Compagni: Hermetic Literature II: Latin Middle Ages. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , Leiden 2006, pp. 499-529, here: 513-526.
- ↑ Esteban Law: The Hermetic Tradition. In: Peter-André Alt, Volkhard Wels (Ed.): Concepts of Hermetism in the Literature of the Early Modern Age , Göttingen 2010, pp. 23–70, here: 58–63.
- ^ Paolo Lucentini, Vittoria Perrone Compagni: Hermetic Literature II: Latin Middle Ages. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , Leiden 2006, pp. 499-529, here: 522-525.
- ^ Antoine Faivre: The Eternal Hermes , Grand Rapids 1995, p. 83 f.
- ↑ Moshe Idel : Hermeticism and Kabbalah. In: Paolo Lucentini et al. (Ed.): Hermetism from Late Antiquity to Humanism , Turnhout 2003, pp. 385-428, here: 386-397.
- ↑ See also Christoph Auffarth: Hermetik. In: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit , Vol. 5, Stuttgart 2007, Col. 391–395, here: 391 f .; Eugenio Garin: Ermetismo del Rinascimento , Rome 1988, pp. 9, 71-76; Anne-Charlott Trepp: Hermetism or on the pluralization of forms of religiosity and knowledge in the early modern period: Introductory remarks. In: Anne-Charlott Trepp, Hartmut Lehmann (ed.): Ancient wisdom and cultural practice , Göttingen 2001, pp. 7–15, here: 7 f., 14.
- ↑ Eugenio Garin: Ermetismo del Rinascimento , Rome 1988, pp. 7-14, 33-36; Antoine Faivre: Hermetic Literature IV: Renaissance - Present. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , Leiden 2006, pp. 533-544, here: 534.
- ↑ See also Cesare Vasoli: The myth of the “Prisci Theologi” as the “ideology” of the “Renovatio”. In: Martin Mulsow (Ed.): Das Ende des Hermetismus , Tübingen 2002, pp. 17–60, here: 21–29, 42–51.
- ↑ Esteban Law: The Hermetic Tradition. In: Peter-André Alt, Volkhard Wels (Ed.): Concepts of Hermetism in the Literature of the Early Modern Age , Göttingen 2010, pp. 23–70, here: 26–32.
- ↑ See on these theses Thomas Sören Hoffmann : Esoteric as a key to the world. On the philosophical hermeneutics of Pico della Mirandolas. In: Helmut Seng (ed.): Platonism and Esotericism in Byzantine Middle Ages and Italian Renaissance , Heidelberg 2013, pp. 113–128, here: 122–124.
- ^ See on Pico's hermetic reception by Karl Schuhmann : Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and Hermetism. In: Gilles Quispel (ed.): The hermetic Gnosis in the course of the centuries , Birnbach 2000, pp. 318–344, here: 323–338; Florian Ebeling: The secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 95–98.
- ↑ See Isabelle Pantin: Les “commentaires” de Lefèvre d'Etaples au Corpus Hermeticum. In: Antoine Faivre (ed.): Présence d'Hermès Trismégiste , Paris 1988, pp. 167-183.
- ↑ Claudio Moreschini: Storia dell'ermetismo cristiano , Brescia 2000, pp 239-248; Maria Muccillo: Platonismo, ermetismo e “prisca theologia” , Florence 1996, pp. 42–56.
- ^ Karl Schuhmann: Francesco Patrizi and the hermetic philosophy. In: Gilles Quispel (ed.): The hermetic Gnosis in the course of the centuries , Birnbach 2000, pp. 345–361, here: 349–358; Cees Leijenhorst: Francesco Patrizi's Hermetic Philosophy. In: Roelof van den Broek, Wouter J. Hanegraaff (eds.): Gnosis and Hermeticism from Antiquity to Modern Times , Albany 1998, pp. 125–146; Florian Ebeling: The secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, p. 99 f.
- ↑ Francesca dell'Omodarme: Ermete Trismegisto. In: Michele Ciliberto (Ed.): Giordano Bruno. Parole, concetti, immagini , vol. 1, Pisa 2014, pp. 636–641, here: 638–640.
- ↑ Kristine Hannak: Pymander as an inner word. In: Peter-André Alt, Volkhard Wels (Ed.): Concepts of Hermetism in the Literature of the Early Modern Age , Göttingen 2010, pp. 297–321; Kristine Hannak: Geist = rich Critik , Berlin 2013, pp. 73–171; Florian Ebeling: The secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 115–118.
- ↑ Florian Ebeling: The Secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 118–120; Frances A. Yates: Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition , London / New York 2002, pp. 196–198.
- ↑ Carlos Gilly: From the Egyptian Hermes to Trismegistus Germanus. In: Peter-André Alt, Volkhard Wels (Ed.): Concepts of Hermetism in the Literature of the Early Modern Age , Göttingen 2010, pp. 71–131, here: 124–126; in detail Kristine Hannak: Geist = rich Critik , Berlin 2013, pp. 173–306.
- ↑ Peter-André Alt: Imaginäres Geheimwissen , Göttingen 2012, pp. 33–36.
- ↑ Florian Ebeling: The Secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 88 f., 101–114; Carlos Gilly: From the Egyptian Hermes to Trismegistus Germanus. In: Peter-André Alt, Volkhard Wels (ed.): Concepts of Hermetism in Early Modern Literature , Göttingen 2010, pp. 71–131, here: 76–90, 101 f.
- ↑ Christoph Auffarth: Hermetics. In: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit , Vol. 5, Stuttgart 2007, Sp. 391–395, here: 393; Florian Ebeling: The Secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 101, 125.
- ↑ Anthony Grafton : Protestant versus Prophet: Isaac Casaubon on Hermes Trismegistus. In: Martin Mulsow (Ed.): Das Ende des Hermetismus , Tübingen 2002, pp. 283–303, here: 287–294.
- ↑ See Frederick Purnell: Francesco Patrizi and the crisis of Hermes Trismegistus. In: Martin Mulsow (Ed.): Das Ende des Hermetismus , Tübingen 2002, pp. 105–126.
- ↑ See Anthony Grafton: Protestant versus Prophet: Isaac Casaubon on Hermes Trismegistus. In: Martin Mulsow (Ed.): Das Ende des Hermetismus , Tübingen 2002, pp. 283–303, here: 297–300; Peter-André Alt: Imaginäres Geheimwissen , Göttingen 2012, pp. 37–39; Florian Ebeling: The secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 127-131.
- ↑ Anthony Grafton: Protestant versus Prophet: Isaac Casaubon on Hermes Trismegistus. In: Martin Mulsow (Ed.): Das Ende des Hermetismus , Tübingen 2002, pp. 283–303, here: 298–300; Martin Mulsow: Epilogue: The fast and the slow end of Hermetism. In: Martin Mulsow (Ed.): Das Ende des Hermetismus , Tübingen 2002, pp. 305-310; Florian Ebeling: The Secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 131-133, 135.
- ^ Frances A. Yates: Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition , London / New York 2002, pp. 479-483.
- ^ Hermann Conring: De Hermetica Aegyptiorum vetere et Paracelsicorum nova medicina liber unus , Helmstedt 1648.
- ↑ Oluf Borch: Hermetis Aegyptiorum et Chemicorum sapientia , Copenhagen 1674.
- ^ Nancy G. Siraisi : Hermes Among the Physicians. In: Martin Mulsow (Ed.): Das Ende des Hermetismus , Tübingen 2002, pp. 189–212, here: 208–212; Florian Ebeling: The secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 133-137, 157-160.
- ^ Carlos Gilly: Paracelsus' confession to the Gnosis up to the pupils of Jakob Boehme. In: Gilles Quispel (ed.): The hermetic Gnosis in the course of the centuries , Birnbach 2000, pp. 407–447, here: 427–430; Carlos Gilly: From the Egyptian Hermes to Trismegistus Germanus. In: Peter-André Alt, Volkhard Wels (Ed.): Concepts of Hermetism in the Literature of the Early Modern Age , Göttingen 2010, pp. 71–131, here: 71–76; Roland Edighoffer: Hermeticism in Early Rosicrucianism. In: Roelof van den Broek, Wouter J. Hanegraaff (ed.): Gnosis and Hermeticism from Antiquity to Modern Times , Albany 1998, pp. 197-215.
- ^ Betty JT Dobbs : Newton's Commentary on the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus: Its Scientific and Theological Significance. In: Ingrid Merkel, Allen G. Debus (eds.): Hermeticism and the Renaissance , Cranbury et al. 1988, pp. 182–191, here: 184 f.
- ↑ Peter-André Alt, Volkhard Wels: Introduction. In: Peter-André Alt, Volkhard Wels (Ed.): Concepts of Hermetism in the Literature of the Early Modern Age , Göttingen 2010, pp. 7–22, here: 14–16; Florian Ebeling: The secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 147–149.
- ↑ See on this Antoine Faivre: The Eternal Hermes , Grand Rapids 1995, p. 102 f.
- ↑ Nicolas Lenglet du Fresnoy: Histoire de la Philosophie Hermétique , Paris 1742. Cf. Florian Ebeling: The Secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, p. 156 f.
- ↑ Florian Ebeling: The Secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 161–171.
- ↑ See Florian Mayr: "Heilige Tetraktys!" Herders Metakritische Hermetik , Schaffhausen 2006, pp. 223–230.
- ↑ Georg Friedrich Creuzer: Symbolism and mythology of the ancient peoples, especially the Greeks , Part 2, 3rd, improved edition, Leipzig / Darmstadt 1841, reprint Hildesheim 1990, pp. 101–123. Cf. Florian Ebeling: The Secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 174–177.
- ^ Richard Reitzenstein: Poimandres , Leipzig 1904, pp. 248–250.
- ↑ Tadeusz Zieliński: Hermes and Hermetics. I. The Hermetic Corpus. In: Archiv für Religionswissenschaft 8, 1905, pp. 321–372, here: 321 f .; Tadeusz Zieliński: Hermes and Hermetics. II. The origin of hermetics. In: Archiv für Religionswissenschaft 9, 1906, pp. 25–60.
- ^ Josef Kroll: Die Lehren des Hermes Trismegistos , Münster 1914, pp. 386–389.
- ^ Wilhelm Kroll: Hermes Trismegistos. In: Paulys Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswwissenschaft (RE), Vol. VIII, 1, Stuttgart 1912, Col. 792–823, here: 804, 815 f.
- ^ Richard Reitzenstein, Hans Heinrich Schaeder : Studies on ancient syncretism from Iran and Greece , Leipzig / Berlin 1926, pp. 8 f., 23, 32.
- ^ Martin Nilsson: History of the Greek Religion , Vol. 2, 2nd, reviewed edition, Munich 1961, pp. 583 f., 605-609. On the Jewish influence, see Alois Kehl: Hermetik. B. Hermetics and Judaism. In: Reallexikon für Antike und Christianentum , Vol. 14, Stuttgart 1988, Col. 794 f.
- ↑ Gebhard Löhr: Glorification of God through Philosophy , Tübingen 1997, pp. 4–8 (research report); Peter Södergård: The Hermetic Piety of the Mind. A Semiotic and Cognitive Study of the Discourse of Hermes Trismegistos , Stockholm 2003, p. 7 f .; Karl-Wolfgang Tröger: Hermetica. In: Theologische Realenzyklopädie , Vol. 18, Berlin 1989, pp. 749-752, here: 750 f .; Roelof van den Broek: Hermetism. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , Leiden 2006, pp. 558-570, here: 568.
- ↑ Erik Iversen: Egyptian and Hermetic Doctrine , Copenhagen 1984, pp. 5, 50-54.
- ↑ Gebhard Löhr: Glorification of God through Philosophy , Tübingen 1997, pp. 12-14 (research report); Esteban Law: The Hermetic Tradition. In: Peter-André Alt, Volkhard Wels (ed.): Concepts of Hermetism in the Literature of the Early Modern Age , Göttingen 2010, pp. 23–70, here: 23–26.
- ^ Brian P. Copenhaver: Hermetica , Cambridge 1992, pp. XXXII – XXXVIII.
- ↑ Thomas Leinkauf: Interpretation and analogy. Rational Structures in Hermetism of the Early Modern Age. In: Anne-Charlott Trepp, Hartmut Lehmann: Ancient wisdom and cultural practice. Hermetism in the early modern period , Göttingen 2001, pp. 41–61, here: 45 f.
- ↑ Hans Jonas: Gnosis and late antique spirit , part 2/1, Göttingen 1954, p. 26 f.
- ^ Henri-Charles Puech: Phenomenology of Gnosis. In: Wolfgang Schultz (Ed.): Documents of the Gnosis , Munich 1986, pp. 16–56, here: 40 f.
- ↑ Jörg Büchli: The Poimandres. Ein paganisiert Evangelium , Tübingen 1987, pp. 199-208; Gebhard Löhr: Glorification of God through Philosophy , Tübingen 1997, pp. 7–12, 15 f .; Roelof van den Broek: Gnosticism and Hermeticism in Antiquity. In: Roelof van den Broek, Wouter J. Hanegraaff (ed.): Gnosis and Hermeticism from Antiquity to Modern Times , Albany 1998, pp. 1–20, here: 17. For a criticism of Büchli's hypothesis, Matthias Heiduk: Offene Secrets - Hermetic texts and hidden knowledge in the medieval reception from Augustine to Albertus Magnus , dissertation Freiburg 2012, p. 25 and note 56 ( online ).
- ↑ Jonathan Peste: The Poimandres Group in Corpus Hermeticum , Göteborg 2002, pp. 11-13, 22-31 (research report), 82 f., 117 f., 162, 212-214.
- ^ Antonie Wlosok: Laktanz und die philosophische Gnosis , Heidelberg 1960, pp. 222-229.
- ↑ Jérôme Carcopino: Aspects mystiques de la Rome païenne , Paris 1941, pp. 207 f., 286-314.
- ↑ Jean-Pierre Mahé: Hermès en Haute-Égypte , Vol. 2, Québec 1982, p. 56 f.
- ↑ Andreas Löw: Hermes Trismegistos as a witness of the truth , Berlin / Vienna 2002, pp. 3 f., 73 f., 254 f.
- ^ Matthias Heiduk: Open Secrets - Hermetic Texts and Hidden Knowledge in Medieval Reception from Augustine to Albertus Magnus , Dissertation Freiburg 2012, pp. 50–53 ( online ).
- ↑ Jean-Pierre Mahé: Hermès en Haute-Égypte , Vol. 2, Québec 1982, pp. 21 f., 409-440; Gebhard Löhr: Glorification of God through Philosophy , Tübingen 1997, pp. 15-17.
- ^ Jean-Pierre Mahé: Hermetica philosophica. In: Jean-François Mattéi (ed.): Encyclopédie philosophique universelle , Vol. 3/1, Paris 1992, pp. 164–169, here: 165.
- ^ Peter Kingsley: An Introduction to the Hermetica: Approaching Ancient Esoteric Tradition. In: Roelof van den Broek, Cis van Heertum (ed.): From Poimandres to Jacob Böhme: Gnosis, Hermetism and the Christian Tradition , Amsterdam 2000, pp. 17–40, here: 24–40.
- ^ Frances A. Yates: Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition , Chicago 1964.
- ^ Wouter J. Hanegraaff: La fin de "La Tradition Hermétique": Frances Yates et Lodovico Lazzarelli. In: Accademia 6, 2004, pp. 95-111, here: 95-98, 109-111; Florian Ebeling: The secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 137-139.
- ↑ Peter-André Alt: Imaginäres Geheimwissen , Göttingen 2012, p. 41 f.
- ^ Website of the center .
- ↑ Julius Evola: La tradizione ermetica nei suoi simboli, nella sua dottrina e nella sua "Arte regia" , Bari 1931. See Florian Ebeling: The secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, pp. 180-182.
- ↑ Umberto Eco: About mirrors and other phenomena , Munich / Vienna 1988, pp. 12–18; Umberto Eco: The Limits of Interpretation , Munich / Vienna 1992 (Italian original edition 1990), pp. 59–67.
- ^ Heinrich Rombach: Der kommende Gott , Freiburg 1991, pp. 9, 15-17, 33.
- ↑ Heinrich Rombach: Der kommende Gott , Freiburg 1991, pp. 17 f., 99.
- ↑ Heinrich Rombach: Der kommende Gott , Freiburg 1991, pp. 24, 26, 101, 106-109. Cf. on Rombach's theses Gudrun Morasch: Hermetics and Hermeneutics. Understanding in Heinrich Rombach and Hans-Georg Gadamer , Heidelberg 1996, pp. 2–5, 95–105, 126–132.
- ↑ Ralf Liedtke: Die Hermetik , Paderborn 1996, p. 9 f., 117.
- ^ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Hermes Trismegistus .
- ↑ Peter-André Alt: Imaginäres Geheimwissen , Göttingen 2012, p. 23 f. Note 34.
- ↑ Stephan Jaeger: Hermetik provides an overview with a bibliography . In: Ansgar Nünning (Hrsg.): Metzler Lexikon Literatur- und Kulturtheorie , 5th, extended edition, Stuttgart 2013, p. 302. Cf. Gerhard Kurz: Hermetismus. On the use and function of a literary theoretical term after 1945. In: Nicola Kaminski et al. (Ed.): Hermetik. Literary figurations between Babylon and cyberspace , Tübingen 2002, pp. 179–197, here: 188–194; Florian Ebeling: The secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, p. 178 f.
- ^ Theodor W. Adorno: Aesthetic Theory , Frankfurt 1970, pp. 115, 159 f., 186, 218, 475-477. Cf. Florian Ebeling: The Secret of Hermes Trismegistos , 2nd edition, Munich 2009, p. 179 f.
- ↑ Hans-Georg Kemper: Deutsche Lyrik der early Neuzeit , Vol. 4/1, Tübingen 2006, pp. 56–65. See Peter-André Alt, Volkhard Wels: Introduction. In: Peter-André Alt, Volkhard Wels (ed.): Concepts of Hermetism in Early Modern Literature , Göttingen 2010, pp. 7–22, here: 9 f.
- ^ Rolf Christian Zimmermann: The world view of the young Goethe. Studies on the hermetic tradition of the German 18th century , 2 volumes, Munich 1969–1979, here: Vol. 1 p. 10.
- ^ Peter-André Alt: Imaginäres Geheimwissen , Göttingen 2012, pp. 13-23.
- ^ Antoine Faivre: Hermetic Literature IV: Renaissance - Present. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , Leiden 2006, pp. 533-544, here: 540.
- ↑ Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke provides an overview : Hermeticism and Hermetic Societies. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , Leiden 2006, pp. 550-558.
- ^ Robert A. Gilbert: Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , Leiden 2006, pp. 544-550.