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The Secret History of Hermes Trismegistus


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Jan AssmannIntroductionChapter 1. Prehistory and Early History of a Phantasm
What Are Hermetic Texts? - The Hermetic Texts of Late Antiquity - Hermes as Preacher of Theology and Philosophy - Hermes: Astrologer, Magus, and Alchemist - What Was Ancient Hermeticism?Chapter 2. The Middle Ages: Christian Theology and "Antediluvian" Magic
Christian Hermeticism - Arab Hermeticism - Hermes Latinus - Traditions of Medieval HermeticismChapter 3. Renaissance: Primeval Wisdom for a New World
Tradition or Rediscovery? - Hermeticism and Paracelsism - Religious Hermeticism - Two Paths of Hermeticism in the Early Modern PeriodChapter 4. Seventeenth Century: High Point and Decline
Casaubon and the Dating of the Hermetic Texts - Hermeticism and the Modern Natural Sciences - Hermeticism and Pietism - The Decrepitude of Hermeticism?Chapter 5. Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: Between Occultism and Enlightenment
Two German Editions of the Corpus Hermeticum - Hermes Trismegistus in Freemasonry - From Historical to Systematic HermeticismChapter 6. Twentieth Century: Systems and Esoterica
Julius Evola and Esoteric Hermeticism - Umberto Eco's Hermetic Semiosis and Heinrich Rombach's HermeticismChronology
Select Bibliography

About the Author

Florian Ebeling is a Lecturer at Heidelberg University. David Lorton, an Egyptologist, is the translator of many books, including Erik Hornung's books The Secret Lore of Egypt and Akhenaten and the Religion of Light, both from Cornell. The late David Lorton, an Egyptologist, was the translator of many books, including Ancient Egypt in 101 Questions and Answers, The Secret History of Hermes Trismegistus, The Secret Lore of Egypt, and Akhenaten and the Religion of Light, all from Cornell. Jan Assmann is Professor Emeritus of Egyptology at Heidelberg University. His books include The Search for God in Ancient Egypt and Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt, both from Cornell.


"Demonstrating mastery of both primary texts and secondary sources, the author has constructed a convincing account of the origin, development, and influence of Hermeticism.... In addition to offering this very helpful guide, which includes lapidary synopses of the primary texts, the author is the first to recognize that by the early modern period two distinct subtraditions existed within Hermeticism, one philosophical-theological and the other alchemical. Recommended."

* Choice *

"Florian Ebeling's The Secret History of Hermes Trismegistus should be lauded for its innovative approach to the study of Hermeticism. The text is not only informative about areas of study often left neglected but also provides insight into the ideologies and processes that went into the development of various forms of Hermetic thought."

-- J. S. Kupperman * Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition *

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