Supposedly Hermes Trismegistus
was the scribe of the gods who authored the sacred hermetic works that described the material world as well as the quest for spiritual perfection.
Van den Kerchove, a specialist in Coptic and Late Antique religions, has written a trenchant account of the rituals and healing practices associated with the god Hermes Trismegistus
in Late Antique Egypt.
The book contained diagrams and tracts about 'resurrection stones', strange configurations of the Tarot, Hiramic magic, Thoth Hermes Trismegistus
, and other obscure occult matters.
Curran gives more particular attention to the Corpus Hermeticum, works of the first to third centuries that were presented as Greek translations of the Egyptian sage Hermes Trismegistus
, and to the Hieroglyphica, probably the work of the later fifth-century Alexandrian Horapollo the Younger, as well as to Macrobius's Saturnalia of the beginning of the fifth century.
In The Secret History of Hermes Trismegistus
, Florian Ebeling sets out to survey primary sources, along the way correcting or clarifying a number of longstanding historiographical issues.
the word hermetic is derived from a mortal being, the Egyptian sage Hermes Trismegistus
, who reportedly succeeded in hermetically closing a glass tube by means of a mysterious airtight seal.
Along with these, the Corpus Hermeticum, a collection of late texts related to Hermes Trismegistus
(Thoth "Thrice Great") had considerable influence.
Hornung details how, through a process of syncretic fusion, Greek perceptions of the god Thoth and various Egyptian sages took shape in the pantheistic figure of Hermes Trismegistus
, who, over the centuries, would come to be viewed by dozens of esoteric traditions as the source of all learning.
An addict of astrology, she next fell for the Hermetic School, the traditional lore of Hermes Trismegistus
, a fabricated figure who never existed; and finally for the fantasy world of Rosicrucianism.
The Spanish lawyer Antonio Agustin dared to denounce Francesco Colonna's dreamy Hypnerotomachia Poliphili as a "boring novel"; his younger contemporary Isaac Casaubon (the same Casaubon who gleefully unmasked the texts of Hermes Trismegistus
as late antique syncretism rather than primordial wisdom) suspected no less than the Emperor Augustus of boasting in his Res Gestae.
Magia, alchimia, scienza dal '400 al '700: L'influsso di Ermete Trismegisto / Magic, Alchemy and Science: The Influence of Hermes Trismegistus