Atlantis Online
September 20, 2019, 07:22:46 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Satellite images 'show Atlantis'
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3766863.stm
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

HERMES/THOTH AND HERMETICISM throughout the Ages

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: HERMES/THOTH AND HERMETICISM throughout the Ages  (Read 7520 times)
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« on: June 08, 2007, 12:07:48 am »



THE HERMETIC WRITINGS
                                                               
                             
The original number of Hermetic writings must have been considerable. A good many of these were lost during the systematic destruction of non-Christian literature that took place between the fourth and sixth centuries A.D. Ancient writers often indicate the existence of such works: in the first century A.D., Plutarch refers to Hermes the Thrice-Greatest; the third-century Church Father Clement of Alexandria says that the books of Hermes treat of Egyptian religion;5 and Tertullian, Iamblichus, and Porphyry all seem to be acquainted with Hermetic literature. Scott shows how the ancient Middle Eastern city of Harran harbored both Hermeticists and Hermetic books into the Muslim period.
                                                                 A thousand years later, in 1460, the ruler of Florence, Cosimo de' Medici, acquired several previously lost Hermetic texts that had been found in the Byzantine Empire. These works were thought to be the work of a historical figure named Hermes Trismegistus who was considered to be a contemporary of Moses. Translated by the learned and enthusiastic Marsilio Ficino and others, the Hermetic books soon gained the attention of an intelligentsia that was starved for a more creative approach to spirituality than had been hitherto available.

The most extensive collection of Hermetic writings is the Corpus Hermeticum, a set of about seventeen short Greek texts. Another collection as made by a scholar named John Stobaeus in the firth century A.D. Two other, longer texts stand alone. The first is the Asclepius, preserved in a Latin translation dating probably from the third century A.D. The second takes the form of a dialogue between Isis and Horus and has the unusual title of Kore Kosmou, which means "daughter of the world."

The reaction of the Christian establishment to these writings was ambivalent. It is true that they were never condemned and were even revered by many prominent ecclesiastics. An authoritative volume of the Hermetic books was printed in Ferrara in 1593, for example. It was edited by one Cardinal Patrizzi, who recommended that these works should replace Aristotle as the basis for Christian philosophy and should be diligently studied in schools and monasteries. The mind boggles at the turn Western culture might have taken had Hermetic teachings replaced Aristotelian theology of Thomas Aquinas as the normative doctrine of the Catholic Church!
                                      Such, however, was not to be. One of the chief propagandists of Hermeticism, the brilliant friar Giordano Bruno, was burnt at the stake as a heretic in 1600, and although others continued with their enthusiasm for the fascinating teachings of the books of Hermes, the suspicions and doubts of the narrow-minded continued to dampen any general ardor.

By the seventeenth century, the Hermetic books had enjoyed intermittent popularity in Europe for some 150 years. The coming of the Protestant Reformation and the ensuing religious strife, however, stimulated a tendency toward rationalistic orthodoxy in all quarter. Another factor was the work of the scholar Isaac Casaubon, who used internal evidence in the texts to prove that they had been written, not by a contemporary of Moses, but early in the Christian era.7

By the eighteenth century, the Hermetic teachings were totally eclipsed, and the new scholarship, which prided itself on its opposition to everything it called "superstition," took a dim view of this ancient fountainhead of mystical and occult lore. There wasn't even a critical, academically respectable edition of the Corpus Hermeticum until Walter Scott's Hermetica appeared in 1924.

If one needs an example of how egregiously academic scholarship can err and then persist in its errors, one need only contemplate the "official" scholarly views of the Hermetic books over the 150-year period up to the middle of the twentieth century. The general view was that these writings were Neoplatonic or anti-Christian forgeries, of no value to the study of religion. By the middle of the nineteenth century, such scholars as Gustave Parthey8 and Louis Menard9 began to raise objections to the forgery theory, but it took another 50 years for their views to gain a hearing.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2007, 03:00:38 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.


Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy