Brill’s New Pauly Supplements II - Volume 8 : The Reception of Antiquity in Renaissance Humanism

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Hermetica
(2,461 words)

A. Concept and ancient origins

H. denotes a tradition of esoteric knowledge that was very highly regarded, particularly among Renaissance Humanists, because it was believed to feed from the oldest fount of wisdom, that of Ancient Egypt. The name Hermes Trismegistus refers to the Ancient Egyptian god Thoth, whom the Humanists held to be the unadulterated source of the primal wisdom that was later recorded in writing in the so-called Corpus Hermeticum (= C. H.). In historical fact, this corpus is a collection of 18 treatises, mostly of religious philosophy, origin…

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Auffarth, Christoph (Bremen), “Hermetica”, in: Brill’s New Pauly Supplements II - Volume 8 : The Reception of Antiquity in Renaissance Humanism, English edition by Chad M. Schroeder (2017). Original German-language edition: Renaissance-Humanismus. Herausgegeben von Manfred Landfester. Serie: Der Neue Pauly Supplemente 2. Staffel, herausgegeben von Manfred Landfester und Helmuth Schneider, vol. 9. Stuttgart, Germany. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH (2014). Consulted online on 16 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2468-3418_bnps8_SIM_004876>
First published online: 2015



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