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The Secret History of Hermes Trismegistus: Hermeticism from Ancient to Modern Times

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In this scholarly yet accessible introduction to the history of Hermeticism and its mythical founder, Florian Ebeling provides a concise overview of the Corpus Hermeticum and other writings attributed to Hermes. He traces the impact of Christian and Muslim versions of the figure in medieval Europe, the power of Hermeticism and Paracelsian belief in Renaissance thought, the relationship to Pietism and to Freemasonry in early modern Europe, and the relationship to esotericism and semiotics in the modern world.

Text of The Secret History of Hermes Trismegistus: Hermeticism from Ancient to Modern Times

  • ContentsForewardIntroduction01] Prehistory and Early History of a Phantasm01] What Are Hermetic Texts?02] The Hermetic Texts of Late Antiquity03] Hermes as Preacher of Theology and Philosophy04] Hermes: Astrologer, Magus, and Alchemist05] What Was Ancient Hermeticism?02] The Middle Ages: Christian Theology and "Antediluvian" Magic01] Christian Hermeticism02] Arab Hermeticism03] Hermes Latimus04] Traditions of Medieval Hermeticism03] Renaissance: Primeval Wisdom for a New World01] Tradition or Rediscovery?02] Hermeticism and Paracelsism03] Religious Hermeticism04] Two Paths of Hermeticism in the Early Modern Period04] Seventeenth Century: High Point and Decline01] Casaubon and the Dating of the Hermetic Texts02] Hermeticism and the Modern Natural Sciences03] Hermeticism and Pietism04] The Decrepitude of Hermeticism?05] Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: Between Occultism and Enlightenment01] Two German Editions of the Corpus Hermeticum02] Hermes Trismegistus in Freemasonry03] From Historical to Systematic Hermeticism06] Twentieth Century: Systems and Esoterica01] Julius Evola and Esoteric Hermeticism02] Umberto Eco's Hermetic Semiosis and Heinrich Rombach's HermeticismChronologyGlossarySelect BibliographyIndex