Aion: The Demiurge and the Destiny of Man in the Teachings of Hermes Trismegistus

 Aion, The Demiurge And Destiny Of Man In The Teachings Of Hermes Trismegistus

Aion: The Demiurge and the Destiny of Man in the Teachings of Hermes Trismegistus

The Hermetica are a collection of ancient texts composed in Egypt between roughly 200 BC and 400 AD, attributed to the legendary sage Hermes Trismegistus and his followers. As is well known to scholars of philosophy and the esoteric, Hermes Trismegistus was a literary fictional character, representing a merger of the Greek Hermes and Egyptian Thoth, both of whom were associated with communication between worlds and the journeys through the Otherworld in their respective mythologies. This perfectly suits the Hermetica, the product of a fusion of Middle Platonic and Egyptian philosophical and cosmological concepts occurring in Egypt during the Ptolemaic and Roman Imperial periods. There is also a strong Hebrew element in the Hermetica, resulting from the influence of the Septuagint and Jewish philosophers such as Philo Judaeus (20BC—70AD) in Alexandria, Egypt at the time of their composition.

Engraving of Mercurius Trismegistus from Pierre Mussard, Historia Deorum fatidicorum, Venice, (1675) (Public Domain)

Texts Of The Hermetica

The surviving philosophical Hermetica consist of the 17 Greek texts of the Corpus Hermeticum (CH), a collection of 29 Greek fragments preserved by Joannes Stobaeus (SH), a Latin translation of the lost Greek original of the Perfect Discourse known as the Asclepius (Ascl.), the Greek and Armenian Definitions of Hermes Trismegistus to Asclepius (DH), Coptic renditions of several Hermetic texts in codex 6 of the Nag Hammadi Library (NHC 6), and several fragments located in the Bodleian Library at Oxford (OH) and in Vienna (VH). While these “core” Hermetica date to between the first and fourth centuries AD, they may have been preceded by other treatises now lost, including the Physica of Hermes and the Panaretos. This is especially likely considering that astrological Hermetic texts have been dated to at least the second century BC.

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Ancient Origins Quotations