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The Hermetica: Lost Wisdom of the Pharaohs (Anglais) Relié – 25 septembre 1997

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Présentation de l'éditeur

The first easily accessible translation of the esoteric writings that inspired some of the world?s greatest artists, scientists, and philosophers.

Here is an essential digest of the Greco-Egyptian writings attributed to the legendary sage-god Hermes Trismegistus (Greek for thrice-greatest Hermes)?a combination of the Egyptian Thoth and the Greek Hermes.

The figure of Hermes was venerated as a great and mythical teacher in the ancient world and was rediscovered by the finest minds of the Renaissance. The writings attributed to his hand are a time capsule of Egyptian and Greek esoteric philosophy and have influenced figures including Blake, Newton, Milton, Shelley, Shakespeare, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Jung.

Providing a fascinating introduction to the intersection of the Egyptian and Hellenic cultures and the magico-religious ideas of the antique world, The Hermetica is a marvelous volume for anyone interested in understanding the West?s roots in mystical thought. --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

Biographie de l'auteur

Timothy Freke is the author of many books on mystical philosophy, including The Tao Te Ching and, with Peter Gandy, The Complete Guide to World Mysticism. He lives in England. --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.3 étoiles sur 5 82 commentaires
97 internautes sur 102 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Classic Thought Made Accessible 19 août 2000
Par F. P. Kovacs - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I was wary of this book when I first purchased it, but to my delight it turned out to be the best introduction to the Hermes/Thoth literature available. Beyond the value of its clear and readable presentation of some of the oldest wisdom tracts in the Western World, the authors also briefly touch on the provinence of the works. Because the Hermes Corpus was declared a fraud in the 17th century, the heavy lifting required to point out that they are not is simply beyond the scope of this volume. But any reader who is intrigued by the material can go on and discover for themselves the story of Hermes and make their own judgement. I place the rediscovery of the Hermes Corpus on the same level as the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi texts, so this fine introductory volume should be considered by anyone interested in ancient literature and spirituality.
51 internautes sur 53 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 NOT the actual Hermetica, but a jumbled intro *about* it 1 novembre 2012
Par Yggdrasil - Publié sur
Format: Broché
This book is basically a chop shop version of the Corpus Hermeticum and Asclepius, with translated excerpts taken from various sources including other authors who have been inspired by Hermeticism instead of the original source material itself. If that's what you're interested in, so much the better, but the title is really misleading. It would be more appropriate to say this book is a composite of Hermetic and Hermetically-inspired teachings.

A number of the reviewers on here say they're newcomers to the Hermetica and that they really appreciated this approach, finding it simple and easier to digest. In fairness, I've been studying the Hermetica for years, so perhaps your needs and views will be different from mine. I do have to say, however, that I found this book very deficient. I suppose if you want to study this subject, you could compare this book to fast food.


1) The intros are written in clear English that anyone with a high school level education should be able to understand. If you don't give a toss for footnotes, you'll like that.
2) There's a list of sources in the back for further reading, should you wish to take your Hermetic studies further.
3) There's also a list of where this book was excerpted from, which I appreciated. This book is so drastically different from the actual Hermetica that when I first opened it, I did a double-take.


1) The most obvious: this is an assortment of excerpts *from* the Hermetica as well as *about* the Hermetica. It appears that the chapters are created by subject matter, which means Freke and Gandy pulled excerpts from various sources instead of keeping them in their original order (and in complete form instead of pulling excerpts and adding in stuff from other ancient authors). A glance at the source material in the back of the book confirmed this suspicion. I can't reiterate enough how much wisdom is lost in this version. It's a completely different document. In this book, you see what looks like poetry. The actual Hermetica is a series of conversations between Hermes and a god-being named Poimandres in a series of question-and-answer sessions, as well as between Hermes and his own students.
2) The decision to compile this book from a number of sources makes me question the translation, honestly, including the decision to refer to God as Atum. The authors claim it's because the concept of God is loaded in our society with certain conceptions that they wanted to avoid, but their word choice is poor. It's hard to explain if you haven't read the actual Hermetica, but basically Atum still misses the mark of fully encapsulating everything that Hermes Trismegistus was trying to say.

I can't hate on this book, because at least it's gotten people's appetites whetted for Hermeticism - which sounds like the original goal of Freke and Gandy. I love the Hermetica, but I'll be the first to say that it can be dense reading when you first open it. What Freke and Gandy have created is, in essence, a weak Cliff's Notes overview, and of course such a thing will always be lacking to the original. Evidently a number of reviewers have found value in this, so I can't dismiss that. But if you're looking for something with the original wisdom intact, or you've already read the actual Hermetica, you may find this book useless.

If you're interested in the genuine article, you should check out Hermetica: The Greek Corpus Hermeticum and the Latin Asclepius in a New English Translation, with Notes and Introduction. It's the best English language translation available today. The original writings are only 90 pages, with the rest of the book composed of a history and footnotes.

I prefer going straight to the source when studying something rather than having an author chop things up and take translation and editorial liberties on my behalf as Freke and Gandy have, but that's me. Obviously many reviewers here have appreciated their approach, so whether you like this book will probably depend on which approach you prefer.

I do hope, though, that even if you read Freke and Gandy's book, you will continue on to the original source material with Copenhaver's translation. There is so much in there that is missing in Freke and Gandy's book; if you think their book blew your mind, go to the source! In fact, I suggest that if and when you read Compenhaver's book, do so with a pen in hand and underline passages that particularly interest you, as well as take notes and jot down questions as you go. Believe me, you'll have a lot of them.
65 internautes sur 70 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Deliberate misinterpretations 15 janvier 2009
Par Serapis - Publié sur
Format: Broché
This is more a text "inspired by" the Greek and Latin Hermetica, and not a translation. For example, where the latin text has "deus", meaning of course "god", Freke & co. consistently translate as "Atum". Deus/theos in the Hermetica is not a proper name, but an honorific for the supreme principle, which is NEVER identified as the egyptian god Atum in the texts.
Buy instead "Hermetica" by Brian Copenhaver, or "The Way of Hermes" by Clement Salaman et al.
61 internautes sur 68 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Useful insight to source of religious thought 24 mai 2000
Par Mr P. J. Ruane - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I found this an interesting book. It begins with a history of the Hermetica, which is an ancient Egyptian religious/philosophical work, which gives an insight into the nature of God Man and the Universe. The analogies are very easy to follow and understand and give a new insight into what it's all about, and often fills many blanks left by other religions. The history also relates how the Greeks adopted the teachings and how during the last several thousand years the work has resurfaced from obscurity many times and each time caused a renaissance and advancement of mankind.
The original Hermetica is then presented in a condensed form which is designed to be easily read and accessable. This is a good method as it gives the reader the main ideas and if they like this form of philosophy they can then read the entire book Corpus Hermetica which is the whole teaching.
Despite being Egyptian texts, they predate the Isis/Osiris religion and are monothesist. It is surprising that few people are aware of the Corpus Hermetica which also predates the bible and old testament. Many ideas in more than one religion can be attributed to having roots in Hermetica. It is only beaten into first place as the oldest religious texts by the epic of Gilgamesh. Whilst many occult groups are referred to as being Hermetic, this does no justice to Hermetic thought which is easily compatable with most religions.
5 stars for making Corpus Hermetica easily accessable to the reader.
61 internautes sur 73 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 well sumaarized 1 janvier 2000
Par O. B. Makhubela - Publié sur
Format: Broché
The book is very easy to read and follow: which is the intention of the authors. The chapters are excellently introduced and short. I liked also the authors arguments that the Hermetica is an ancient Egyptian wisdom, and NOT Greek. Hermes is a Greek god equated to Tehuti: Tehuti (Egyptian) is the author of the "Hermetica", who is also called Thoth, or Hermes. The focus of the book is on the origin of existence and its intricacies. A good summarized book on Hermetic wisdom.
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