Talk:Hermetica

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Can someone with more knowledge in this subject please write something about Hermes Emerald Tablet (or "Table") and how it relates to the Hermetica? The two confuse me all the time, is the Emerald Tablet part of the Hermetica or not? Nixdorf 19:31, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Hi Jmabel. I saw two problems with the phrase:

  1. What's a lineage? Does it mean some kind of semi-organized sect? Or just a continuous stream of thought? And was Hermetic thought really that continuous? I thought we could be more precise.
  2. How appropriate is 'Gnosticism'? Seems to me there's some overlap in style of thought and audience, but in general:
    1. Hermetica is a literary phenomenon, Gnosticism is a sect/family of sects.
    2. Hermetica gets started ~1st cent. AD, Gnosticism ~2nd-3rd cent. AD.
    3. Hermetica stays as pagan as it can, Gnosticism happily incorporates Jewish/Christian themes.

Nevertheless, this does bear discussion in the article. Your point about "non-Christian" is good, and right now is under-emphasized. In fact, there's very little about the original context of the texts. Any improvements would be welcome. Bacchiad 13:04, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)

In the recent major edits, was it deliberate to lose the remark about "a non-Christian lineage of Hellenistic Gnosticism"? If so, is this because it was considered false, or did someone just not like the remark? -- Jmabel 03:59, Jul 9, 2004 (UTC)

I'm not knowlegable enough to write too much here myself: what I know largely comes from reading Frances Yates on Giordano Bruno about 30 years ago, so I'm not going to be able to carry the ball. Nonetheless, I do think that it is important that part of the interest in the rediscovery of these works during the Renaissance came precisely from the fact that they were outside of Christian tradition. If someone is more solid on this, it would be good to get into the article. -- Jmabel 04:49, Jul 10, 2004 (UTC)

I've done some revisions that I think cover the Hermetica in antiquity better. If you want to pitch in some additional Yatesian stuff about the Hermetic/pagan revival in the Renaissance, that'd be great. Thanks for your comments. Bacchiad 07:14, 10 Jul 2004 (UTC)


"renaissance of syncretic thought"

I substituted "flourishing" because I thought "renaissance" in the general sense might lead to a confusion with "Renaissance" qua historical period. At least it did to my sleep-deprived eyes as I read it over just now. No biggy though. Bacchiad 19:49, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Golden Dawn[edit]

Should we really have the recently added link Golden Dawn Research Center? Looks pretty crackpotty to me. -- Jmabel | Talk 19:16, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)

Hasn't Hermetica been a crackpot magnet for almost 2000 years? --Wetman 21:44, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
No doubt. But this article should presumably not be on the crackpot side of it. -- Jmabel | Talk 23:30, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)
I'm with you. What should be done? --Wetman 23:55, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I will move it to Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn if it is not already there. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:49, Mar 11, 2005 (UTC)

Golden Dawn most famous member was Aliester Crowley.... I agree - a little crackpotty but a valid organization for many years.--Maa-Kheru 03:40, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

I have no problem at all with us having an article on the Golden Dawn; it's just that external links to Golden Dawn, O.T.O, etc. don't belong in the "Hermetica" article. - Jmabel | Talk 06:54, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

To different difinitions of "hermetically sealed"[edit]

This article says:

Among other things there are spells to magically protect objects, hence the origin of the term "Hermetically sealed".


The article "Hermetically sealed" says:

Hermes purportedly authored several books containing secrets of alchemy and mystic philosophy. One such secret contained in his works was how to create an airtight vessel. His "hermetically sealed" container employed the use of a vacuum pump.

Now these are two totally different origins of the phrase "hermetically sealed".

What is correct? --Abdull 09:15, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Ogdoad and Ennead[edit]

Recently added:

The mostly gnostic Nag Hammadi Library discovered in 1945 also contained one hermetic text previously not known to scholars. This treatise called "The Ogdoad and the Ennead" contains a very lively description of a hermetic initiation into gnosis, and has led to new perspectives on the nature of Hermetism as a whole, particularly due to the research of Jean-Pierre Mahé.

I'm confused, maybe because I'm far from expert, or maybe because this isn't quite right. I thought the "Ogdoad" and the "Ennead" were two separate texts, but this suggests they were a single text. Is this passage simply mistaken? Am I simply mistaken? Is there perhaps a modern text entitled "The Ogdoad and the Ennead" that miswording has suggested was ancient? or what? The lack of citation makes it impossible for me to follow up, myself. This must have come from somewhere. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:28, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

This is translated as "Discourse on the Eighth and the Ninth" - Nag Hammadi Codex VI, 6. Zeusnoos 18:01, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Yoshi's Cookie[edit]

What does Yoshi's Cookie have to do with Hermetica??? I'll replace it with Hermética, if someone has a good motive to have it, pleace add it to 'other uses'. Mariano(t/c) 07:47, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

From what I've read on the old Bullet-Proof Software website, the game Yoshi's Cookie is based off of another game called Hermetica. I can't find any other info. GLmathgrant 01:58, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Here's how I understand it, based on what I remember of an article in Nintendo Power: BPS developed a Super NES puzzle game called Hermetica. Nintendo became interested, struck a deal with BPS to reskin it with Mario graphics, and released it as Yoshi's Cookie. BPS published it on Super NES; Nintendo published it on all other systems. In fact, this split influenced the graphical style of the YC elements of Tetris DS. [1] --Damian Yerrick () 01:30, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Hermetism v. gnosis[edit]

The line "description of a hermetic initiation into gnosis" needs editing. I join Bacchiad above.--Connection 11:41, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Massive deletion[edit]

Connection, what was with this massive deletion? The edit summary "Sorry, it needs more research beyong the Corpus" is not much of an explanation. I'm not expert on the topic at hand, so I'm just asking questions, but much of what was deleted here seemed at least congruent with what little on the Hermetica I learned in college 30-odd years ago. Was it wrong? Covered elsewhere? or what? - Jmabel | Talk 22:41, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Th full extent of the blanking. --Wetman 02:31, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Wetman, The full extent of the blanking is repeated in Corpus Hermeticum. Now the chess game has moved backward. Would you push it foreward again? ;) --Connection 12:22, 30 June 2006 (UTC)


Thank you for consulting me and assuming good faith. The text is alright. It only reflects a confounding of Hermetica (as a system and literature), and of the Corpus Hermeticum (a specific text and known set of volumes). I simply tried to separate them in two articles. The latter, Corpus Hermeticum, has been created, where the "Massive deletion" has been moved. After the 02:29, 22 June 2006 edit, the same text is displayed in two locations. Please amend. I'll leave it to you.--Connection 23:54, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Hermetica is a set of texts, a literary genre. There was quite a lot of it. The Corpus Hermeticum is a specific subset of that genre established in the Renaissance. This is a whole/part distinction, not a one-thing/other-thing distinction. The text should remain. Bacchiad 00:06, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Connection, thanks for clarifying. Hope you don't mind that I will leave it to someone else to sort out whether the full duplication is OK or whether the text in this article should be trimmed. Yes, it is whole/part, still it might make sense for some of this to be only' in the more specific article, I don't have an opinion, I just wanted to make sure it wasn't lost. - Jmabel | Talk 00:12, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Why should there be two separate articles? Bacchiad 02:19, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

They need distinctively more development. It makes more sense. Above all, Corpus Hermeticum is important enough to have its own article. Further, the current article text is confusing whether it is describing the whole or the part. I rest.--Connection 12:14, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

You might be right about the two separate articles thing. I don't care to argue that one at length. What parts of the current article do you find confusing? Bacchiad 13:10, 30 June 2006 (UTC)


Especially early on, under "Dating", the text says:
  While they are difficult to date with precision, the texts of the Corpus were likely composed between the first and third centuries.
  During the Renaissance, these texts...
For the layman reader, the Corpus is understood generally as a "body of literature". It is not clear the description applies to the whole or the part. We need to point out that knowledge of the Whole is obscure/vague/whatever, and that there is specific set of texts known as Corpus Hermeticum that are available in print/online. That at the outset. Then, it will be better if the the reader is referred to the more detailed article of the Corpus Hermeticum.--Connection 01:00, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Move Corpus Hermeticum info to its own article?[edit]

Shouldn't we move the Corpus Hermeticum material to the actual article, Corpus Hermeticum? It seems that the same content is on both pages. 24.18.35.120 04:44, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps these two articles are actually one article. What would be the motivation of isolating Corpus Hermeticum from Hermetica? "Corpus Hermeticum is collection of several Greek texts from the second and third centuries, survivors from a more extensive literature, known as Hermetica." Isn't that quote correct? If there must be two articles, then each must be complete. It's unwise to cannibalize Wikipedia articles. --Wetman 22:40, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I've redirected it back, as there's more info here on Hermetica in general than in the other article, and the same info word-for-word from the other article is already here. MSJapan 02:42, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

I would like to reopen this discussion. Hermetica is a broader term than Corpus Hermeticum. CH is one distinct collection of 17 texts, whilst the category Hermetica also includes other texts as Asclepius, Emerald Tablet, The Eighth Reveals the Ninth, Kore Kosmou etc. Plus: there is also an interwikiproblem: some wp editions have an article on CH, some on Hermetica and (only?) nl:wp has to separate articles. Since en:wp is the wikipedia mother ship, it would be a great benefit for clarity in other language editions definitions of this matter (and for the iw) if these two terms to be separated and described separately. Bw Orland (talk) 10:26, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Authorship and audience[edit]

Doesn't the "Authorship and audience" section statement, "the pseudonymous authors considered themselves Egyptians rather than Alexandrian Greeks," seem to conflict with the rest of the article which repeatedly stresses portions are "Greek texts" with links to prior Greek movements. If it was written by Egyptians who considered themselves Egyptians, and it was written in Egypt, then would it not be Egyptian despite what was written in the Greek language? --151.201.147.150 (talk) 18:38, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Ralph Cudworth[edit]

It seems to me that there ought at least to be a mention of Ralph Cudworth, (True Intellectual System of the Universe 1678). That Casaubon could be mentioned at length with no consideration given to Cudworth's rebuttal seems inexplicable to me. As Egyptologist Jan Assmann has argued (Moses the Egyptian 1997), Cudworth successfully defended the Corpus Hermeticum against Casaubon's accusations of forgery. There is a great deal that can be said about the corpus that is not said in this article as it stands. StevenBTodd (talk) 14:30, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

(Cudworth is indeed correct.)--Wetman (talk) 17:10, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Original text[edit]

Does anyone know where I could find a copy of the original Greek text of the Corpus Hermeticum? If there is a website that contains it the link could be added here also. - Tomispev (talk) 11:33, 29 June 2010 (UTC)