Talk:Hermes Trismegistus

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Added; 'is the eponymous author of the Hermetic Corpus, a sacred text belonging to the genre of divine revelation.' — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:41, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

Rennaisance Misconception[edit]

The reason people thought Trismegistus was the same as the Egyptian Thoth, or a conflation of Hermes and Thoth, was because the rennaisance interpreters of the Hermetica thought it predated the Platonism they found in the text. That has now been proven to be absolutely false but the fallacy that Trismegistus is Thoth-Hermes lives on. The sources quoted don't support the assertion in the preamble and should nbe removed or updated in line with the facts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:30, 14 September 2011 (UTC)


The Greek name is completely illegible from the version of Netscape I am using; it looks like a series of question marks. Compare this:

Michael Hardy 23:02 Mar 9, 2003 (UTC)

I should have repaired the Greek, if your system contains the proper fonts it should display propery. The math Greek letters are prettier than the & code Greek letters, but I don't think you can get uppercase with them. -- IHCOYC 02:24 Mar 27, 2003 (UTC)

There was also a King Hermaios, last king of (West?) Bactria around 100-70 BC. An arabic source says that Hermes Trismegistus was a "persian" king that was dethroned and then he escaped to Egypt. The account fits nicely here, as the Ptolemaic Egypt was at this time the only appropiate place for an hellenistic ruler to go.

Real kings, philosophers and ancient scientist tend to get deified or made into gods and legends. Zeus was probably a real living person and king too, I believe. It is a phenomena of ancient societies everywhere.--Jondel 23:27, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Or it could just be early folk etymology. It may even be a metaphor for how the beliefs got to Egypt (i.e. by travelling with settlers/refugees from bactria to egypt). -- 22:52, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)
My hypothesis is Ramses: the names "Ramses" is the same as "Ermes" ("Hermes" in Greek) from a Semitic language perspective (i.e., no vowels represented). Ramses is in fact RMS in old Egyptian, the final S being an emphatic S and so transliterated as a double S. Besides, it matches the description of "thrice great": "the greatest priest, philosopher and king" as described in the article. I do however think the memory of Hermes might have been assimilated the one from Thothmosis III (or Thutmes III, "ms" meaing the same as "mss" or "moses" = "son of"), one of the greatest kings of Egypt of all times. CAM (talk) 04:18, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Concluding words 'and the like' a bit disparaging, must be a better way of saying etc.

Thoth is Greek as well. The Egyptian name for Thoth is DJHUTY or DJHOWTEY. Manly Hall in his book "Secret Teachings of All Ages" writes that "...he was known to the Jews as "Enoch"...". Aknxy 22:29, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)

The better way of saying "etc." is "et cetera" -- 22:54, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)

It looks like your Bactrian King was called 'saviour' BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣTHPOΣΣV EPMAIOV (= of the King Hermaios the Saviour), from an inscription on a coin. This makes him a better candidate for the Historical Trismegistos than the Thoth-Hermes of rennaisance occultists. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:46, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

Hermes /Toth was an engineer from the destroyed Atlantis and was an incarnation of Jesus Christ.[edit]

Something I'd like to add but need comments on.: An Edgar Cayce reading indicates that Toth or Hermes was an incarnation of Jesus Christ. He built the Great Cheops Pyramid.See List of incarnations of Jesus Christ, according to Edgar Cayce --Jondel 01:54, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Before Jesus was born in the first place? Isnt that a bit silly? -- 22:53, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Jesus said before Abraham was,' I am '. Are you contradicting him?--Jondel 04:32, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I suspect Cayce was thinking instead of Brian Boitano. I'm not exactly sure if Cayce's speculations are notable enough to warrant inclusion, but if so that business ought to be clearer. Smerdis of Tlön 11:38, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)

To , sorry for being to confrontational/ antagonistic. I respect your beliefs but I would like to invite you to discuss more (if you are willing to the limits). To Smerdis if it is voted -not encyclopedic/notable , I will comply and not push to have the list of reincarnations of JC on wikipedia. Boitano? The figure skater or character in South Park?Don't see the connection. --Jondel 00:20, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)

"When Brian Boitano built the pyramids, he beat up Kubla Khan." I thought everyone knew. Smerdis of Tlön 02:32, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I wish I could have seen that episode of South Park here in Tokyo. I enjoy it but the videos available for rent are limited.--Jondel 02:41, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Latin name[edit]

Mercurius Ter Maximus. Alexander 007 11:42, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)


Aside from employing the name "Trismegistus", does the following have any relevance here at all?

"Trismegistus" is the name of the fourth volume of the anime series .hack//Liminality, the last and most pivotal section of the ".hack" video game/anime/novel multi-marketting lore. It came coupled along with the fourth PS2 game in the series, .hack//QUARANTINE (Japanese: .hack//絶対包囲 Vol.4 [Absolute Encirclement – Vol.4])."

Greek, again[edit]

The Greek text provided doesn't translate as 'Thoth' thrice great, it reads 'Hermes' thrice greatest. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:34, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

I believe the Greek should be ῾Ερμῆς Τρισμέγιστος, or ῾Ερμῆς ὁ Τρισμέγιστος with the breath and stress marks. Khiradtalk 00:48, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

According to Copenhaver, the earliest recorded instance (whether in Egyptian or Greek) is actually 'Hermes megistou kai megistou theou magalou' - Thoth thrice great, or, more accurately, two superlative forms of great followed by a positive form of the same word. See, Brian Copenhaver, Hermetica, Cambridge University Press, 1992, p xiv. I didn't put it in Greek letters as I can't do that presently. Sorry. Maybe someone else can do this?
Morgan Leigh 11:57, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

"He has also been identified with Enoch"[edit]

This statement is limited to Swedenborgians, is it not? A confusion of The Vision with the Book of Enoch? This unsourced statement shouldn't bev in the opening paragraph. Anyone have anything clearer to say on this pretended connection? --Wetman 05:16, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

The identification with Enoch is discussed (though not endorsed) by William Baldwin in his Treatise of Morall Philosophie of 1547. But Enoch is just one among several Biblical figures with whom an identification has been suggested: others that I've seen include Joseph and Moses.Hce1132 13:26, 3 January 2007 (UTC) - 06:44, 10 November 2007 (UTC)


I have removed this;

Occultist etymology has connected the two, making of Moses a truncated name and positing a full name, Thothmoses. This is presented in the royal hostage thesis below.

Because there is no mention of any royal hostage thesis anywhere in this article. Morgan Leigh 00:09, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

There was one in an earlier article version circa 2003, the royal hostage theory is one that explained Moses' non-Hebrew name as an abbreviation for Thothmoses ... - Sparky 04:48, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
I looked through the history, but couldn't find it (I might have missed it). Do you know if the theory goes by another name or where we can find a citation? It sounds familiar, but I can't quite place it. —Viriditas | Talk 05:14, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
It was there. odd. All I traced was the below -
Hermes Trismegistus is the latin name for "Hermes the thrice-greatest" derived from Ερμης ο Τρισμεγιστος, the Greek name of the Egyptian god Thoth (the god of wisdom and writing). Sometimes referred to as the god, sometimes as a man contemporary to Moses, who was son of the god. According to some, the historic Moses' full name as a royal hostage was Thothmoses. - Sparky 06:54, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Minor edit[edit]

I removed the reference to HT being the founder of the Order of Hermes in the Ars Magica game because he simply isn't. In the Ars Magica game the Order of Hermes has 13 Founders, and none of them are HT. This may not be true in M:tA, which is now owne3d by a different company, where the history of the Order of Hermes differs.

section 7 - New Age revival[edit]

thought this page was generally excellent and informative, but the seventh jumpdown "New Age revival" doesn't cite any refernences and seemed out of character with the rest of the page TopDrawerSausage (talk) 11:42, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Agree. This section needs work by a specialist. Estéban (talk) 11:14, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
Any section that connects Hermeticism to the New Age should be mainly about astrology. Not many people are practicing theurgy or alchemy these days, but lots are checking their horoscope. DesertRat262 (talk) 00:40, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Hermes Trismegistus and the Holy Spirit[edit]

As part of a research on the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus in the ­Holy Trinity, I was lead to the story of Metatron, which is related to Enoch, which is also related to Hermes Trismegistus. It's difficult to explain how all these things could be related, but they certainly ought to be explained in a clearer fashion. Anyways, the story of Enoch is often misunderstood and would need to be better explained either on Wikipedia or somewhere else. ADM (talk) 20:25, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Athenagora & Philo of Byblos Reference[edit]

Unable to locate the following information at source cited : "Fowden however asserts that the earliest occurrence of the name was in the Athenagora by Philo of Byblos circa 64–141 CE[4]. " Originally said "Philos", but corrected. This is erroneously connected to Athenagora which probably should be Athenagoras. Due to inability to locate source, unsure how to correct this statement. Possibly the page number is for a different version or printing, but still not finding mention of Philo authoring something called Athenagora. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Arroxane (talkcontribs) 17:05, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

I have found the Fowden reference and fixed the relevant sentence. Philo of Byblos was correct — Fowden says that Philo of Byblos and Athenagoras are the earliest references. Page number was also incorrect.
Carhutt (talk) 15:11, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

Contesting a basic contention of the article[edit]

from the section "Hermetic Writings," I quote

however after Casaubon’s dating of the Hermetic writings as no earlier than the second or third century CE, the whole of Renaissance Hermeticism collapsed.[21]

I would question this contention, as certainly there were some practitioners who either never heard or never agreed with Casaubon's assessment. As a more honest and realistic argument, though, is that the sheer impossibility of disentangling hermeticism (unless so strictly defined as to almost negate hermeticism itself as a movement), from the Kabbalistic, alchemical, and religious perspectives on both sides of the Reformation which it was so bound up with, it is likewise nearly impossible to attribute its disintegration to one source. This far-reaching conclusion needs multiple attestation to put forward such a specific claim. No historian of the American Civil War would agree, for instance, that that war ended solely because "Lincoln was president." (talk) 01:55, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

I will say, upon further reading, that Frances Yates generally concurs with the article's statement but tenders the same serious disagreements I offer in GIORDANO BRUNO AND THE HERMETIC TRADITION, circa page 60. She notes, in addition, that this amalgamated movement had not still not spent itself by the dawning of the 18th century. (talk) 08:57, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Egyptian Hermes?[edit]

This whole article is uncorroborated speculation deriving from the rennaisance wish to believe that Hermes Trismegistus was an ancient Egyptian sage that pre-dated Moses. There are no references to Egypt in the Hermetica and many of the books are not even ascribed to Trismagistus, most appear to be dialogue between Hermes and his son Asklepios. Syncretised deities used both names of the syncretised gods such as Zeus-Ammon or Osiris-Apis, the idea that Trismegistus is Hermes-Thoth is therefore unfounded. The whole Hermetic corpus has a distinctly Greek flavor from the language it was written in to the personages mentioned in it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:40, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

We'll need to cite reliable sources in any revision of the article. /ninly(talk) 15:59, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Just to name a few sources: the book The Secret Lore of Egypt: Its Impact on the West by Erik Hornung briefly describes how Hermeticism evolved from the Egyptian cult of Thoth in its sixth chapter. The paper "Preliminary Remarks on the Demotic 'Book of Thoth' and the Greek Hermetica" in the journal Vigiliae Christianae (Vol. 50, No. 4, 1996) examines the possible relationship between a late Egyptian text and the Hermetic dialogues. Hermes Trismegistus definitely has Egyptian roots. And Asklepios is Imhotep, by the way. A. Parrot (talk) 00:47, 10 June 2011 (UTC)


"The date of his sojourn in Egypt in his last incarnation is not now known, but it has been fixed at the early days of the oldest dynasties of Egypt, long before the days of Moses. Some authorities regard him as a contemporary of Abraham, and some Jewish traditions go so far as to claim that Abraham acquired a portion of his mystical knowledge from Hermes himself (Kybalion)."

What sort of citation is this? First off, last incarnation according to whom? Second, a contemporary of Abraham and "authorities"? Thirdly, The Kybalion, a new thought book written in 1911-- why is it considered a Jewish tradition? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:46, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

Adam and Eve???[edit]

The article currently says that there was a myth circulating that Hermes was the grandson of Adam and Eve and built the pyramids. It is uncited. This should be taken out. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Astrohoundy (talkcontribs) 07:45, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

There were traditions that equated Hermes Trismegistus with Enoch (ancestor of Noah), and probably therefore with Enoch (son of Cain), and that attribute the Great Pyramid to him. If I remember correctly from The Arabic Hermes (2009) by Kevin Van Bladel, those traditions emerged in the Islamic world based on misreadings of misreadings of ancient chroniclers and biblical apocryphal books. But it's really complicated and should be explained much more thoroughly if it's included. A. Parrot (talk) 19:00, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

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