By Garth Fowden
Sage, scientist, and sorcerer, Hermes Trismegistus was once the culture-hero of Hellenistic and Roman Egypt. A human (according to a couple) who had lived in regards to the time of Moses, yet now without a doubt a god, he was once credited with the authorship of diverse books on magic and the supernatural, alchemy, astrology, theology, and philosophy. until eventually the early 17th century, few doubted the attribution. even if unmasked, Hermes remained a byword for the arcane. Historians of old philosophy have wondered a lot over the origins of his mystical teachings; yet this is often the 1st research of the airtight milieu via a social historian.
Starting from the complicated fusions and tensions that molded Graeco-Egyptian tradition, and specifically Hermetism, in the course of the centuries after Alexander, Garth Fowden is going directly to argue that the technical and philosophical Hermetica, it seems that so assorted, may be noticeable as points of a unmarried "way of Hermes." This assumption that philosophy and faith, even cult, carry one ultimately to an analogous aim used to be usually past due old, and assured the Hermetica a far-flung readership, even between Christians. the point of interest and end of this research is an attack at the challenge of the social milieu of Hermetism.