Category Archives: Hermetica

The order of the treatises of the Corpus Hermeticum

Another problem that I ran into is the order of the treatises of the Corpus Hermeticum.
I thought that this order had long been fixed and agreed upon, but even fairly recent editions of the text, have different orders and different treatises even! I may have to let you down admitting that I own only two version of the text, which are the Dutch translation by Roelof van den Broek and Gilles Quispel (1990) who use the ‘official counting’ of I-XIV and XVI-XVIII, which I will explain lateron and the four books of Jan van Rijckenborgh (see below). Further, the internet, information of the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica by email (thank you Cis), the small library of the local temple of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum and later a book by Frank van Lamoen (see bookreviews section), have made me able to compare four other versions: Van Beyerland (1643), Everard (1650), Mead (1906), Van Rijckenborgh (1960-1965) and Copenhaver (1992, including Asclepius). read more

What are the Hermetic texts?

This article comes forth from a lack of (easily findable) information that I have been looking for and is the result of a series of adaptations and investigations during november 2003. There may still be changes still, but I think the information is fairly complete now. I had two ‘problems’ with Hermetic scriptures. Nowhere could I find a list with books ascribed to Hermes Trismegistus and second, the order of the ‘libelli’ and the content of the Corpus Hermeticum differs from translation to translation. read more

Hermetic concepts

Hermetism is becoming more and more popular. But how many people will be able to say much about what are the ideas that can be found within the Hermetic texts? I decided to take a few subjects and work them out with quotes from different texts. These texts are not by one author or one group of authors, so they may contradict eachother. This does not matter, because the underlying philosophy is always the same. For this comparison of concepts I used the Corpus Hermeticum, the Asclepius, the Hermetic texts from the Nag Hammadi library, the Stobaeus and Tertulianus fragments and De Castigatione Animae. For more information about Hermetic texts see my article on this subject. Of most the texts I have Dutch translations, and of almost all I also have English translations. For the quotes I mostly used the very literal translation of Walter Scott (1855-1925), sometimes I prefered my Dutch translations by Gilles Quispel and Roelof van den Broek (Q/VdB in the text). read more

Edda & Hermetica

For a long time I have wanted to read the myths of the North, but it was only until recently that I got so far. As you may have noticed in the book reviews section, I have gotten myself the poetic Edda and some other famous sagas. Also do I have one of these cheap-bookshop-books about Viking mythology. When I read the short version of the Viking tale of creation, I was struck by the likeness it has with some of the Hermetic creation-myths that I gave in my “Hermetic concepts” article. I couldn’t place the information of John Grant’s little book in my own library though. A quick investigation proved that most of the Northern mythology that we know comes from the so-called prose-Edda, also younger Edda (and the poetic Edda the older Edda) or Snorre/Snorra-Edda. This prose-Edda is the famous work of the Icelander Snorri Sturluson (1178-1241) with much more information than the later compiled (!) poetic Edda. For some reason this more important Edda is not available in my native language, BUT, I found two translations in English on the internet (see bottom of article) in order to make me able to make the correct references. read more