Skip to content

Hermes Trismegistus * Roelof van den Broek (transl.) (2006 in de pelikaan * isbn 9071608220/9789071608223)

After the magnificent publications of the Corpus Hermeticum in Dutch (1990 Quispel and Van den Broek) and Asclepius (1995 Quispel), Van den Broek now offers smaller Hermetic texts in Dutch translation with lengthy and informative explanations. This book even contains some Hermetic texts that I didn’t have yet. You will find the Stobaeus fragments, the two short and heavily damaged fragments of Wien/Vienna, the Oxford Hermetica (Bodleian Library, Clarkianus 11), Greek and Latin “testimonia” (other writers refer to or quote Hermes Trismegistus) of Tertullianus, Julius Romanus, Lactantius, pseudo-Cyprianus, Jamblichus, Zosimus, Marcellus of Ancyra, Julianus ‘the deserter’, Didymus the Blind, pseudo-Didymus the Blind, Cyrillus of Alexandria, Hermias of Alexandria, Johannes (John) Lydus, Johannes (John) of Damascus and Symphonia; then we also have the Hermetic Definitions and the text about the eight and ninth heavenly sphere (or about the Octoade and the Enneade) from the Nag Hammadi library. Stobaeus has shorter and longer fragments, the Vienna and Oxford fragments are rather short, but the Hermetic Definitions is almost an ongoing text in which Hermes speaks to Asclepius. “About the octoade and the enneade” is the famous text that proved that Hermetica wasn’t just dry philosophising, but that it also had magical and initiatory sides. Van den Broek has written an enormous introduction with old, but also new information. Every translation is introduced and full of notes (with a strange referring system). The close off, there is a gigantic bibliography. Also I have to note that Jean-Pierre Mahé, the famous French publisher of Hermetic texts, has helped with the Armenian texts. An essential compilation of Hermetic texts in size far exceeding both the Corpus Hermeticum and the Asclepius. Not all quotes and texts are interesting, but especially the “Hermetic Definitions” are again beautiful. Also Van den Broek has some theories about the strings of vocals, which I am going to add to some articles in which this subject is touched upon.
(17/1/07 -4-)
Read Hermetic quotes here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *