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Roelof van den Broek

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.

Corpus Hermeticum + Asclepius * translated and elucidated by Gilles Quispel and Roelof van den Broek (isbn 9071608077 + 9071608085)

This is a review for Dutch visitors. There are also good English versions of the Corpus Hermeticum and Asclepius, but never did I see a version as wonderfull as these Dutch translations by our own expert Gilles Quispel. He made very well readable translations and each of the 17 tractates of the Corpus comes with a lengthy explanation. Further there is a great introduction speaking of the Hermetic tradition and the history of the translations. Asclepius is introduced, translated and elucidated per chapter of this lenghty manuscript.

The Corpus is a collection of tractates that are ascribed to the Egyptian god Tehuti/Thoth that the Greek identified with their own God of Wisdom Hermes. Asclepius is a longer text giving an account of Hermes teaching his student Asclepius. Both texts contain deep and ancient knowledge and are still very helpfull today.
If you want to know more about the Hermetic tradition, please read the article in the series “the Esoteric Tradition(s) from the West” (part III).

Read Hermetic quotes here.