By Clement Salaman
"The Asclepius" is considered one of philosophical books ascribed to the mythical sage of historical Egypt, Hermes Trismegistus, who used to be believed in classical and renaissance occasions to have lived almost immediately after Moses. The Greek unique, misplaced due to the fact that classical instances, is believed to this point from the second or third century advert. notwithstanding, a Latin model survived, of which this quantity is a translation. Like its spouse, the "Corpus Hermeticum" (also released by means of Duckworth as "The manner of Hermes"), the "Asclepius" describes the main profound philosophical questions within the type of a talk approximately secrets and techniques: the character of the only, the position of the gods, and the stature of the individual. not just does this paintings provide non secular assistance, however it can be a helpful perception into the minds and feelings of the Egyptians in historical and classical occasions. the various perspectives expressed additionally mirror Gnostic ideals which handed into early Christianity.
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Additional info for Asclepius : the perfect discourse of Hermes Trismegistus
One of these features the goddess Isis apparently instructing Moses on one side of her and Hermes on the other (Fig. 5). 41 Asclepius In the second half of the sixteenth century scholars began to doubt the antiquity of the Hermetic texts and finally Isaac Casaubon, in 1614, convinced most scholars that the texts and content of the Corpus and Asclepius dated from the Christian era. This was still the view of Nock and Festugière, who pub- 42 Introduction 43 Asclepius lished an excellent critical edition of the Corpus and Asclepius shortly after World War II.
The Picatrix, like the Asclepius, begins with intimations that profound secrets are to be revealed. The truth is One: ‘all things come from it, and through it receive truth and unity in the perpetual movement of generation and corruption. There is a hierarchy in things, and lower things are raised to higher things. ’54 Through the medium of 36 Introduction astrology and theurgy in the Picatrix many would have learnt the principles of Plato and Hermes. Perhaps the true magic of Trismegistus was to combine these subjects with philosophy (a practice he condemns).
Corpus Hermeticum, 5,11; 11,20. 13. Ibid. 14. , 11; cf. Plato, Republic, X, 614-21. 15. Asclepius, 22. 16. , 11. 17. , 16. 18. , 28. 19. Asclepius, 13; cf. Plato, Timaeus, 34-6. The proportions of established musical scales express this reminder of unity. The exemplar of these scales is described by Plato when he discusses the formation of the world soul. The subjects touched upon in this paragraph – geometry, arithmetic, music and astronomy – were central to the curriculum of Plato’s Academy and became known as the Quadrivium in the Middle Ages.