The Arabic Hermes: From Pagan Sage to Prophet of Science

The Arabic Hermes: From Pagan Sage to Prophet of Science

by Kevin van Bladel
     
 


This is the first major study devoted to the early Arabic reception and adaption of the figure of Hermes Trismegistus, the legendary Egyptian sage to whom were ascribed numerous works on astrology, alchemy, talismans, medicine, and philosophy. Before the more famous Renaissance European reception of the ancient Greek Hermetica, the Arabic tradition about Hermes… See more details below

Overview


This is the first major study devoted to the early Arabic reception and adaption of the figure of Hermes Trismegistus, the legendary Egyptian sage to whom were ascribed numerous works on astrology, alchemy, talismans, medicine, and philosophy. Before the more famous Renaissance European reception of the ancient Greek Hermetica, the Arabic tradition about Hermes and the works under his name had been developing and flourishing for seven hundred years. The legendary Egyptian Hermes Trismegistus was renowned in Roman antiquity as an ancient sage whose teachings were represented in books of philosophy and occult science. The works in his name, written in Greek by Egyptians living under Roman rule, subsequently circulated in many languages and regions of the Roman and Sasanian Persian empires. After the rise of Arabic as a prestigious language of scholarship in the eighth century, accounts of Hermes identity and Hermetic texts were translated into Arabic along with the hundreds of other works translated from Greek, Middle Persian, and other literary languages of antiquity. Hermetica were in fact among the earliest translations into Arabic, appearing already in the eighth century. This book explains the origins of the Arabic myth of Hermes Trismegistus, its sources, the reasons for its peculiar character, and its varied significance for the traditions of Hermetica in Asia and northern Africa as well as Europe. It shows who pre-modern Arabic scholars thought Hermes was and how they came to that view.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195376135
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
08/18/2009
Series:
Oxford Studies in Late Antiquity Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Part 1 - Background
Chapter 1 - Introduction
Chapter 2 - Hermes in Sasanian Iran
Chapter 3 - Hermes and the ??bians of ?arr?n
Appendix to Chapter 3. The ?arr?nians and India
Part 2 - History of the Arabic Hermes
Chapter 4 - The Three Hermeses
Chapter 5 - Hermes the Prophet
Chapter 6 - Conclusion: The Making of the Arabic Hermes
Bibliography
Preface
Part I: Background
1. Introduction
2. Hermes in Sasanian Iran
3. Hermes and the Sabians of Harran
Appendis to Chapter 3: The Harranians and India
Part II: History of the Arabic Hermes
4. The Three Hermeses
5. Hermes the Prophet
6. Conclusion: The Making of the Arabic Hermes
Bibliography

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >