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The Hermetica: The Lost Wisdom of the Pharaohs Paperback – December 26, 2008


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The Hermetica: The Lost Wisdom of the Pharaohs + The Kybalion: A Study of The Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece + The Emerald Tablet Of  Hermes & The Kybalion: Two Classic Bookson Hermetic Philosophy
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; Original edition (December 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158542692X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585426928
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Greek, Latin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Timothy Freke is the author of many books on mystical philosophy, including The Tao Te Ching and, with Peter Gandy, The Complete Guide to World Mysticism. He lives in England.

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Customer Reviews

It took a long time to get it but I love the book.
ageesang
I can't hate on this book, because at least it's gotten people's appetites whetted for Hermeticism - which sounds like the original goal of Freke and Gandy.
Yggdrasil
The book is very easy to read and follow: which is the intention of the authors.
O. B. Makhubela

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 79 people found the following review helpful By F. P. Kovacs on August 18, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was wary of this book when I first purchased it, but to my delight it turned out to be the best introduction to the Hermes/Thoth literature available. Beyond the value of its clear and readable presentation of some of the oldest wisdom tracts in the Western World, the authors also briefly touch on the provinence of the works. Because the Hermes Corpus was declared a fraud in the 17th century, the heavy lifting required to point out that they are not is simply beyond the scope of this volume. But any reader who is intrigued by the material can go on and discover for themselves the story of Hermes and make their own judgement. I place the rediscovery of the Hermes Corpus on the same level as the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi texts, so this fine introductory volume should be considered by anyone interested in ancient literature and spirituality.
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Mr P. J. Ruane on May 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
I found this an interesting book. It begins with a history of the Hermetica, which is an ancient Egyptian religious/philosophical work, which gives an insight into the nature of God Man and the Universe. The analogies are very easy to follow and understand and give a new insight into what it's all about, and often fills many blanks left by other religions. The history also relates how the Greeks adopted the teachings and how during the last several thousand years the work has resurfaced from obscurity many times and each time caused a renaissance and advancement of mankind.
The original Hermetica is then presented in a condensed form which is designed to be easily read and accessable. This is a good method as it gives the reader the main ideas and if they like this form of philosophy they can then read the entire book Corpus Hermetica which is the whole teaching.
Despite being Egyptian texts, they predate the Isis/Osiris religion and are monothesist. It is surprising that few people are aware of the Corpus Hermetica which also predates the bible and old testament. Many ideas in more than one religion can be attributed to having roots in Hermetica. It is only beaten into first place as the oldest religious texts by the epic of Gilgamesh. Whilst many occult groups are referred to as being Hermetic, this does no justice to Hermetic thought which is easily compatable with most religions.
5 stars for making Corpus Hermetica easily accessable to the reader.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Serapis on January 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is more a text "inspired by" the Greek and Latin Hermetica, and not a translation. For example, where the latin text has "deus", meaning of course "god", Freke & co. consistently translate as "Atum". Deus/theos in the Hermetica is not a proper name, but an honorific for the supreme principle, which is NEVER identified as the egyptian god Atum in the texts.
Buy instead "Hermetica" by Brian Copenhaver, or "The Way of Hermes" by Clement Salaman et al.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Yggdrasil on October 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is basically a chop shop version of the Corpus Hermeticum and Asclepius, with translated excerpts taken from various sources including other authors who have been inspired by Hermeticism instead of the original source material itself. If that's what you're interested in, so much the better, but the title is really misleading. It would be more appropriate to say this book is a composite of Hermetic and Hermetically-inspired teachings.

A number of the reviewers on here say they're newcomers to the Hermetica and that they really appreciated this approach, finding it simple and easier to digest. In fairness, I've been studying the Hermetica for years, so perhaps your needs and views will be different from mine. I do have to say, however, that I found this book very deficient. I suppose if you want to study this subject, you could compare this book to fast food.

Pros:

1) The intros are written in clear English that anyone with a high school level education should be able to understand. If you don't give a toss for footnotes, you'll like that.
2) There's a list of sources in the back for further reading, should you wish to take your Hermetic studies further.
3) There's also a list of where this book was excerpted from, which I appreciated. This book is so drastically different from the actual Hermetica that when I first opened it, I did a double-take.

Cons:

1) The most obvious: this is an assortment of excerpts *from* the Hermetica as well as *about* the Hermetica.
Read more ›
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57 of 68 people found the following review helpful By O. B. Makhubela on December 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
The book is very easy to read and follow: which is the intention of the authors. The chapters are excellently introduced and short. I liked also the authors arguments that the Hermetica is an ancient Egyptian wisdom, and NOT Greek. Hermes is a Greek god equated to Tehuti: Tehuti (Egyptian) is the author of the "Hermetica", who is also called Thoth, or Hermes. The focus of the book is on the origin of existence and its intricacies. A good summarized book on Hermetic wisdom.
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63 of 79 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
Unfortunately this is a terribly pointless book that splices questionable "translations" of arbitrary excerpts from the corpus hermeticum together to make up a whole new series of poems. The relationship between these poems to the original ideas is left unclear, and you must basically rely on the understanding and synthesis of the ideas by the authors. Given any book and one can splice random segments together to say just about anything, and the qualifications of the authors seem unclear at best. What is unfortunately clear is that they mostly want to sell the book to silly new agers, not to anyone who may have a serious interest in the original ideas and their sources, which are an interesting multi-cultural mishmash of late pagan neoplatonism, Christianity and yes, local but very degenerated Egyptian folk ideas. The arguments about the relationship to very ancient Egyptian ideas is totally feeble, and has no basis is fact. What is clear is there are no sources in the actual (and extensive) ancient Egyptian texts that have survived that give any credence to the hypothesis that real corpus hermeticum is some kind of faithful transmission of ancient Egyptian ideas (especially not from the time of the old kingdom) much less this hopelessly re-edited mishmash. If you want to learn about real ancient Egyptian religious ideas about the cosmos there are plenty of translations of the real thing. If you are interested in the origin of hermetic ideas you would be better off buying another book, either a real translation, or any honest book on the subject.Read more ›
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