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Book Cover
Author Van Bladel, Kevin Thomas.

Title The Arabic Hermes : from pagan sage to prophet of science / Kevin van Bladel.

Published Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009.


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  135.45 VANB    AVAILABLE
Physical description xii, 278 pages ; 25 cm.
Series Oxford studies in late antiquity.
Oxford studies in late antiquity.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents 1. Introduction -- 2. Hermes in Sasanian Iran -- 3. Hermes and the Sabians of Harran -- 4. The three Hermeses -- 5. Hermes the prophet -- 6. Conclusion : the making of the Arabic Hermes.
Summary "This is the first major study devoted to the early Arabic reception and adaptation of the figure of Hermes Trismegistus, the legendary Egyptian sage to whom were ascribed numerous works on astrology, alchemy, talismans, medicine, and philosophy. The ancient Greek Hermetica, with which the tradition begins, are products of Roman Egypt of the second and third centuries CE. Thereafter, in late antiquity, they found a wide readership, both among pagans and Christians. Their ongoing popularity depended on the notion that Hermes had lived in extremely ancient times, perhaps before the Deluge; his antiquity endowed him with a pristine intellectual priority and made him attractive as an authority in religious arguments. Early Arabic literature, beginning in the eighth century, also includes detailed discussions of Hermes Trismegistus, both as a teacher of ancient legend and as the alleged author of works on the apocryphal sciences, especially astrology. Moreover, Hermes is imagined in Arabic as a prophet, lawgiver, and the founder of an ancient religion. In this book, Kevin van Bladel shows how the Arabic Hermes developed out of the earlier Greek and other late antique traditions into something new, which would in turn form part of the background to the later reception of the Greek Hermetica in the Italian Renaissance. Assembling information in Greek, Arabic, Syriac, and other primary sources, The Arabic Hermes will be of interest to scholars in many fields, including Classics, Arabic Studies, Iranian Studies, Egyptology, and Medieval and Renaissance Studies."--BOOK JACKET.
Subject Hermes, Trismegistus.
Hermes, Trismegistus -- Appreciation -- Arab countries.
Science, Ancient.
ISBN 9780195376135