Hermetica II: The Excerpts of Stobaeus, Papyrus Fragments, and Ancient Testimonies in an English Translation with Notes and Introduction

Since the ’90s, the standard English translation of the Corpus Hermeticum has been Copenhaver’s Hermetica. It remains a very useful tool, but one way in which it is inferior to the competing translations in Corpus Hermeticum Deutsch (Colpe/Holzhausen) and the old warhorse Nock/Festugière is that it does not have the Hermetic fragments from Stobaeus, which have not been rendered into English since Scott, a century ago. The Stobaeus fragments are particularly important for understanding astrological and technical knowledge transmitted under the name of Hermes, as well as the ‘Egyptian’ character of Hermes Trismegistus (since some of the fragments get into Egyptian imagery more deeply than does the Corpus Hermeticum). A second volume of Hermetica that includes a new, English translation of the Stobaeus fragments has been a desideratum for some time.

And now it’s here, packaged with some extra goodies, courtesy of M. David Litwa. Description is as follows: “This volume presents in new English translations the scattered fragments and testimonies regarding Hermes Thrice Great that complete Brian Copenhaver’s translation of the Hermetica (Cambridge, 1992). It contains the twenty-nine fragments from Stobaeus (including the famous Kore Kosmou), the Oxford and Vienna fragments (never before translated), an expanded selection of fragments from various authors (including Zosimus of Panopolis, Augustine, and Albert the Great), and testimonies about Hermes from thirty-eight authors (including Cicero, Pseudo-Manetho, the Emperor Julian, Al-Kindī, Michael Psellus, the Emerald Tablet, and Nicholas of Cusa). All translations are accompanied by introductions and notes which cite sources for further reading. These Hermetic texts will appeal to a broad array of readers interested in western esotericism including scholars of Egyptology, the New Testament, the classical world, Byzantium, medieval Islam, the Latin Middle Ages, and the Renaissance.”

For more information, see the official website at Cambridge, here. To say I am looking forward to this volume would be an understatement.