The Tradition of Hermes Trismegistus

The Egyptian Priestly Figure as a Teacher of Hellenized Wisdom


In The Tradition of Hermes Trismegistus, Christian H. Bull argues that the treatises attributed to Hermes Trismegistus reflect the spiritual exercises and ritual practices of loosely organized brotherhoods in Egypt. These small groups were directed by Egyptian priests educated in the traditional lore of the temples, but also conversant with Greek philosophy. Such priests, who were increasingly dispossessed with the gradual demise of the Egyptian temples, could find eager adherents among a Greek-speaking audience seeking for the wisdom of the Egyptian Hermes, who was widely considered to be an important source for the philosophies of Pythagoras and Plato. The volume contains a comprehensive analysis of the myths of Hermes Trismegistus, a reevaluation of the Way of Hermes, and a contextualization of this ritual tradition.
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Biographical Note

Christian H. Bull, Ph.D. (2014), University of Bergen, is a Marie Curie research fellow at the University of Oslo and Princeton University. He has published several articles on the Hermetica and the Nag Hammadi Codices, as well as a book of Norwegian translations of the Corpus Hermeticum. He co-edited Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature (Brill, 2012).


Everyone interested in Hermetism, ancient astrology, Greco-Egyptian magic, Late Egyptian religion, and the Nag Hammadi Codices.