HERMES TRISMEGISTUS AND THE ORIGINS OF GNOSTICISM BY GILLES QUISPEL Dedicated to Joost R. Ritman mercurial agathodaimon Armenian Hermes In 1982 Jean-Pierre Mahe published his French translation of an Armenian gnomology entitled Definitions of Hermes Trismegistus to Asclepius. This contained the following Saying: Who knows himself, knows the All.' Hermes was held to be an ancient Egyptian, but this saying of his was in tune with Greek philosophy. The temple of Delphi admonished its visitors to know themselves. And according to the Stoic philosopher Poseidonios of Apameia man should follow always and at all times the daimon within us, the Logos, who is akin to and of the same nature as the Daimon without, the Pneuma or God who pervades the universe.2 2 The Hermetic Saying can easily be older than the Poimandres. This writing describes how Anthropos descends from the world of God above to create, but falls in love with lower nature and falls into matter. Nature then brings forth the bodies after the shape (eidos) of Anthropos (17).3 The background of this myth has become completely clear in recent research.4 The prophet Ezekiel described the Glory of God in the form of a man, the
Vigiliae Christianae – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1992
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