Sacred Texts  Gnosticism and Hermetica  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

Thrice-Greatest Hermes, Vol. 2, by G.R.S. Mead, [1906], at



The loss of the end of the previous sermon, and also the loss of almost the whole of (xvii.), is to be accounted for by the falling out of one or more quires from the original MS. of our Corpus, 4 a phenomenon similar to that already remarked in the case of C. H., ii. (iii).

p. 287

And that this is the fact is brought out interestingly by the note of Reitzenstein (p. 193, 1)—namely, that one of the correctors of one of the copies (Paris MS.) of this faulty original has precisely in these two places changed the name Asclepius into Tat. He was puzzled, and thought that his “correction” would set matters right; as a matter of fact, however, it only adds to the confusion.

What the main subject of our treatise may have been we can hardly conjecture; part of it, however, must have been devoted to an explanation of the rationale of image-adoration,—“Wherefore pay worship to the images, O King,”—of which we hear so much in P. S. A.

These symbolic images of the Gods are said to have their “forms” (ἰδέας) in sympathetic relation with the Intelligible World. These are mutual “reflections,” the one of the other.

Now as the Ka of the God was thought to have immediate relation with the image-symbol of the God, and the Gods were of the Intelligible World,—the statues of the Gods were thought to be images of the Image in some special way; they were regarded as providing a straight path or line of connection between Earth and Heaven, just as a man who made himself like to the Man after the Likeness became in himself a Way Up.


286:4 R. 198.

Next: (XVIII.) The Encomium of Kings