The Hermetica is the name given to an extraordinary collection of writings ascribed to Hermes Trismegistus, the Greek name for the legendary teacher, prophet and scribe deified by the Egyptians as the god Thoth and known to the Hebrews as Enoch. When in about 1460 AD a Greek manuscript of the Corpus Hermeticum came into the possession of Cosimo de Medici, Duke of Florence, he ordered Marsilio Ficino to leave aside the works of Plato and concentrate instead on these 'Lost works of Hermes'. Later scholarship indicates that these writings are not as old as was thought, in fact they probably date from only the second and third centuries AD. However, they are clearly the work of an esoteric school involved in self-development and it is very likely that this school belonged to a tradition going back to the earlier Egypt of Hermes. The Hermetica can be studied from many different angles. They were a source of inspiration to C G Jung when he was developing his system of depth psychology, they are clearly one of the main sources of Gurdjieff's cosmology and they are in close agreement with the doctrine gleaned from the readings of Edgar Cayce.
For the reader today the Hermetica are still alive and vital. Like the Upanishads of India they have the power to uplift the soul and to open the mind to wider horizons.
Walter Scott, Editor