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Occult texts on philosophical or theological subjects ascribed to Hermes Trismegistos (Hermes the Thrice-Greatest), identical to the Egyptian god Thoth, who was credited with inventing writing. The collection, written in Greek and Latin, was probably put together in the 1st–3rd century AD. Written in the form of dialogues, it synthesizes Near Eastern religion, Platonism, Stoicism, and other philosophies. It also reflects ideas and beliefs widely held in the early Roman empire on astrology, alchemy, and magic. The goal of the writings was the deification of humanity through knowledge of the transcendent God.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Hermetic writings, visit Britannica.com.
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