Hermiticism was on edge during 14th to 16th century, but with the advent of Christianity as state religion, hermeticism got suppressed. Most of hermetic texts were lost in this western culture but Greek Byzantium saved alchemy, philosophical and mystical through the Middle Ages. These texts re-attained their popularity in Italy during Renaissance. Hermetic texts are in the form of dialogues. Hermetic provide strong basis to the Renaissance culture to flourish. It had a profound impact on alchemy, modern magic and philosophers of the time.
The Greek speakers under Roman Empire were famous paradigm of Hermetica. After the fall of Roman Empire, Hermetic literature did not stop but started flourishing in Arabic, Byzantine Greek, and Coptic etc. The most well-known example of Hermetic literature is ‘Emerald Tablet’. In 1945, huge collection of Hermetic texts was found in a library near Nag Hammadi. Some of the famous English translations of Hermetic literature includes, ‘Thrice Greatest Hermes: Studies in Hellenistic Theosophy and Gnosis’ by G. R. S. Mead (1906) and ‘Hermetica: The Greek Corpus Hermeticum and the Latin Asclepius in a New English Translation’ by Brian P. Copenhaver (1995).
The writings of Hermetica were originally found in Egyptian and Greek languages which were then translated into other languages as popularity of Hermeticism increased. Hermetic writings were first translated into Latin by Marsilio Facino in 1471. The hermetic texts are being translated into French, Arabic, Chinese, Coptic, Italian and many other languages. The most popular English translations of the texts are done by G. R. S. Mead in 1906 and Brian P. Copenhaver in 1995.
According to the book ‘Hermetica: The Greek Corpus Hermeticum and the Latin Asclepius in a New English Translation’ by Brian P (1995). Copenhaver, the writings of Hermetica has two parts:
- The Corpus Hermeticum
- The Asclepius