"The Asclepius" is one of two philosophical books ascribed to the legendary sage of Ancient Egypt, Hermes Trismegistus, who was believed in classical and renaissance times to have lived shortly after Moses. The Greek original, lost since classical times, is thought to date from the 2nd or 3rd century AD. However, a Latin version survived, of which this volume is a translation. Like its companion, the "Corpus Hermeticum" (also published by Duckworth as "The Way of Hermes"), the "Asclepius" describes the most profound philosophical questions in the form of a conversation about secrets: the nature of the One, the role of the gods, and the stature of the human being. Not only does this work offer spiritual guidance, but it is also a valuable insight into the minds and emotions of the Egyptians in ancient and classical times. Many of the views expressed also reflect Gnostic beliefs which passed into early Christianity.
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