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Number: 134 Page 126 of 134

Virgin of the World, The

Product no.: 0-913510-23-8
The anthology of Stobaeus called the Kore Kosmu, variously translated as The Virgin of the World.

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Publisher's Synopsis

The record of a conversation between the goddess Isis and her son Horus, that explains the traditional belief held by the Egyptians that their "Gods" came from the heavens, being sent to Earth by the Father of all to bring about civilization.

1885. Contents: The Hermetic books; Hermetic system and the significance of its present revival; Intro to Virgin of the World; The Virgin of the World; Asclepios on Initiation; Definitions of Asclepios; The fragments.

"Hermetic writings, also called Hermetica, works of revelation on occult, theological, and philosophical subjects ascribed to the Egyptian god Thoth (Greek Hermes Trismegistos [Hermes the Thrice-Greatest]), who was believed to be the inventor of writing and the patron of all the arts dependent on writing.

The collection, written in Greek and Latin, probably dates from the middle of the 1st to the end of the 3rd century ad. It was written in the form of Platonic dialogues and falls into two main classes: 'popular' Hermetism, which deals with astrology and the other occult sciences; and 'learned' Hermetism, which is concerned with theology and philosophy. Both seem to have arisen in the complex Greco-Egyptian culture of the Ptolemaic and Roman periods.

From the Renaissance until the end of the 19th century, popular Hermetic literature received little scholarly attention. More recent study, however, has shown that its development preceded that of learned Hermetism and that it reflects ideas and beliefs that were widely held in the early Roman Empire and are therefore significant for the religious and intellectual history of the time.

In the Hellenistic age there was a growing distrust of traditional Greek rationalism and a breaking down of the distinction between science and religion. Hermes-Thoth was but one of the gods and prophets (chiefly Oriental) to whom people turned for a divinely revealed wisdom.

In this period the works ascribed to Hermes Trismegistos were primarily on astrology; to these were later added treatises on medicine, alchemy (Tabula Smaragdina ['Emerald Tablet'], a favourite source for medieval alchemists), and magic. The underlying concept of astrology—that the cosmos constituted a unity and that all parts of it were interdependent—was basic also to the other occult sciences. To make this principle effective in practice (and Hermetic 'science' was intensely utilitarian), it was necessary to know the laws of sympathy and antipathy by which the parts of the universe were related. But because these assumed affinities did not, in fact, exist and hence could not be discovered by ordinary scientific methods, recourse had to be made to divine revelation. The aim of Hermetism, like that of Gnosticism (a contemporary religious-philosophical movement), was the deification or rebirth of mortals through the knowledge (gnosis) of the one transcendent God, the world, and humankind.

The theological writings are represented chiefly by the 17 treatises of the Corpus Hermeticum, by extensive fragments in the Anthologion (Anthology) of Stobaeus, and by a Latin translation of the Asclepius, preserved among the works of Apuleius. Though the setting of these is Egyptian, the philosophy is Greek. The Hermetic writings, in fact, present a fusion of Eastern religious elements with Platonic, Stoic, and Neo-Pythagorean philosophies."          ~Encyclopedia Britannica


I. The Universe, The World

Straightway they looked, and understood the will of the Lord. And when He spoke to them of the creation of Man, asking of each what he could bestow upon the race about to be born, the Sun first replied: "I will illumine mankind." Then the Moon promised enlightenment in her turn, adding that already she had created Fear, Silence, Sleep and Memory. Kronos announced that he had begotten Justice and Necessity. Zeus said, "In order to spare the future race perpetual wars, I have generated Fortune, Hope and Peace."

Ares declared himself already father of Conflict, impetuous Zeal and Emulation, Aphrodite did not wait to be called upon: "As for me, O Master," she said, "I will bestow upon mankind Desire, with voluptuous Joy and Laughter, that the penalty to which our sister Souls are destined may not weigh on them too hardly." These words of Aphrodite, O my Son, were welcomed gladly.

"And I," said Hermes, "will endow human nature with Wisdom, Temperance, Persuasion and Truth; nor will I cease to ally myself with Invention. I will ever protect the mortal life of such men as are born under my signs, seeing that to me the Creator and Father has attributed in the Zodiac, signs of Knowledge and Intelligence; above all, when the movement which draws thereto the stars is in harmony with the physical forces of each."

"The second of Anna Bonus Kingsford's collection of translations from the Corpus Hermeticum attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. This volume includes The Virgin of the World, Asclepios on Initiation, Definitions of Asclepios and The Fragments. Anna Bonus Kingsford (1846 - 1888), was one of the first women to work as a physician in England, and a passionate feminist, vegetarian, and anti-vivisectionist.

She founded the Hermetic Society, and for a time was President of the Theosophical Society, although she espoused her own form of Christian mysticism and esotericism, drawn from insights that she claimed to have received both in trance and through dreams. Edward Maitland (1824 - 1897), who edited the book with Kingsford shared many of her enthusiasms, and was a co-founder with her of the Hermetic Society in 1884."      ~George Redway, London

Author Trismegistus, Hermes
Translator Kingsford, Dr. Anna
Cotranslator Maitland, Edward
Book Type Hardcover
Page Count 187 pp.
Publisher Wizards Bookshelf 1987
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Number: 134 Page 126 of 134