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    Born in Blood : The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry
    by John J. Robinson
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (25 October, 1990)
    list price: $24.95 -- our price: $16.47
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    Reviews (71)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, I took the derivation of "freemason" further
    The author goes into great detail about how "free" may have been an Anglicized version of the French term "frere" meaning brother.But he didn't go on to explore that "mason" could be an Anglicized version of the French "maison" meaning house.So that an ex-Templar on the run would search out a "brother's house" for safe hiding.Looking for fellow "freemasons."

    A great, insightful, thought provoking book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars If you really want to know the history, this is your book.
    Though somewhat tedious at times, this is one of the books to go to if you really want to know about the history of the Knights Templar and of Freemasonry.

    The first part of the book deals with the history of The Templars, the warrior monks, who were one time protectors of the Church, and then became its biggest target.

    The second part of the book deals with the ties of modern Freemasonry to those Knights, and discusses symbolism in the rituals and rites of modern Freemasonry.

    Mr. Robinson goes in depth into the story of religious persecution, the Crusades, and their effect on bringing out the medieval secret society that would later publicly emerge as The Freemasons in 1717.

    Some people may accuse this book of being somewhat anti-Catholic, but the tone really sets up the reasons why Freemasonry came to be, and why one of the fundamental tennants of it is religious tolerance and freedom of persecution.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you for your support
    Bravo, Bravo, Bravo!Finally, a good book, with an opinion about Freemasonry that doesn't leave you scratching your head and wondering why you became a member of an organization that the rest of the world, specifically the religious world, deems unfit.John J. Robinson has given a very clear, accuracy not evaluated, concise description of a very inflammatory subject.In my humble opinion, he has done this with a seemingly unbiased presentation of historical evidence linking two very diverse organizations, The Knights Templar and Freemasonry, at the hip and establishing them as related to one another.Robinson openly admits in his work that he is not a Mason.His description of Freemasonry and its roots are descriptive enough to whet your appetite to research and read more about the fraternity.I appreciate the fact that he has not written a work damning every man associated with the craft and has actually endorsed their affiliation with the fraternity.Many times throughout this book, I found myself highlighting, taking notes, and audibly exclaiming a surprise regarding information I had just read.Case in point would be Robinson's description of how words can be bastardized by the churches and religious communities of the world to mean something that linguistics do not allow (pg 312-313).In a sense, much of the teaching of Freemasonry has been supported by Robinson in his defining clarification of how history has established Masonry as a perceived "secret society" when the fraternity has not done so by itself.My hat goes off to Robinson and I wish there were more authors like him. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0871316021
    Sales Rank: 14996
    Subjects:  1. Freemasonry    2. Freemasons    3. General    4. Great Britain    5. History    6. History - General History    7. Religious Cults    8. Rituals    9. Social Science    10. Sociology    11. Templars    12. History / General   


    Unholy Worship? The Myth of the Baphomet, Templar, Freemason connection
    by Stephen Dafoe
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (20 May, 1998)
    list price: $8.95 -- our price: $8.95
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    Reviews (14)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Concise and to the point
    I had read this book long ago when it first came out and ordered a copy for my friend. The book I received is a revised and updated version.

    I must say this new version is greatly improved from the original. The author begins with a brief retrospective of the Templars and then moves on to explain how the Baphomet idol came to be associated with the Templars and later day Free Masons.

    Having read both versions, this current release is far superior in style and information presented. In fact it's so good, I kept it and ordered another copy for my friend.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Concise and to the point
    I had read this book long ago when it first came out and ordered a copy for my friend. The book I received is a revised and updated version.

    I must say this new version is greatly improved from the original. The author begins with a brief retrospective of the Templars and then moves on to explain how the Baphomet idol came to be associated with the Templars and later day Free Masons.

    Having read both versions, this current release is far superior in style and information presented. In fact it's so good, I kept it and ordered another copy for my friend.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Concise and to the point
    I had read this book long ago when it first came out and ordered a copy for my friend. The book I received is a revised and updated version.

    I must say this new version is greatly improved from the original. The author begins with a brief retrospective of the Templars and then moves on to explain how the Baphomet idol came to be associated with the Templars and later day Free Masons.

    Having read both versions, this current release is far superior in style and information presented. In fact it’s so good, I kept it and ordered another copy for my friend. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0968356702
    Sales Rank: 525118
    Subjects:  1. Fiction    2. History    3. Knights Templar (Masonic order    4. Knights Templar (Masonic order)    5. Templars    6. Knights Templar    7. Masonic History    8. Medieval History    9. Occult History    10. Religion   


    The Egyptian Hermes: A Historical Approach to the Late Pagan Mind
    by Garth Fowden
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 June, 1993)
    list price: $22.95 -- our price: $22.95
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    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A seminal work (for academics)
    Fowden, as a writer, is admittedly no model of lucidity; at the same time, he is writing for academics, and is thus able to compress a huge amount into a small space.If you are not used to academic prose, you will find this book very difficult; it would also help if you know a certain amount about the reception of the Hermetica in 19th and 20th century historiography, and perhaps a bit about the late Classical era.

    At the same time, this book has been reprinted for a reason: it's the single most important historical argument about the Hermetica.For a long time, the Hermetica were understood to be purely Greek, essentially Hellenic misappropriations of pseudo-Egyptian ideas, recast in Neoplatonic style.What Fowden does is to show that these texts do have an important base within the dying Egyptian traditions of their day.

    For non-specialists, this may seem like small potatoes.But it changes everything.If you have read Frances Yates, for example, she argued that these texts were grotesquely misread by Ficino and the Renaissance tradition, on three counts: (1) they thought the texts were really, really ancient, more or less contemporary with Moses; (2) they thought the texts were Egyptian, not Greek; and (3) they thought the texts were really about magic (and not philosophy).Now there's no question that the Hermetica are from 1st-2d century Alexandria, but they are _not_ simply Greek; they are, in a sense, Egyptian formulations that draw on the then-influential Greek modes of philosophical thought.Furthermore, it means that the texts we usually think of as the Hermetic Corpus can and should be correlated with the PGM (the Greek Magical Papyri and their Demotic associates), changing the whole character of the texts by giving them a wildly different literary and ritual context.In other words, the Renaissance got the dating wrong, but in many respects got the rest more or less right; as a result, Fowden's book not only changes the way we read the Hermetica in their Alexandrian context, but also how we make sense of the Renaissance magical revival (Ficino, Pico, Agrippa, Bruno, etc.).

    If, having read this review, you think, "Who cares?" then this book is certainly not for you.If you think, "Wow!That's fascinating," then this is essential.I have seen the odd quibble with small points in Fowden's arguments, but I have not seen any serious attack on the main thrust of the book.Considering when it was first written, that's extraordinary.

    But you do need to be comfortable with academic prose.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting but poorly written
    This is a very interesting book on Hermes centered Egyptian-Greek religious practice in the pre-Christian era, much more illumination than the mere reading of mythologies. However the writing of it is unfortunate. The author fills, not just each page, but each paragraph with 1960's cliché and psychobabble that was popular with hip academia of the day. It is a trip back in time to read this now archaic speech.
    This book deserves 4 or 5 stars except for its unreadability. It is difficult and arduous reading, as I found myself having to parse each sentence to extract it's meaning. I could only keep it up for short periods of time and hope to be able to finish the book someday.
    If only the publishers were to have the book rewritten by someone with a broader writing ability, this book would be an invaluable addition to anyone's library with an interest in Egyptian-Greek pagan religion as practiced in that era.
    Even with the books faults, the subject matter is so interesting that it may be worth the trouble for the hardy.

    4-0 out of 5 stars though not illustrated, this book is still useful
    The origins of Hermes Trismegistus, the sage cult hero of Graeco-RomanEgypt, to many people has seemingly been lost in the midst of time. This isthe first investigation undertaken into his mystic by a social historian.The technical and philosophical aspects of Hermetica as normally seen asseparate entities, but the author argues for their togetherness as wastypical of philosophy and religion of that era. The book has noillustrations or photos and in that sense it is quite scholarly. Definitelyfor those who are religion-orientated, especially and more preciselyinterested in Hermes. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0691024987
    Sales Rank: 369708
    Subjects:  1. Antiquities & Archaeology    2. Egypt    3. General    4. Hermes,    5. Hermetism    6. History    7. Mythology    8. Paganism    9. Religion    10. Roman Literature    11. Sociology    12. Trismegistus    13. Archaeology and Ancient History    14. Classics    15. Hermes    16. Mind, Body, Spirit    17. Religion / Antiquities & Archaeology   


    Freemasonry: A Journey Through Ritual and Symbol (Art & Imagination)
    by W. Kirk MacNulty
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 September, 1991)
    list price: $18.95 -- our price: $12.89
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    Reviews (18)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Good pictures.....text leaves a bit to be desired
    This book reads a lot like an entry-level psychology textbook where you get a taste of what is about to come, but you never quite get there.The author has gone to some great pain to provide you a psychological overview of what various signs and symbols mean in regard to Freemasonry.Instead of taking the symbology at face value, as most people would do, the author has "read between the lines" and interpreted what is "really meant" by the working tools, and so forth, of the craft.My impression is that much of the interpretation is a bit far fetched.Case in point, the author states on page 31, "This collection of symbols, and particularly their proximity to the place in the Temple where Divinity is said to reside, indicates that a Master Mason, in the sense that we are defining him, is a person who is conscious at a psychological level which relates to the World of the Spirit in the same way that our ordinary ego is conscious of the body and the physical world."Overall, this book is a rapid fire snapshot of many works of art regarding Masonry, but the emphasis is more-or-less on a pseudo-psychological impression that one man has attempted to define and apply to the craft.The message throughout the book seems a bit juvenile for such a strong subject.The text is well written though and has found a place on my bookshelf, if for no other reason than the pictures that accompany the text.The photographs throughout the book make it worth buying if no other reason applies.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read With Historic Pictures!
    This book offers excellent interpretations of the degrees of Freemasnonry and their symbolic significance. It also offers a wide variey of pictures to show Masonic influence thru-out the ages. This book shows that the roots of Freemasonry in society run deep. The pictures make the book, and the reading is icing on the cake! Recommended!

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books on Masonic symbology
    This book is one of the best books on Masonic symbology. Clear and concise, it gives a rational history and explanation of Masonry. The author has also written the hard-to-find "Way of the Craftsman". Brothers may relax; this is not an expose nor does it divulge secrets. It will help the esoteric-minded Mason learn more about the hidden mysteries of the Craft. There are reviews by those who know nothing of mysteries nor Freemasonry, notably 'madmeeting' and 'Pimentel'. Don't be dissuaded. This book is a summary both for the Mason and the public, and is a must-have for the researcher. Five stars! ... Read more

    Isbn: 0500810370
    Sales Rank: 21850
    Subjects:  1. Freemasonry    2. Freemasons    3. General    4. New Age    5. Reference    6. Rituals    7. Sociology Of Organizations    8. Symbolism   


    Duncan's Ritual of Freemasonry
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (12 April, 1976)
    list price: $14.00 -- our price: $11.20
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    Reviews (21)

    5-0 out of 5 stars It Made Me Join!
    This is a book a Mason would not want you to have! After reading so much negative garbage about Freemasonry, I bought this book out of curiosity. And when I opened it, boy was I shocked. This book contains all the duegard signs, the illusions, secret hand shakes, and passwords for the first three degrees. It gives the entire initiation process for the first three degrees, from the begining to the ending. It also contains the lectures and the story behind each degree. This book also has the opening of the lodge.
    This is a must book for anybody who wants to get a peep inside the lodge. Even though this book is packed with a lot of good information, and give you a lot of insight on the craft and if you study it and somehow be able to master it, you still would not truly be a mason until you come into the Lodge the right way.
    This book also contains additional degrees on the York Rite side of masonry. The degrees are Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and The Royal Arch. As for me I'm on the Scottish Rite side of masonry, so the additional information is of no use to me, but it's still good information to read.
    If you want to try and fool somebody by saying you are a mason, with this book you might can pull it off. All you have to master is the first three degrees. But be aware, a true mason will throw some stuff at you that will make your head spin. Don't read this book and then go buy masonic gear or vehicle emblems, because if you cain't protect it, might get taken from you. Their's more to freemasonry than reading a book.
    I highly recommend this book for anybody who is curious about the craft or anyone who looking to join the Lodge.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must For Every Masonic Library!
    This book was the first book on Masonry I ever owned and helped me make my decision to become a Mason. I believe it should be standard for every Mason's library. The pictures add a sense of historic value to the book as well. Simply put...A MUST!!! Highly recommended, not just to read, but to study as well!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cannot Confirm or Deny
    I can neither validate, nor deny the voracity of this monitor in good faith.I can tell you as a Mason that I use Duncan's Ritual and I highly recommend Duncan's Ritual.Moreover, when I meet someone who shows an interest in or proclivity for The Craft I always leave them with Duncan's Ritual.

    I can also tell any non-Mason in good faith that Duncan's Ritual does not misrepresent Freemasonry.

    The only thing that Duncan's monitor fails to do is inculcate the deeper meaning and ultimately the value of Masonry, to the individual and society. That can only come from participating in the search for "light," and through the ministration of Brotherly Love.
    ... Read more

    Isbn: 0679506268
    Sales Rank: 9219
    Subjects:  1. Freemasonry    2. General    3. Reference    4. Religion / Freemasonry   


    A Dictionary of Freemasonry
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (27 November, 1989)
    list price: $14.99 -- our price: $10.49
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Do you want to know more? Become a Freemason
    Having to study about Freemasonry, being interested in all the things it represented, a dictionary was absolutely a good suggestion.
    Honestly, I couldn't imagine I would have found so many interesting things in this Dictionary, divided in two parts and full of illustrations.
    While working on my book (which only incidentally is about Freemasonry), this Dictionary helped me in more than one occasion.
    Very well explained and extremely useful, it is a good companion of another book, Edward Waite's "A New Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry".
    If you want to know more, all you have to do is knock on a Temple's door.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Guide To Masonic Information
    Getting accurate, correct, and truthful Masonic information can sometimes feel harder then pulling teeth.Freemasonry is a subject that alot of people don't know about and fewer truly understand, which makes gleaning useful information difficult.Even talking to some Masons might leave you with more questions then answers after your done.

    However Roberet MacOy's work in "A Dictionary of Freemasonry" provides light to anyone seeking Masonic history and information.MacOy's work is part history, part encylopedia, and part dictionary.It starts with a brief history of Freemasonry and lists the terminology in two different volumes using an A-Z dictionary format.It explains the people, places, terms, and symbols that you would ever want to know about and much more.

    Every lodge should have a few copies of this work on hand and anyone with an interest in Freemasonry must have one on their bookshelf too.If you doing Masonic research, its priceless, but if just want to learn about Masonry, its informative and easy to follow and provides more information then you can well, shake a stick at, a big stick too. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0517692139
    Sales Rank: 13354
    Subjects:  1. Dictionaries    2. Freemasonry    3. Freemasons    4. Reference    5. Religion    6. Religion - Denominations - Religions    7. Social Science    8. Religion / Freemasonry   


    The Greatest of These: Quotations on Fundamental Truths of Charity-The Teaching of Freemasonry
    by Woodrow W. Morris
    Hardcover (01 May, 1985)
    list price: $10.00 -- our price: $10.00
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    Isbn: 0880530804
    Sales Rank: 714976


    The Lost Key: An Explanation and Application of the Masonic Symbols
    by Prentiss Tucker
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 September, 1999)
    list price: $15.95 -- our price: $10.85
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A revival of Masonry
    This book is an excellent guide for the newly-made Master Mason and theMason who's sat on the sidelines for years watching raising after raising. It explains the symbols of the Craft and gives the meanings behind them ina clear manner.It gives plenty of food for thought, and should be read byall Master Masons that our Craft may be re-invigorated.Priced far belowits worth, it is definitely worth the read.Symbols and meanings well putand applicable in your life _today_, regardless of religious belief orpersonal creed.Definitely Worthy. ... Read more

    Isbn: 1585090506
    Sales Rank: 205514
    Subjects:  1. Freemasonry    2. Literature: Folklore/Mythology    3. Sociology   


    New Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry (Ars Magna Latomorum : and of Cognate Instituted Mysteries : Their Rites Literature and History/2 Volumes in 1)
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (19 April, 1994)
    list price: $14.99 -- our price: $10.19
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    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Knowledge
    This reference, from A-Z, on the Masonic Order is excellent for those seeking apprenticeship or rather initiation into Freemasonry.The reader will gain vast historical knowledge of the Fraternity; it's roots, rites, degrees, titles, and so forth.
    Granted that the book is aged and it's an Encyclopaedia, so it can get dull for some, I find it to be very helpful and it suits the purpose of those who are inclined.Riddles?Maybe...

    4-0 out of 5 stars The best reference guide on the Craft I've found so far.
    I have owned this one for about 6-7 years, since before I was a mason and I still find it to be the best masonic reference that I know of.Waite writes from the viewpoint of one who is at heart, a Christian Mystic or a theosopher in the tradition of Pasqually, Willermoz or Saint-Martin. While I used to find his victorian verbiosity apalling, I have grown accustomed to it over the years.Some of the information about various Rites and degrees is incomplete, and I disagree with some of the conclusions the author came to, but this is a great book.I've had people I trust tell me there are better reference works on masonry out there, but I haven't found them yet.

    3-0 out of 5 stars This book is out of date
    I think that just listing this book with its now inappropriate title, "The *New* Encyclopedia of Freemasonry", and saying it was published in 1994 misleads a lot of people even if you throw in the word "reprint". If you want to do historic research on what people thought in the early 1900s, it's fine. But there has been a lot of research since then. If you want a good up to date Masonic Enclopedia, get Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia which was extensively revised in 1995. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0517191482
    Sales Rank: 9143
    Subjects:  1. Encyclopedias    2. Freemasonry    3. Freemasons    4. General    5. Sale Adult - Occult / Parapsychology    6. Social Science    7. Sociology    8. Religion / Freemasonry   


    Symbolism of Freemasonry: Its Science, Philosophy, Legends, Myths, and Symbolism
    by Albert G. MacKey
    Paperback (01 March, 1997)
    list price: $33.95 -- our price: $21.39
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    Isbn: 1564594696
    Sales Rank: 574549
    Subjects:  1. Alternate Spirituality    2. Freemasonry    3. Philosophy    4. Spirituality - General   


    Symbols of Freemasonry (Beliefs Symbols)
    by Daniel Beresniak, Laziz Hamani
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (September, 2000)
    list price: $19.95 -- our price: $7.98
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    Reviews (5)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A View of European Freemasonry
    This book does not "give away"the secrets of a Masonic lodge, and maynot be appreciated by the Non-Mason. This is not a dry exposition of the symbols of a lodge room. What it is,is an artfull view of European Freemasonry. For the American Mason it will allow for some clues to the differant emphasis in work between America and abroad. Lovely book to look at!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The most lavish visual treatment of Masonic symbolism
    While MacNulty's "Freemasonry: A Journey through Ritual and Symbol" may be more comprehensive and more directly related to Masonry as it exists in England and the USA, this lovely book makes a much nicer gift. This is a miniature version of an earlier coffee-table-sized version, which is worth the extra price if you can find it. The essays and very informative and are written from the perspective of French Masonry--a system working under what we in the USA call the Scottish Rite. Thus, many symbols of the Scottish Rite are discussed alongside the blue lodge symbols, with no particular line of division drawn between them.

    This volume is especially eye-opening to students of esoteric symbolism who have not previously considered Masonic plant and animal symbolism grouped as such.

    Non-Masons may find this book difficult to read unless they are already experienced in Masonic jargon, but all will find the photography beautiful to look at.

    4-0 out of 5 stars *small* book
    I bought this book as a present for my husband. I agree with many of the positive reviews that have already been written.This is indeed a book with wonderful pictures rich in detail, and there is quite good explanation to the meaning behind the symbols.However....when I had viewed the excerpts on Amazon, I expected the book to be larger in size. The pictures are indeed beautiful, but they turned out to be quite small.In addition, the text is so small and difficult to read (geez, 6 pt font???).This book is approximately 21cm x 16.5 cm (8.2 x 6.5 inches). ... Read more

    Isbn: 2843232015
    Sales Rank: 64725
    Subjects:  1. Freemasonry    2. New Age    3. Religion - Denominations - Religions    4. Social Science    5. Subculture    6. Outlet   


    Freemasonry in American History
    by Allen E. Roberts
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 June, 1985)
    list price: $29.50 -- our price: $29.50
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    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Researcher's Bible
    While attempting to do a report on American Freemasonry, I stumbled across this book on Amazon.com. Because Freemasonry literature is dificult to come across in libraries and such, I was greatly relieved when I discovered this book. With accurate facts and a well-studied author, this book was basically the only source I needed. It gives charts, lists, dates, important people, and important background events, starting from a very brief summary of Freemasonry's beginnings. Also, thanks to the publishers for reprinting this insightful literature.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Hard to follow
    This is a very good read, however it is very hard to follow.It does not offer a smooth flow to the reader.It is better to use it as a reference book, rather than a "sit down with a good book" book.The author is very knowledgeable in American history.I do recommend it in every Brother's library!

    5-0 out of 5 stars America History and Masonry
    Roberts traces the history ofmasonry in america, with clear examples and names of masons who has contributed to the historical character of our great nation.Masonry and and the American ideals are one and the same. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0880530782
    Sales Rank: 703042
    Subjects:  1. Freemasonry    2. History    3. History: American    4. Sociology Of Organizations    5. United States   


    Hermetica : The Greek Corpus Hermeticum and the Latin Asclepius in a New English Translation, with Notes and Introduction
    by Brian P. Copenhaver
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (12 October, 1995)
    list price: $32.99 -- our price: $32.99
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Worth a lifetime of study
    This is a fantastic translation of the Pymander or Corpus Hermeticum and Asclepius.Since it's the only one I've read, I don't know how to compare it to others.This text was apparently rediscovered by the court of Cosimo di Medici in the 1400's, probably obtained from some source in Harran.Texts such as this were at the forefront of the syncretic mysticism and platonic/classical revival of the Italian Renaissance.This text might be something like a pagan hellenistic answer to scriptures or very obscure mystical and gnostic texts which describe very esoteric ideas that can only be understood through some kind of experience.On many levels it is very compatible with Christianity, Judaism or Islam because it may represent a kind of philosophical precursor of these religions from late antiquity.Even many of the early patriarchs of the orthodox christian tradition understood this compatibility and considered this text to represent a kind of sanctified pagan tradition or philosophy of sorts, which they actually used as proof of the validity of christianity.They did this by arguing that since pagans could come up with ideas so close to christianity, that this supported a belief in the new faith.For this reason, on the level of mundane theological and philosophical history, this text is very important for an understanding of how early christians and other monotheists viewed their relationship to paganism in a world that was still very pagan.The notes in this book are also extremely helpful and worthwhile.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Well-researched edition of a vital document
    Much like the Chaldean oracles, the Corpus Hermeticum is a vital document for all those who have an interest in the eclectic thought of the period covering the first centuries AD; this recent edition is certainly worthy of being added to the library of the scholar and curious reader alike. It includes the seventeen Greek treatises which have been brought together over the centuries as the Corpus Hermeticum, in addition to the Latin `Asclepius', which is by far the longest piece of them all. No Greek or Latin text accompanies the translation, but Copenhaver provides extensive notes, many of which directly address specific points of the translation and pick up where studies in hermetism had left off. In these notes, there are numerous references to previous editions of the Hermetica, especially to the work of A.D. Nock/A.-J. Festugière (in French) and of W. Scott (in English). The introduction also does a good job of describing both the context in which these pieces emerged, and the way they have been read and edited in the following centuries.

    5-0 out of 5 stars In the footsteps of the 'Thrice Greatest' Hermes
    This translation of the Greek 'Corpus Hermeticum' and the Latin 'Asclepius' has been specifically undertaken for English-speakers. However,the real benefits of the translation are the excellent introduction and inexcess of 260 pages of notes on the text making significant references toprevious translations such as those of Zielinski, Reitzenstein, Festugiere,Mahe and Fowden. 'Hermetica' will be a fascinating journey for all thoseinterested in Egypto-Hellenistic philosophy or for those searching for analternative to the rigid orthodoxy of some other religious systems.However, there is little here for those who seek to become a spell-castingmagus - this is Hermetism, rather than populist Hermeticism! In thethanksgiving at the end of Asclepius, the spells which were present in thePapyrus Mimaut and also in Nag Hammadi Codex VI.6 are omitted. Thesecentral texts of Hermetism are learned, philosophical treatises as opposedto popular, occultist writings - "a blend of theology, cosmology,anthropology, ethics, soteriology and eschatology."

    Most readers willprobably find some degree of confusion within the Corpus Hermeticum.Different authors of the various treatises appear to have taken part inPeripatetic-Platonic-Stoic debate within the surviving texts. Much of theprevious criticism however has focussed on the Egyptian - Hellenicargument; Hermes Trismegistus being a syncretic fusion of the Greekmessenger of the gods with the Egyptian Thoth (pr. something akin toT-HO-TI). Just to be confusing, the character 'Tat' is also a variant ofThoth is some of the Corpus' texts. Linked with this Peripatetic-Platonicdebate is the Corpus' attitude towards dualism which should be adistinguishing feature between Hermetism and early Gnostic Christianity -but sometimes isn't all that clear-cut. Further complications arise throughCopenhaver's extensive references to the Chaldean Oracles.

    The textsopen with POIMANDRES, 'the shepherd man' (poimen aner) although some stillsearch for a Coptic root. The nature of 'true reality' (see Plato's'Timaeus') establishes itself as the central focus in the very first lineof CH I. It is Mind which will free the soul from the fleshy darkness ofits bodily incarceration. The texts then move on to the universal discoursebetween Hermes and Tat opening up a Stoic - Peripatetic debate on whetherthere is a void or non-entity without the Cosmos. A third alternative ispresented : that the surrounding space both encircles and moves theCosmos.

    The most Peripataetic of texts according to Zielinski is CH IV inwhich activity is clearly seen as positive and passivity as negative. Thereare some indications of common authorship between I and VII although anumber of Western translators have found evidence of strong Judaicinfluences in VII. CH VII also introduces the metaphor of the 'chiton'(vestment, cloak, shawl) as a symbol of the body which fed through into thewritings of Philo, Plotinus and the Valentinian Gnostics - this must beshed for the soul's ascent. The tenth discourse introduces another image ofthe chiton. Unlike the chiton of CH VIII, this garment must be acquired torise and to take on a demonic cloak. With a good mind the soul can pass onto something greater, but to nothing lesser.

    Within the 17 Greektreatises the Stoic concept of 'sumpatheia' (the organic unity of theCosmos) is only mentioned specifically once in CH VIII although itsinfluence can be elsewhere. Scott suggested that one of the latest of theextant logoi was XIII, the diexodikos logos, on account of its dependenceon CH I and XI. This is essentially concerned with `palingenesia' whichBuchsel sees as the Stoic opposite of ekpurosis - the great conflagrationinto which the currently existing Cosmos would disappear only to berestored under apokatastasis.

    The historical development of translationsof the texts has given them rather illogical numberings. In theory CH IXshould take place immediately after the Latin Asclepius - as the latter isa translation of the 'perfect discourse', the 'teleios logos' rendered byLactantius as the 'Sermo perfectus'. It is an exposition of the discourseon sensation which clearly rejects the Platonic position in favour of amore Stoic interpretation. Thanks to Adrien Turnebus' translation in 1554there is no Corpus Hermeticum XV (Ficino's translation ended atXIV).

    Mind only appears as interlocutor in CH I and XI. CH XI is alsodistinctive in that aion (eternity) appears 27 times within the text andonly 3 times elsewhere. Aion was the supreme deity of Westernised Mithraismand is connected with Zrvan Akarana, Saturnus and Kronos, with Orpheism, inphilosophical terms with the Stoic heimarmene (which appear elsewhere inthe Corpus), perhaps even with the Phoenician Ba'al Shamin, and - inastro-magical texts - with the 'holy Agathos Daimon'. There is also theAion of the Chaldean Oracles, which - according to Lewy - is 'not only adivinity, but also a noetic hypostasis'. Here, as in CH XIV, there is onlyone maker. This is a direct rebuttal of the Gnostic position and,internally, of the position outlined by I and XIII.

    Asclepius (orImhotep in the original Egyptian) is most likely a collection of fragmentsfrom other texts. The Hermetic praise of human dignity stops distinctlyshort of the physical and sexual aspects of the human condition.Asclepiusis far more apocalyptic and laden within divine retribution than theCorpus. Copenhaver finds references to the Egyptian apocalyptic story ofPotter's Oracle in his predecessors' translations centred around a Khnum, aram-headed creator-god. But the message in Asclepius is clear, Egypt - this`image of heaven' - will forget its Hermetic ways and "will be filledcompletely with tombs and corpses" and "the reverent will be thought mad".

    We should all try to learn something from Hermetica, for beneath thecomplexities is real truth.

    Then he said to me : "Keep all in mind thatyou wish to learn, and I will teach you." Saying this, he changed hisappearance and everything was immediately opened to me...(Corpus HermeticumI) ... Read more

    Isbn: 0521425433
    Sales Rank: 53770
    Subjects:  1. Ancient Philosophy    2. Ancient and Classical    3. Fiction    4. General    5. Literary    6. New Age / Parapsychology    7. Fiction / Literary    8. Other prose: classical, early & medieval    9. Unexplained phenomena   


    The Hungry Ocean : A Swordboat Captain's Journey
    by Linda Greenlaw
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (07 June, 2000)
    list price: $14.00 -- our price: $11.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    The term fisherwoman does not exactly roll trippingly off the tongue, and Linda Greenlaw, the world's only female swordfish boat captain, isn't flattered when people insist on calling her one. "I am a woman. I am a fisherman... I am not a fisherwoman, fisherlady, or fishergirl. If anything else, I am a thirty-seven-year-old tomboy. It's a word I have never outgrown." Greenlaw also happens to be one of the most successful fishermen in the Grand Banks commercial fleet, though until the publication of Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm, "nobody cared." Greenlaw's boat, the Hannah Boden, was the sister ship to the doomed Andrea Gail, which disappeared in the mother of all storms in 1991 and became the focus of Junger's book. The Hungry Ocean, Greenlaw's account of a monthlong swordfishing trip over 1,000 nautical miles out to sea, tells the story of what happens when things go right--proving, in the process, that every successful voyage is a study in narrowly averted disaster.

    There is the weather, the constant danger of mechanical failure, the perils of controlling five sleep-, women-, and booze-deprived young fishermen in close quarters, not to mention the threat of a bad fishing run: "If we don't catch fish, we don't get paid, period. In short, there is no labor union." Greenlaw's straightforward, uncluttered prose underscores the qualities that make her a good captain, regardless of gender: fairness, physical and mental endurance, obsessive attention to detail. But, ultimately, Greenlaw proves that the love of fishing--in all of its grueling, isolating, suspenseful glory--is a matter of the heart and blood, not the mind. "I knew that the ocean had stories to tell me, all I needed to do was listen." --Svenja Soldovieri ... Read more

    Reviews (193)

    3-0 out of 5 stars am i sea sick or was that sordfish bad?
    Greenlaw's Hungry Ocean rode the wave of the Perfect Storm's immense popularity to best seller lists, but left me hungry for more. No, not a longer book or a sequel, but vision that revealed more about this presumably interesting figure. Greenlaw's account of her experiences as a swordifish captain is filled with potential. I rooted for her- she was afterall a woman winning a man's game.
    But ultimately I felt cheated by this tome. I wanted Greenlaw to reveal more. How did she become the top swordfish captain? I sensed she was at once ruthless, incredibly intelligent, and extraordinarily hardworking, but I felt as I filled in the blanks from the too often cursory information provided by the author. Her minimalist style opens the door to the world of deep sea fishing, but I found the water murky.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A non-fiction page turner
    This is a great summer read. If you are interested in the life of a real fisherman, but don't want to get bogged down in all the details of a book like The Perfect Storm, then this is for you. Greenlaw gives lots of great stories and descriptive narrative that makes you feel like you are on the boat with her crew. From the thrill of a big catch, through the boredom of finding the right place to fish, to the personality conflicts between crew members and captains of other boats, this was an interesting and informative book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A very good read about something most of us will never do
    This book isn't life-changing or even inspirational--in a good way.I was hesitant initially because I thought the book might work a 'girl-power' angle as Greenlaw is one of, if not the only, female swordfish captains in the world.Instead, it does a fantastic job of describing a world most of us will never know--the inner workings of a fisherman's (woman's) life: the politics involved in pleasing a demanding boat owner and restless crew, the tedious waiting game where instincts and electronics seek the elusive fish many days away from shore, and the excitment of the non-stop work when the fishing is good.It even gives an account of the finances involved including a breakdown of the market price of fish and how it affects everyone's pay.I had no idea of the immense costs each fishing trip takes in equipment, food, and gas.It is a great look at the day-to-day life.Where it falls short is addressing some grander issues such as the environment and the history and future of fishing.Greenlaw does have a few sentences sprinkled throughout and it's clear that from her viewpoint that the environment hoopla about overfishing is overblown and while these statements do make the reader long for more knowledge on the topic, I guess the authenticity of the book is that we get the raw one-sided opinion of a true fisherman (woman) and not some policy wonk.A very good read. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0786885416
    Subjects:  1. 1960-    2. Anecdotes    3. Biography & Autobiography    4. Biography/Autobiography    5. Fishing - General    6. General    7. Grand Banks of Newfoundland    8. Greenlaw, Linda,    9. Sailing - Narratives    10. Sports & Recreation    11. Swordfish fishing    12. Women    13. Biography & Autobiography / Women    14. Reading Group Guide   


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