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Grant number like: FA-56876-12

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Christian Wildberg
Princeton University (Princeton, NJ 08540-5228)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2012 – 8/31/2013

A New Text and Translation of the Hermetic Corpus, a Collection of Greek Theological and Philosophical Texts

This project consists of a newly constituted text of the Corpus Hermeticum as well as a translation (with notes) into literary English. Intensive study of the Corpus over the last three years led to the discovery that the manuscript transmission is in fact entirely sound (contrary to current scholarly belief), but that the text must have been heavily corrupted by a copyist at an early stage (2nd-4th cent.) when he artlessly inserted a set of marginal notes into the original text. Once the original text is purged of the marginalia, we end up with perfectly intelligible doctrine, annotated with equally intelligible observations, amendments, and critical notes. The merit of this approach is that it is paleographically conservative and requires no conjectures and emendations. Unlike other translations of the Corpus, this publication offers not only an entirely new understanding of the genesis of our texts, but also promises to alter our understanding of the nature of ancient Hermeticism.