There are 41 sections of the Asclepius
, at least in the translations I've checked (Mead and Copenhaver). That is different from the legendary 42 books of Hermes. Here is the last page of Copenhaver: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Jwrl8laevM4/U ... aver92.JPG
As far as the availability of the Asclepius
, for the Visconti-Sforza Library, Pelegrin, p. 438, has two index entries for Apuleius. One is his "Metamorphoses
, A. 207; Vat. Lat. 2194". The other is '"Flores Apulegii", A. 217'. The Asclepius
could be in either or neither, more likely the second. Unfortunately I don't haveall of Pellegrin's book book to look them up. Looking in the links you provided, I found nothing of interest in the Jstor article and only some references to check in the book. The best list of manuscripts is apparently in Klibansky and Regen's Die Handschriften der philosophischen Werke des Apuleius
. Looking at snippets online, p. 48, I see that Boccaccio copied it (http://books.google.com.do/books?id=NYM ... s).Another
possibility is Reynolds' Texts and Transmissions
, which is available in a local library, and I will check tomorrow.
Naturally 41 and 42 are different numbers, but in these mythological-cosmological contexts one can't be sure about it, cause number neighbors - for instance 64/63 (used in a story about Thot and the Hekat and the Horus eye), 49/50 (a favor of the old Greeks) or 29/30 (moon calendar) or 21/22 (the Tarot jungle) - often refer to the same context. For Minchiate we have as an example 41 or 42 cards in the Poilly Minchiate.
In the given context we have, that the Clement text presents 36 + 6 as the structure of this 42-books system, in Minchiate we have 1 (Fool) - 35 (1-35) - 5 (36-40; Aries). If we take the role of the Fool as an embedding principle - "the first and the last" - then we have suddenly 1-35-5-1 and the summary of this is 42, not 41, and this is structured (1+35) + (5+1), which in other words is then identical to 36+6 as given by Clement of Alexandria.
The Sicilian Tarot, which seems to have been influenced by Florentine ideas, has this double "embedding Fool" realized, there are 2 Fools (one lucky and the other poor) and 20 is the highest trump.
Naturally the 42 books of Clement and the 41 chapters of the Latin Asclepius are different sources, but both dance in front of the same Egyptian background, and Egypt - no doubt about this - loved this "42".
Wasn't it so, that Osiris reigned 28 years and was then cut in 14 pieces (28+14=42) by bad man Seth, and Isis collected the 14 parts, but had problem with the phallus (the 13+1 mystery, which then turned in the whole context to 41+1)?
Well, if Apuleius (c 123-180) indeed wrote (or "translated") the Latin Asclepius, and the other texts were written around Ammonius Sakkas (teaching in 232 to 243), then the pupil "Ammon", who somehow is necessary to start the book in chapter 1 of the Latin Asclepius looks a little bit "constructed", or the name Ammonius was a pseudonym, taken in honor of the earlier master Apuleius or just generally Zeus Ammon, which was a modification of the old Egyptian god Amun.
Alexander visited his oracle in the Lybian desert, after taking Egypt and before starting further great things, and this visit is generally given as a matter of great importance.
Alexander advanced on Egypt in later 332 BC, where he was regarded as a liberator. He was pronounced the new "master of the Universe" and son of the deity of Amun at the Oracle of Siwa Oasis in the Libyan desert. Henceforth, Alexander often referred to Zeus-Ammon as his true father, and subsequent currency depicted him adorned with rams horn as a symbol of his divinity. During his stay in Egypt, he founded Alexandria-by-Egypt, which would become the prosperous capital of the Ptolemaic Kingdom after his death.
Some time in this period the beginning of the year of the Greek was changed from from begin of autumn to begin of spring. Zeus with sheep horns (Aries) likely associates this then new year beginning in spring. The astronom Kalippos improved the 19-years-calendar by subtracting a day all 76 years in 330BC, so two years after Alexander visited the oracle.
Another story about the many books, that Hermes Trismegistos wrote, speaks of 36525 books.
Theurgia or The Egyptian Mysteries
By Iamblichos in Part VIII
Hence, as Seleukos  describes, Hermes set forth the universal principles in two thousand scrolls, or as Manetho affirms, he explained them completely in thirty-six thousand five hundred and twenty-five treatises . The different ancient writers, however, being in conflict with one another, have in many places given different interpretations in regard to the particular essence. It is necessary, however, to ascertain the truth in respect to them all, and then set it forth to thee concisely as we may be able.
 Seleukos is mentioned by Porphyry as a theologist and by Suidas as having written two hundred books in relation to the gods. By "scrolls" it is probable that only single discourses were meant, such as would now be given in a pamphlet.
 An Egyptian, Man-e-Thoth, or beloved Thoth. He was a priest at Sebennytus in the province of Sâis, in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphos, and compiled a history of ancient Egypt. This Number 36,525 is enigmatic, as it indicates by its analogy to the 365.25 days in a year.
365.25 days is the time of the year without the later corrections in the year 1582 AD and 36525 years is the number of years in 25 Sothis-cycles, after which the old Egyptians recorded their time.
The use of Manetho (= Man-e-Thot; about 600 years earlier), who used the number earlier, was different. As far I understood it, he recorded the history of Egypt in this dimension. This seems to have been interpreted by modern research as a number of months, not of years (36525/12), a technique, which found some critique, especially of groups with doubtful background (as I understood it).
Curiously 36 is 6x6; and 525 = 5x5x5x5 and (6x6) + 5 makes 41 ... but likely this doesn't mean anything. And 360 + 5 not-counted days (as they appear in the Egyptian again might be interpreted as ...
36 Egyptian decades + 5 not-counted days
... and this again makes "somehow" 41 (possible allegorical) figures, how one might interpret the Egyptian year with.
The 41 Minchiate cards contain 12 zodiacal signs, so 12 months (the Poilly Minchiate used more months than zodiac signs, and 12 months plus 30 days (as an average) again makes "42" now.
Leo called "July" (Juillet)
Here I find a text, which possibly solves the question about the authorship of the Latin Asclepius ...
Nag Hammadi is best known for being the site where local farmers found a sealed earthenware jar containing thirteen leather-bound papyrus codices, together with pages torn from another book, in December 1945. The mother of the farmers burned one of the books and parts of a second (including its cover). Thus twelve of these books (one missing its cover) and the loose pages survive. The writings in these codices, dating back to the 2nd century AD, comprised 52 mostly Gnostic tractates, were found in a single grave site.
More info at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nag_Hammadi_library
In his "Introduction" to The Nag Hammadi Library in English, James Robinson suggests that these codices may have belonged to a nearby Pachomian monastery, and were buried after Bishop Athanasius condemned the use of non-canonical books in his Festal Letter of 367 AD.
Well, empty hope, that it improves the situation, the year 367 is too late.
A translation is here: http://gnosis.org/naghamm/asclep.html
It seems, that somehow they recognized Asclepius 21-29 in Codex VI.
I was puzzled about the name "Poimander" or "Poimandres", which - so a source - translates as "Menschenhirt" (man-shephard) ...
... another explanation uses an "Egyptian phrase Peime-nte-rê meaning "Knowledge of Re" or "Understanding of Re"" as the true meaning.
Skeptical, as I am, I searched for another possible "Poimander". I found a Poimandros, a king and city builder of Tanagra or Poimandria (named after the king).
The location, where Tanagra was build ...
Pausanias mentions in Tanagra's location the ancient city of Graea, eponymous of the Graikoi, a Boeotian tribe whose name gave rise to the Latin Graecus "Greek". Homer, while reciting the Boeotian forces in the Iliad 's Catalogue of Ships, provides the first known reference to the Boeotian city of Graea.
Curious accident, that such an unknown location became the name-giver of a whole country population?
In "Deutschland", called Germany cause the old Germanen (Northern Germany) in England and Alemagne or similar in other locations cause the also rather populous Alemannen (Southern Germany; actually also counted as a part of the Kelten) the people call themselves "Deutsche", which is said to go back to a god Tuisto (according Tacitus), and nobody knows, who this really was.
In this case, Tacitus and his "Germania" might have played a deciding "name-giving" role, and possibly the case of the Greeks is similar, a "Roman decision", how this population should have been called.
Rome once had been winner, and the original tribes in that, what we call now Greece, were the losers.
This Greek Poimander or Poimandros has some mythological story, though not a big one.
In Greek mythology, Poemander (or Poimandros) was the son of Chaeresilaus (son of Iasius) and Stratonice. He was also the founder of Tanagra, which he named after the naiad Tanagra, his wife and the daughter of either Aeolus or Asopus. They had two sons, Leucippus and Ephippus, the father of Acestor.
Poemander was besieged by the Achaeans in a place called Stephon, for having refused to support them in the Trojan war. At night, he managed to escape and began to fortify Poemandria. His fortifications, however, were made fun of by the architect Polycritus, who leaped over the ditch in derision. Poemander, outraged, threw a stone at him, but missed and hit his own son Leucippus instead, who died of the injury. For the murder, in accordance with the law, Poemander had to leave Boeotia, which was not easy for him, since the land of Tanagra had been invaded by the Achaeans; moreover, his mother Stratonice was carried off by Achilles, who also killed his grandson Acestor. But Ephippus, sent by Poemander to beg for aid, brought Achilles, Tlepolemus and Peneleos to his father; they escorted Poemander to Elephenor, who cleansed him for the murder of Leucippus.
The story of Poemander and the mockery spreading architect Polycritus sounds a little bit like the story of Romulus and Remus (that should have given Poimander some Roman sympathy).
Poimander didn't want to fight in Troja. As the Romans perceived themselves as "people from Troja" this was another point of sympathy.
Now the fight of Troja has the character of an "early foundation of a nation" for the Greek (which was lost after it, but naturally such ideas lived up occasionally, and especially, when Alexander had his great successes).
When the Romans proved, that they were stronger than the "Greeks" or those, who occupied the relevant space then, which is nowadays called Greece, it wasn't naturally not of interest, to have some rebellious nationalism living up in the region. Finding a good name, which didn't trigger such dangerous feelings, had been political strategy. Choosing "Graecus", a long lost identity, which didn't give too much modern identification, looks political clever for the relevant time.
As Graea, as Pausanias tells, means "old woman", there might have been also Roman mockery in the choice.
Now, what's the interest to revive the figure of "Poimander" a few centuries later? Egyptian-Greek resistance? The involvement of Greek-Egyptian heroes and gods like Hermes, Thot and Ammon somehow remembers the world of Alexander and the time of a great empire, then gone with the successful adventures of a once not so successful state of Rome. If we assume Ammonias Sakkas as the origin, he lived in Alexandria.
The mythological Poimander has a genealogy ... surely a point of interest.
Grand-grand-father: Eleuther, son of Apollo and Aethusa. He is renowned for having an excellent singing voice, which earned him a victory at the Pythian games, and for having been the first to erect a statue of Dionysus, as well as for having given his name to Eleutherae. His sons were Iasius and Pierus. He also had several daughters, who spoke impiously of the image of Dionysus wearing a black aegis, and were driven mad by the god; as a remedy, Eleuther, in accordance with an oracle, established a cult of "Dionysus of the Black Aegis"
Parents: Chaeresilaus - Stratonice (carried off by Achilles; not much of interest)
I looked up Pausanias 9.20, which is given as a source:
[9.20.1] XX. Within the territory of Tanagra is what is called Delium on Sea. In it are images of Artemis and Leto. The people of Tanagra say that their founder was Poemander, the son of Chaeresilaus, the son of Iasius, the son of Eleuther, who, they say, was the son of Apollo by Aethusa, the daughter of Poseidon. It is said that Poemander married Tanagra, a daughter of Aeolus. But in a poem of Corinna she is said to be a daughter of Asopus
[9.20.2] There is a story that, as she reached extreme old age, her neighbors ceased to call her by this name, and gave the name of Graea (old woman)
, first to the woman herself, and in course of time to the city. The name, they say, persisted so long that even Homer says in the Catalogue:–
Thespeia, Graea, and wide Mycalessus. Hom. Il. 2.498
Later, however, it recovered its old name.
[9.20.3] There is in Tanagra the tomb of Orion, and Mount Cerycius, the reputed birthplace of Hermes,
and also a place called Polus. Here they say that Atlas sat and meditated deeply upon hell and heaven, as Homer20 says of him:–
Daughter of baneful Atlas, who knows the depths
Of every sea, while he himself holds up the tall pillars,
Which keep apart earth and heaven. Hom. Od. 1.152
[9.20.4] In the temple of Dionysus
the image too is worth seeing, being of Parian marble and a work of Calamis. But a greater marvel still is the Triton. The grander of the two versions of the Triton legend relates that the women of Tanagra before the orgies of Dionysus went down to the sea to be purified, were attacked by the Triton as they were swimming, and prayed that Dionysus would come to their aid. The god, it is said, heard their cry and overcame the Triton in the fight.
[9.20.5] The other version is less grand but more credible. It says that the Triton would waylay and lift all the cattle that were driven to the sea. He used even to attack small vessels, until the people of Tanagra set out for him a bowl of wine. They say that, attracted by the smell, he came at once, drank the wine, flung himself on the shore and slept, and that a man of Tanagra struck him on the neck with an axe and chopped off his head. for this reason the image has no head. And because they caught him drunk, it is supposed that it was Dionysus who killed him.
[9.21.1] XXI. I saw another Triton among the curiosities at Rome, less in size than the one at Tanagra. The Tritons have the following appearance. On their heads they grow hair like that of marsh frogs not only in color, but also in the impossibility of separating one hair from another. The rest of their body is rough with fine scales just as is the shark. Under their ears they have gills and a man's nose; but the mouth is broader and the teeth are those of a beast. Their eyes seem to me blue, and they have hands, fingers, and nails like the shells of the murex. Under the breast and belly is a tail like a dolphin's instead of feet.
[Just my remark ....
ON FABULOUS ANIMALS
[9.21.2] I saw also the Ethiopian bulls, called rhinoceroses owing to the fact that each has one horn (ceras) at the end of the nose (rhis), over which is another but smaller one, but there is no trace of horns on their heads. I saw too the Paeonian bulls, which are shaggy all over, but especially about the chest and lower jaw. I saw also Indian camels with the color of leopards.
[9.21.3] There is also a beast called the elk, in form between a deer and a camel, which breeds in the land of the Celts. Of all the beasts we know it alone cannot be tracked or seen at a distance by man; sometimes, however, when men are out hunting other game they fall in with an elk by luck. Now they say that it smells man even at a great distance, and dashes down into ravines or the deepest caverns. So the hunters surround the plain or mountain in a circuit of at least a thousand stades, and, taking care not to break the circle, they keep on narrowing the area enclosed, and so catch all the beasts inside, the elks included. But if there chance to be no lair within, there is no other way of catching the elk.
[9.21.4] The beast described by Ctesias in his Indian history, which he says is called martichoras by the Indians and man-eater by the Greeks, I am inclined to think is the tiger. But that it has three rows of teeth along each jaw and spikes at the tip of its tail with which it defends itself at close quarters, while it hurls them like an archer's arrows at more distant enemies; all this is, I think, a false story that the Indians pass on from one to another owing to their excessive dread of the beast.
[9.21.5] They were also deceived about its color, and whenever the tiger showed itself in the light of the sun it appeared to be a homogeneous red, either because of its speed, or, if it were not running, because of its continual twists and turns, especially when it was not seen at close quarters. And I think that if one were to traverse the most remote parts of Libya, India or Arabia, in search of such beasts as are found in Greece, some he would not discover at all, and others would have a different appearance.
[9.21.6] For man is not the only creature that has a different appearance in different climates and in different countries; the others too obey the same rule. For instance, the Libyan asps have a different colors compared with the Egyptian, while in Ethiopia are bred asps quite as black as the men. So everyone should be neither over-hasty in one's judgments, nor incredulous when considering rarities. For instance, though I have never seen winged snakes I believe that they exist, as I believe that a Phrygian brought to Ionia a scorpion with wings exactly like those of locusts.
[9.22.1] XXII. Beside the sanctuary of Dionysus at Tanagra are three temples, one of Themis, another of Aphrodite, and the third of Apollo; with Apollo are joined Artemis and Leto
. There are sanctuaries of Hermes Ram-bearer
and of Hermes called Champion
. They account for the former surname by a story that Hermes averted a pestilence from the city by carrying a ram round the walls; to commemorate this Calamis made an image of Hermes carrying a ram upon his shoulders. Whichever of the youths is judged to be the most handsome goes round the walls at the feast of Hermes, carrying a lamb on his shoulders.
[9.22.2] Hermes Champion is said, on the occasion when an Eretrian fleet put into Tanagra from Euboea, to have led out the youths to the battle; he himself, armed with a scraper like a youth, was chiefly responsible for the rout of the Euboeans. In the sanctuary of the Champion is kept all that is left of the wild strawberry-tree under which they believe that Hermes was nourished. Near by is a theater and by it a portico. I consider that the people of Tanagra have better arrangements for the worship of the gods than any other Greeks. For their houses are in one place, while the sanctuaries are apart beyond the houses in a clear space where no men live.
[9.22.3] Corinna, the only lyric poetess of Tanagra, has her tomb in a, conspicuous part of the city, and in the gymnasium is a painting of Corinna binding her head with a fillet for the victory she won over Pindar at Thebes with a lyric poem. I believe that her victory was partly due to the dialect she used, for she composed, not in Doric speech like Pindar, but in one Aeolians would understand, and partly to her being, if one may judge from the likeness, the most beautiful woman of her time.
[9.22.4] Here there are two breeds of cocks, the fighters and the blackbirds, as they are called. The size of these blackbirds is the same as that of the Lydian birds, but in color they are like crows, while wattles and comb are very like the anemone. They have small, white markings on the end of the beak and at the end of the tail.
I also looked up Plutarch, Greek questions 37 ... the second source for Poimandros
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... ction%3D37
Why do the people of Tanagra have before their city an Achilleum, that is, a place bearing this name? For it is related that Achilles actually had more enmity than friendship for the city, since he carried off Stratonicê, the mother of Poemander, and slew Acestor, the son of Ephippus.1
While the territory of Tanagra was still inhabited in village communities, Poemander, the father of Ephippus, had been besieged by the Achaeans in the place called Stephon, because of his unwillingness to join their expedition.2 But he abandoned that stronghold by night and fortified Poemandria.3 [p. 221] Polycrithus the master-builder, however, who was present, spoke slightingly of the fortifications and, in derision, leaped over the moat. Poemander was enraged and hastened to throw at him a great stone which had been hidden there from ancient days, set aside for use in the ritual of the Nyctelia.4 This stone Poemander snatched up in his ignorance, and hurled. He missed Polycrithus, but slew his son Leucippus. According to the law, therefore, he had to depart from Boeotia and become a suppliant at a stranger's hearth. But this was not easy, since the Achaeans had invaded the territory of Tanagra. Accordingly he sent his son Ephippus to appeal to Achilles. Ephippus, by his persuasive words, brought to his father Achilles, as well as Tlepolemus, the son of Heracles, and Peneleös, the son of Hippalcmas, all of them interrelated. Poemander was escorted by them to Chalcis, and there at the house of Elephenor he was purified of the murder. Therefore he honoured these heroes and set apart sacred precincts for them all, and of these the precinct of Achilles has still kept its name.
Ho, a good finding ...
Note 4 (Nyctelia): These rites resembled those of the rending and resurrection of Osiris; cf. Moralia 367 f.
Egyptian Osiris cult in the heart of Greece.
But elsewhere I find the idea, that Nyctelia were night festivities of the Bacchus cult. Bacchus is said to have had the surname Nyctelius.
I'd no luck with the reference "Moralia 367f."
Under Wiki: Graea I find the opinion ...
If men from Oropos-Graia were among the early Greek visitors to Capua or Veii and even early Rome, we can better understand an age-old puzzle: why Greeks were called "Greeks" in the Latin West. Such people told their first contacts in the Latin region that they were "Graikoi," that is, people from Graia. They were thus called "Graeci" by the people whom they met.
Unluckily Tanagra lies at a position (North of Athen), where it is rather far from Italy. Not very likely, that this is a good solution for "an age-old puzzle".
Well, there's more to say ...