The Main Theses of the Armenian Translation of the Definitions by Hermes Trismegistus
Keywords:theologian, philosopher, Neo-Platonism, translation, Golden Age, scribe, international, value, orien-tal, Hellenic
Academician Sen Arevshatyan, a great connoisseur of medieval philosophy, enumerates a series of philosophical and theological works, translated in the middle of the 5th century and the beginning of the 6th century, the texts of which have been preserved only in Armenian. Among them one shall cite seven works by Philo of Alexandria and the Definitions by Hermes Trismegistus.
The text of the Hermes’ work, which has an international value, was prepared to publication by academician Hacob Manandyan and it was printed in the journal “Banber Matenadarani” (“The Messenger of the Matenadaran”). To prepare the critical text of the work under study H. Manandyan has utilized six manuscripts kept in the Mashtots Matenadaran of Yerevan, the most ancient of which was written in the 13th century, before 1282.
The Definitions by Hermes Trismegistus were translated into Old Armenian at the second half of the 5th century. Translations made in that period from Greek and Hellenic works have deeply influenced Armenian authors of the Golden Age.
The careful study of this philosophical treaty shows numerous relations between this work and those of the Armenian authors of the 5th century and the following period.
The Armenian translation of Hermes Trismegistus’ work proves how much the scientific thought was developed in Armenia still in the 5th century. The fact of the translation of the Definitions by Hermes Trismegistus shows that in the 5th century Neo-Platonism was among the fundamental directions of Armenian philosophy and it is not fortuitous that David the Invincible became the greatest figure of this philosophical direction in Armenia
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