Hermetica refers to information or knowledge acquired and disseminated by Hermes Trismegistus, some say the god Thoth, others a real man who lived a long long time ago and was responsible for all the amazing things the ancient Egyptians knew…and know no longer.
Collected writings attributed to him and bound in a book are called Hermetica. Since we are talking about ancient times, there were no publishing laws or contracts, so anyone could bind manuscripts together and call it “Hermetica”. This accounts for many variations and probably many different authors or contributors. After a long time, the term “Hermetica” began to take on connotations of esoteric knowledge regardless of the source.
In the Hermetica of Elysium I have created an adventure that revolves around a coveted copy of an Hermetica in the late 15th century. The Inquisition in Spain is expelling their learned and skilled to the Levant, burning books and people, and hunting the manuscripts they label “heretical”. How can a book be so threatening?
Putting aside the obvious, that faithful Christians might be lead astray if they learned anything besides what their priests told them, can knowledge of how the world works really disrupt the powers-that-be?
This year the world has witnessed what is being called “The Arab Spring”, and “Occupy Wall Street” could not happen unless the participants knew about the actions of the Corporations. I think that the more the people know about their leaders and masters the more they are likely to rebel against them. It does not matter whether it is 1494 or 2011.
The Internet is the new Hermetica.