Ancient Sages and Arcane Texts: The Myth and Magic of the Phoenician Alphabet

When ancient accounts of writing take you to some unexpected places: I’ve written a post over on the CREWS Project blog about how ancient accounts of the origins of the Phoenician writing system link into Hellenistic cultural contacts and the emergence of western esotericism.

Hermes_mercurius_trismegistus_siena_cathedralLet me tell you a story of the forgotten wisdom of the ancients, preserved in secret libraries of elder ages and deciphered by visionary sages, let me tell you about men who became gods and gods who became men. Let me tell you the strange mythology linking the origins of the Phoenician alphabet with the birth of the Western occult tradition.

The origins of writing systems are fascinating, but sometimes it can be just as interesting to lay the reality to one side and look at where the people of the ancient world thought their writing systems came from. My colleague Natalia has been doing this with her series of blog-postslooking at myths about writing. Here, though, I want to look in a bit more depth at the stories told about the development of the Phoenician alphabet.

Because they get a bit weird.

View original post 1,924 more words

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