Two paths lead to the 2015 Sabbat in Baltimore. One path picks up where the Bible ends, travels to the Bogomils, and reaches a secret European witch cult and eventually Salem, Massachusetts. The other path is via Cosimo de’Medici and his importation into Italy of subversive texts, which eventually helped dethrone Euclidean geometry. (Background: “One Step Beyond” in Baltimore, Ersjdamoo’s Blog, May 1, 2015.)

In 1462, Marsilio Ficino was suddenly ordered by his patron, Cosimo de’Medici, to drop everything and immediately begin translations of writings by a mysterious Hermes Trismegistus. Who was this Hermes? “Despite resentment of Hermes as a pagan god, Moslem authors covered themselves with his authority in their researches in astrology, alchemy and talismanic magic.” [1]

In Marsilio Ficino’s preface to “Book on the Power and Wisdom of God, Whose Title is Pimander”, Mercurius Trismegistus is described as “Thrice Greatest” – greatest philosopher, priest and king. Hermes Trismegistus had contemplated physical and mathematical topics first, before he moved on to divine contemplations. [1]

Cosimo II de’Medici had as his ancestor Cosimo de’Medici, the avid bibliophile. It was Cosimo II who nurtured Galileo Galilei, Bonaventura Cavalieri, and Evangelista Torricelli. They would have had access to the fabulous occult library of the first Cosimo. The method of the little pebbles, the Calculus, did not miraculously appear with Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz nor with Galileo, Cavalieri, and Torricelli, but was pondered upon in some form by the ancients. Was a secret “Book of Giants”, revealing, in part, mathematical secrets of Enoch, quietly passed into the hands of Isaac Newton? Is that what he meant when he said he had “stood on the shoulders of giants”? (Background: Aristotle’s Wheel and the Calculus Conspiracy, Ersjdamoo’s Blog, April 29, 2015.)

It has been discovered that Isaac Newton “used the ancient theology motif in his Principia and was still working at Hermetic alchemy in the early 1690s.” [1]

The Bogomils believed the true god had had two sons: Satanael, the eldest, and Jesus, the youngest. [2] Cain also had been the eldest and Abel had been the youngest. Later, after Abel had been murdered by Cain, Adam and Eve had a third son, Seth. (Genesis 4: 25). In 1945, Hermetic writings were discovered amongst the Nag Hammadi Codices. A major group of these documents are called “Sethian” because they give prominence to Seth. [3] The Sethian writings and others, including Hermetic writings, found at Nag Hammadi, were overall described as “The Secret Books of the Egyptian Gnostics” in 1960 by one Jean Doresse. [1]

Dame Frances Yates caused an uproar in 1968 when, in a scholarly article, “she made Hermes a major figure in the preliminaries to the scientific revolution, just two years after J.E. McGuire and P.M. Rattansi had connected Newton’s physics with the ancient theology theme so closely associated with Hermes.” [1]

Hermes was on the loose! Euclid’s geometry was slowly being undermined. Euclid was “the unassailable bastion of reason itself.” The implications of Euclid were broad. Only if Euclidean geometry were saved would chaos be defeated. [4]

The crux of the matter was quadrature of the circle, also known as squaring the circle. Using only a straight edge and a compass the area of a circle must somehow be expressed in terms of square units of area. [5]

Unless the circle could be squared, this implied dark corners where the light of reason does not shine. Thomas Hobbes took up the challenge of constructing a square equal in area to a given circle. [4]

Did Hobbes solve the problem? He said yes, he did. For Hobbes it involved reconsideration of what points, lines, and planes actually were. A mathematical point has no dimension. A line is composed of an infinity of points. But how can an infinity of points having zero dimension ever make up a line? Zero multiplied by infinity equals zero. For Hobbes, *motion* also had to be part of geometry. [4]

——- Sources ——-

[1] Introduction, by Brian P. Copenhaver. *Hermetica*. Cambridge University Press, 1992.

[2] *Secret Societies*, by Nesta H. Webster. New York: A&B Books, 1994.

[3] “Nag Hammadi Library”. *The Oxford Companion to the Bible*. Oxford University Press, 1993.

[4] *Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World*, by Amir Alexander. Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux; April 8, 2014.

[5] *e: the Story of a Number*, by Eli Maor. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994.