The Corpus Hermeticum was an enigmatic codex of 14 texts, collected by the monk Leonardo of Pistoia in the year 1460 and brought to Florence under the direction of Cosimo De Medici.
After discovering that the collection of works was attributed to the teachings of the ancient mysterious sage Hermes, a sage who predated even the venerated Plato and other great philosophical minds of antiquity, De Medici at once ordered the great Renaissance scholar Marsilo Ficino to begin translating the work from Ancient Greek into Latin.
The Corpus Hermeticum then went on to inspire men of learning and aspirations to cosmic wisdom throughout the period of the Renaissance.
Such an influx of hermetic wisdom had a profound effect on the minds of men that many of the worlds great sciences and artforms received not only a rebirth after the long ignorant period of the early middle ages, but so too were new and more complex forms of mathematics, astronomy, and alchemy born out of a newfound confidence in the ability of the mind of man to unite with a higher mind.
Later on it was found that The Corpus Hermeticum may not have been as old as it had originally been thought to be, and its popularity waned especially outside of the epicentres of Hermetic interest in Italy.
In 1945 the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library renewed interest in the texts of The Corpus Hermeticum, as within one of the collections found in Egypt were several Hermetic works of a kind with The Corpus Hermeticum.
This was an exciting discovery, as it proved there had indeed been ancient Hermeticists from Greek Antiquity that had worked with this wisdom during that era, and the original codex by Leonardo of Pistoia had not been alone. (Quispel, Gilles, The Way of Hermes,1999, page 9)