According to one story, it was founded by the Egyptian god Hermes (Thoth), the reputed inventor of the arts and sciences, to whom, under the appellation Hermes Trismegistus, Tertullian refers as the master of those who occupy themselves with nature; after him later alchemists called their work the " hermetic art," and the seal of Hermes, which they placed upon their vessels, is the origin of the common phrase " hermetically sealed."
The Egyptian writer Hermes Trismegistus (c. 250), in a work called Asclepius (cited by Augustine, De civit.
HERMES TRISMEGISTUS (" the thrice greatest Hermes "), an honorific designation of the Egyptian Hermes, i.e.
Pietschmann, Hermes Trismegistus, nach agyptischen, griechischen, and orientalischen Uberlieferungen (1875); R.
Thoth was identified by the Greeks with Hermes, and Hermes Trismegistus is a late development of the Egyptian god.