Hermetic Books, the sacred canon of the ancient Egyptians, so called because they were supposed to have been composed by the god Thoth, "the scribe of the gods," who received from the Greeks the name of Hermes Trismegistus. According to Clemens Alexandrinus there were 42 such books divided into six sections. The first four treated respectively of (1) the nature of the gods, laws, the education of priests, (2) sacrifices, liturgical ceremonies, processions, (3) cosmography and geography, (4) astronomy and astrology; the fifth section included a collection of sacred songs, and an account of a ruler's life and duties; the sixth section was devoted to medicine. Some of the fragments preserved in Stobeeus and other ancient writers are said to show traces of Neoplatonic influence. The Book of the Dead apparently belonged to the 2nd section; the Ebers papyrus, supposed to have been written about 1500 B.C., formed part of the sixth.