The period between the fifteenth and the nineteenth centuries is a crucial yet neglected period in the reception history of Enochic traditions. The Enoch books were “lost” in the West; Enoch, however, was anything but forgotten in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hermetic circles. The Christian Cabalists (Pico della Mirandola, Johannes Reuchlin, Guillaume Postel) were the first to actively pursue the search for the lost Enoch. In the mid-sixteenth century with the arrival of the first Ethiopic monks from Ethiopia also came the news that 1 Enoch was there preserved. Rumors about the presence of an Enoch manuscript in the library of Nicolas de Pereics were widespread but proved to be unfounded. While Enoch remained popular in esoteric and visionary circles, the publication of the Greek fragments by Scaliger in 1606 led to the composition of the first scholarly commentaries by Sgambati (1703), Sarnelli (1710), and Fabricius (1713). Eventually, in 1773, James Bruce came back from Ethiopia with four MSS of 1 Enoch. Having emancipated the text from esoteric and magic concerns, contemporary research on Enoch could now begin with the publication, in 1821, of the first English translation of 1 Enoch by Richard Laurence.
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