From the internationally bestselling authors of THE HOLY BLOOD AND THE HOLY GRAIL comes a book of magic, controversial and enlightening, which dares to challenge the very foundations of Western thought... Since the seventeenth century, science has been contending with philosophy, organized religion and the arts for dominion over Western civilization and society. By the middle of the twentieth century, the battle appeared won: scientific rationalism and scepticism were triumphant. Yet in the last few decades a strong and potent countercurrent has emerged - an occult revival, an entire revolution in attitudes - which owes a profound debt to hermeticism, a body of esoteric teaching which flourished in Alexandria two thousand years ago, before going underground, never to be entirely destroyed. Now, perhaps for the first time, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh have put into their true context those shadowy alchemists and magicians which have haunted the imaginations of people for many centuries. They have written a new way of looking at the world.