In this lecture Wouter Hanegraaf (University of Amsterdam) discusses the famous (or notorious) passages about animated statues in the Asclepius, an important Hermetic treatise in Latin that is based on a lost Greek original known as the Logos Teleios. It is well known that Augustine condemned Hermes Trismegistus’ praise of what Christians were bound to see as idolatry; and the Hermetic practice of statue animation came to be seen as a model of talismanic magic since William of Auvergne. First of all, he places Hermes’ discussion with his pupil Asclepius about statues in the social and political context of third-century Roman Egypt; secondly, he argues that it is most plausibly interpreted in the context of Iamblichean theurgy; thirdly, he tries to answer the question of how we may explain the conviction of practitioners that statues could actually come alive; and finally, he discusses the connection of these “god-making passages” to the other famous part of the Asclepius, Hermes’ lament about the imminent decline of Egypt.