The Ancient Library

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On this page: Heraclides – Heraclitus – Heraea – Herald – Herald'S Staff – Hermae



skin (see engraving, and article glycon). The Hercules of the Athenian Apollonius, now only a torso, is equally celebrated. (See apollonius.) Compare also the copy of a head of Heracles on a tetrddrachmdn, of which there ia an engraving under the article coinage.

Heraclides (Hlr&kleides). Surnamed Pantlcus. A Greek philosopher, born at Heraclea in Pontus about 380 b.c. He came early to Athens, where he became a disciple of Plato and Aristotle, and had made a reputation by about 340 b.c. He was the author of some sixty works on

-a great variety of subjects: philosophy, mathematics, music, grammar, poetry, poli­tical and literary history, and geography. He was a learned and interesting writer, but somewhat deficient in critical power. We have a few fragments of his works remaining, besides an extract from a book on Constitutions which bears his name. But as no such treatise is elsewhere attri­buted to him, this must probably be re­garded as a selection from some of his other writings.

Heraclitus (Herdkleitos) of Ephesus. A Greek philosopher, who lived from about 535-475 b.c., during the time of the first Persian domination over his native city. As one of the last of the family of Androclus the descendant of Codrus, who had founded the colony of Ephesus, Heraclitus had cer­tain honorary regal privileges, which he re­nounced in favour of his brother. He like­wise declined an invitation of king Darius to visit his court. He was an adherent of the aristocracy, and when, after the defeat of the Persians, the democratic party came into power, he withdrew in ill-humour to a secluded estate in the country, and gave himself up entirely to his studies. In his later years he wrote a philosophical treatise,

•which he deposited in the temple of Arte­mis, making it a condition that it should not be published till after his death. He was buried in the market-place of Ephesus, and for several centuries later the Ephesians continued to engrave his image on their coins.

His great work On Nature, in three books, was written in the Ionian dialect, and is the oldest monument of Greek prose. Considerable fragments of it have come down to us. The language is bold, harsh, and figurative; the style is so careless that the syntactical relations of the words are often hard to perceive; and the thoughts :are profound. All this made Heraclitus so

difficult a writer, that he went in antiquity by the name '• the obscure."

Knowledge, according to Heraclitus, is based upon perception by the senses. Per­fect knowledge is only given to the gods, but a progress in knowledge is possible to men. Wisdom consists in the recogni­tion of the intelligence which, by means of the universe, guides the universe. Every­thing is in an eternal flux; nothing, there­fore, not even the world in its momentary form, nor the gods themselves, can escape final destruction. The ultimate principle into which all existence is resolvable is fire. As fire changes continually into water and then into earth, so earth changes back to water and water again to fire. The world, therefore, arose from fire, and in alternating periods is resolved again into fire, to form itself anew out of this element. The division of unity, or of the divine original fire, into the multiplicity of opposing phe­nomena, is " the way downwards," and the consequence of a war and a strife. Harmony and peace lead back to unity by " the way upwards." Nature is constantly dividing and uniting herself, so that the multiplicity of opposites does not destroy the unity of the whole. The existence of these oppositea depends only on the difference of the motion on " the way upwards " from that on " the way downwards"; all things, therefore, are at once identical and not identical.

Hersea. A festival held at Argos every five years in honour of Hera, the goddess of the country. The priestess of Hera drove, in a car drawn by white oxen, to the Heraeum, or temple of the goddess, situated between Argos and Mycenae. Meantime the people marched out in pro­cession, the fighting men in their arms. There was a great sacrifice of oxen (h&k&-tombe"), followed by a general sacrificial banquet and games of all sorts. A special feature of these was a contest in throwing the javelin, while running at full speed, at a shield set up at the end of the course. The victor received a crown and a shield, which he carried in the final procession

Herald. See ceryx and pr^eco.

Herald's Staff (Gr. kerykeion ; Lat. cadtt-cSus). An attribute of Hermes (q.v.).

Hermse. Pillars, smaller at the base than at the summit, which terminated generally with a head of Hermes. In the earliest times, Hermes (in whose worship the num­ber 4 played a great part) was worshipped [especially in Arcadia, see Pausanias, viii 4 § 4; cp. iv 33 § 4] under ths form of a simple

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