The Ancient Library

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On this page: Hermagoras – Hermaphroditus – Hermes




(Attic relief found Dear Naples; Munich, Glyptothek.)

he was bathing in the Carian fountain of , son herald to the gods and the guide of the Salmacis; and the Nymph of the fountain, dead in Hades. In this myth we have

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quadrangular pillar of marble or wood, with the significant mark of the male sex. As art advanced, the pillar was surmounted, first with a bearded head, and afterwards with a youthful head of the god. Hermes being the god of traffic, such pillars were erected to him in the streets and squares of towns; in Attica, after the time of Hip-parchus, the son of Pisistratus, they were also erected along the country roads as mile-stones. Sometimes they were inscribed with apo­phthegms and riddles, in ad­dition to directions as to the way; [sometimes also with inscriptions in honour of those who had fought bravely for their country. Dem., Lept., 112 ; jEschines, Or. 3 § 183.) In Athens there was an espe­cially large number of them ; in the market-place to the N.W. of the Acropolis, the Hermce, erected partly by private individuals and partly by corporations, formed a long colonnade extending be­tween the Hall of Paintings (stda poiktte) and the King's Hall (stoa basileiuK). Accor­dingly, the latter was some­times called the Hall of Hermce. When the heads of other divini­ties (such as Athene, Heracles, Eros) were placed on such pillars, these were then called Hermathene, Hermer&cles, HermSros.

Hermagoras. See rhetoric, Greek, near end.

HenniphrSditus. In Greek mythology, the son of Hermes and Aphrfidite, born on Mount Ida, and endowed with the beauty of both deities. When a grown youth,

whose love he rejected, prayed the gods that she might be indissolubly united with him. The prayer was answered, and a being sprang into existence which united the qualities of male and female. The fable probably arose from the inclination, preva­lent in the Eastern religions, towards con­fusing the attributes of both sexes. In Cyprus, for instance, a masculine AphrS-ditos, clad in female attire, was worshipped by the side of the goddess Aphrodite. Figures of hermaphrodites are common in art.

Hermes. Son of Zens and of the Naiad Maia, daughter of Atlas. Immediately after

his birth upon the Arcadian mountain of Cyllene, he gave proof of his chief character­istics, inventiveness and versatility, united with fascination, trickery, and cunning. Born in the morning, by mid-day he had invented the lyre; in the evening he stole fifty head of cattle from his brother Apollo, which he hid so skilfully in a cave that they could not be found; after these exploits he lay down quietly in his cradle. Apollo, by

means of his prophetic power, discovered the thief and took the miscreant to Zeus, who ordered the cattle to be given up. However, Hermes so delighted his brother by his playing on the lyre that, in exchange for it, he allowed him to keep the cattle,, resigned to him the golden staff of fortune and of riches, with the gift of prophecy in its humbler forms, and from that time forth became his best friend. Zeus made his


allusions to several attributes of the-god.

In many districts of Greece, and espe­cially in Arcadia, the old seat of his wor­ship, Hermes was regarded as a god who bestowed the blessing of fertility on the pastures and herds, and who was happiest spending his time among shepherds and dallying with Nymphs, by whom he had numberless children, including Pan and Daphnis. In many places he was considered the god of crops; and also as the god of mining and of digging for buried treasure. His kindliness to man is also shown in his being the god of roads. At cross-roads in.

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