The Ancient Library

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On this page: Hermesianax – Mermione – Hermippus – Hermogenes – Hero – Herodes



He was portrayed by the greatest sculptors, such as Phidias, Polyclltus, ScSpas, and Praxiteles, whose Hermes with the infant Dionysus was discovered in 1877, in the temple of Hera, at Olympia. (See praxi­teles, and sculpture, fig. 10.) In the older works of art he appears as a bearded and strong man ; in the later ones he is to be seen in a graceful and charming attitude, as a slim youth with tranquil features, indicative of intellect and good will. His usual attri­butes are wings on his feet, a flat, broad-brimmed hat (see petasus), which in later times was ornamented with wings, as was also his staff. This last (Gr. kirj/keiOn; Lat. c&duceus, fig. 2) was ori­ginally an enchanter's wand, a jft Q5) symbol of the power that pro- U <m •luces wealth and prosperity, and also an emblem of influence over the living and the dead. But even in early times it was regarded as a herald's staff and an emblem of peaceful inter­course ; it consisted of three shoots, one of which formed (2) caduceus. the handle, the other two being intertwined at the top in a knot. The place of the latter was afterwards taken by ser­pents ; and thus arose our ordinary type of herald's staff. By the Romans Hermes was identified with mercurius (q.v.).

Hermeslanax, of Cslophon in Ionia; a. Greek elegiac poet, who lived in the time of Alexander the Great, about 330 b.c., and was a scholar and friend of Phlletas. He composed erotic elegies in the style of those by his compatriot Antimachus. The three books containing his compositions he en­titled L&ontidn, after his mistress. A frag­ment of ninety-eight lines of the third book has been preserved, in which love-stories of poets and wise men from Orpheus down to Philetas are treated in a rather unconnected manner, but not without spirit.

Hermlone. The only child of Menelaus and Helen. She was married to Neoptole-mus the son of Achilles, immediately on her father's return from Troy, in fulfilment of a promise he had made there. According to a post-Homeric tradition, she had been previously promised to Orestes ; he claimed her on the ground of his prior right, and on his claim being refused by Neoptolemus, killed his rival with his own hands, or at any rate compassed his death, at Delphi. Orestes took Hermione to his home, and had by her a son, TisamSnus.

Hermippus. A Greek poet of the Old

Comedy, an elder contemporary of Aristo­phanes and a bitter opponent of Pericles, whose mistress, Aspasia, he prosecuted on a charge of atheism. Only a few fragments of his dramas, as also of his libellous iambic poems, after Archilochus' manner, have been preserved ; they are remarkable for the cleverness of their style.

Herm6gSnes. A Greek rhetorician of Tarsus in Cilicia, who flourished in the middle of the 2nd century a.d. He came to Rome as a rhetorician as early as his fifteenth year, and excited universal admi­ration, especially on the part of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. In his twenty-fourth year he lost his memory, and never recovered it, though he lived to a great age. His work on Rhetoric, which still exists, enjoyed a remarkable popularity, and was for a long time the principal text-book of rhetoric ; it was also epitomised, and was the subject of numerous commentaries. The work itself consists of five sections: (1) On points at issue in legal causes ; (2) On the art of dis­covering arguments; (3) On the various forms of oratorical style; (4) On political orations in particular, and on the art of i eloquent and effective speaking ; (5) the ; last section consists of rhetorical exercises (Pr&gymnasmMa), which were cast into a fresh form by Aphthonius (q.v.), and trans­lated into Latin by Priscian. Hero. Sec leander. Herodes Attlcus (the name in full is Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herodes). A celebrated Greek rhetorician, born about a.d. 101, at Marathon. He belonged to a very ancient family, and received a careful edu­cation in rhetoric and philosophy from the leading teachers of his day. His talents and his eloquence won him the favour of the emperor Hadrian, who, in a.d. 125, ap­pointed him prefect over the free towns of the Province of Asia. On his return to Athens, about 129, he attained a most exalted position, not only as a teacher of oratory, but also as the owner of immense wealth, which he had inherited from his father. This he most liberally devoted to the sup­port of his fellow citizens, and to the erec­tion of splendid public buildings in various parts of Greece. He had just been arch&n, when in 140 he was summoned to Rome by Antoninus Pius, to instruct the imperial princes, Marcus Awrelius and Lucius Verus, in Greek oratory. Amongst other marks of distinction given him for this was the consulship in 143. His old age was sad­dened by misunderstandings with his fellow

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