The Ancient Library

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Theseus in Attica. There were festivals in their honour everywhere, many of them small and unimportant, and only celebrated in a restricted circle, others observed by the state as festivals of the people in general, and not a whit inferior, in wealth of equipment, to the most important festivals in honour of the gods. This was especially the case with the heroes of the country. Many heroes had shrines, known as HerOci, which were generally erected over their graves. The altars of heroes were lower than those of gods, and were commonly designated sacrificial hearths; they were generally on a level with the ground, and on the west side, the region of the nether world, were provided with a hollow into which the libations were poured. Like offerings to the dead, these consisted of honey, wine, water, milk, oil, and blood which had been shed by sacrificial victims; the flesh of the animals sacrificed was burnt. In the period of decadence it became customary to treat the living with heroic honours. Such honours were paid to the Spartan Lysander by the towns in Asia Minor, and were afterwards accorded to kings, e.g. to AuttgSnus and his son Deme­trius at Athens. Herse. See erse.

Hesiod (HesWdtia). The earliest epic poet of Greece (next to Homer), whose writings have actually come down to us. Even the ancients themselves had no clear views of his date, some making him the contemporary of Homer and others even still older. He certainly lived after Homer, probably about the beginning of the Olympiads in 776 B.C. His poems contain incidentally a few allusions to the circumstances of his life. According to them he was born at Ascra in Bceotia, near Helicon, where his father Dius had settled as an emigrant from the jEolic Cyme (KUme) in Asia. At his father's death he was involved in a dispute with his younger brother Perses about his patrimony. This was decided against him by the verdict of the judges, who had been bribed by the younger brother. Disgust at the injustice he had suffered, and a re­newal of the dispute with his brother, appear to have determined him to forsake his native land and to settle at Naupactus. According to a tradition he was murdered at the Locrian town of (Eneon by the sons of his host, on a false suspicion; but, by command of the Delphic oracle, his bones were brought to Orch6m6nus, where a monument, with an inscription, was erected

to him in the market-place. In ancient times a series of epic poems bore his name, and were attributed to him as the representa­tive of the Boeotian and Locrian school of poetry, in contrast to the Ionian and Homeric school. Three poems of his have been pre­served : (1) The Works and Days, which consists of myths, fables, and proverbs, interwoven with exhortations to his brother, who, having lost by extravagance his share of the- patrimony, was now threatening him with a new law-suit. The poet here recommends him to abstain from his un­righteous proceedings, and by honourable toil to gain fresh wealth for himself. He therefore lays down for his guidance all manner of precepts, on agriculture, do mestic economy, navigation, etc., and speci­fies the days appropriate for every under­taking. Although this poem is deficient in true artistic finish, it was highly valued by the ancients on account of its moral teaching. (2) The Theogony, An account of the origin of the world and of the birth of the gods, which, in its present shape, is composed of different recensions, together with many later additions. Next to the Homeric poems, it is the most important source of our knowledge of the views of the Greeks of the earliest times as to the world and the gods. (3) The Shield of Heracles. A description of the shield of Heracles, wrought by Hephaestus, to arm the hero in his conflict with Cycnus (q.v.), sou of Ares. It is a weak imitation of the Homeric account of the shield of Achilles, and is certainly not the work of Hesiod. As an introduction, a number of verses are bor­rowed from a lost poem by Hesiod, of genealogical import,—a list of the women whom the gods had made the mothers of the heroic families of Greece.

The poetry of Hesiod, although composed in the same form as that of Homer, never approaches it in grace and beauty. On the contrary, it is wanting in artistic form and finish, and rarely affords any real enjoyment. Nevertheless it betokens an important advance in the development of the Greek intellect, from the na'ive simplicity of its attitude in Homeric times, to the specula­tive observation of the world and of human life. It contains the germs of lyric, as also of elegiac, iambic, and aphoristic poetry. HesI8ne. Daughter of LaSmSdon, king of Troy, and of Leucippe. By her death she was to appease the wrath of PSseidon, who, on account of her father's breaking his word, was devastating the land with

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