The Ancient Library

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On this page: Hesychius – Hetaerae – Hetaeri – Hetaeriae – Hieroduli



restless god of trade on the public streets and roads, representing between them the two principal varieties of human life. Ac­cording to a view that afterwards became current, under the influence of philosophers and mystics, she was regarded as personi­fying the earth, as the fixed centre of the world, and was identified with Demeter and Cybele. The corresponding deity among the Romans was Vesta (q.v.). The statues placed in the Prijtaneia represented her, in accordance with her nature, as a being with grave and yet gentle expression, sitting or standing in an attitude of rest, with a sceptre as her attribute. The most celebrated of her existing statues is known as the Giusti-niani Vesta (see cut); a form robed in simple drapery, with hair unadorned and wearing a veil; her right hand rests on her hip, and her left hand, which is pointing upwards, once held a long staff as her sceptre.

Hesychlus. A Greek grammarian of Alex­andria, who lived probably towards the end of the 4th century a.d. He composed, with the assistance of the works of earlier lexicographers (especially that of DiogSnla-nus), a lexicon, which has come down to us in a very confused form, but is neverthe­less among the most important sources of our knowledge of the Greek language, and throws much light on the interpretation and criticism of Greek poets, orators, historians, and physicians.

Hetserse (Gr. hetairai). A euphemism for courtesans carrying on their profession chiefly at Corinth and Athens. In the former place they were connected with the worship of AphrSdite; in the latter they were intro­duced by an ordinance of Solon, who intended thereby to obviate worse evils that imperilled the sanctity of the marriage-bond and the chastity of domestic life. The intercourse of unmarried men with hetcerce was by no means considered immoral; in the case of married men it was disapproved by custom, which, after the Peloponesian War, became more and more lax in this as in other respects. The hetcerce who were kept in special establishments and on whom the state levied a tax, were all female slaves; on the other hand, the women called hetcerce in a narrower sense, who carried on their trade independently, were drawn chiefly from the ranks of foreigners and freed-women. It was quite unexampled for any Athenian citizen's daughter to become a hetcera. The important position they assumed in the social life of Athens after the Peloponnesian War is easily gathered

from the later Attic Comedy, as the plot of the pieces generally turns upon the adven­tures of a hetcera. As custom debarred all respectable women and girls from the society of men, the female element in the latter was represented exclusively by hetcerce, many of whom became famous by possessing the mental culture from which the female citizens were debarred by their education and by their secluded life. Thus they were able to attract even men of eminence. Aspdsla of Miletus was able to make her house at Athens the meeting-point of the most remarkable men of her day ; among them even a Socrates and a Pericles, and the latter deserted his wife to marry her.

Courtesans (called in Latin mgrltrlcSs) were tolerated in Rome as in Greece; and no objection was raised to the inter­course of unmarried men with these per­sons. They were under the charge of the sediles, and from the time of Caligula they had to pay a tax to the imperial exchequer. Steeped as they were in infamy, the law even refused to accept their testimony as valid. They were distinguishable from respectable women by their costume; they wore neither stSla nor palla, but a shorter tunic without fringe, over which was a toga of darker colour; they were not per­mitted to adopt the characteristic head-gear of matrons. In the best times the trade was only carried on by slaves and freed-women, but afterwards by free-born women also.

Hetseri (Gr. hetairoi) ("companions"). The designation of all free Macedonians who were ready to join in the defence of their country; especially the noblemen who composed the heavy cavalry, as contrasted with the infantry (Gr. pgzltairoi) of the royal guard [see Thirlwall, H. G., v, p. 179). Hetaerlse (Gr. hStairlai). The common name in Greece for all associations having any particular object, but chiefly for poli­tical clubs, often of a secret character, for the advancement of certain interests in the state. In many cases their members only aimed at assisting one another as candi­dates for public office or in lawsuits ; but occasionally they also worked for the vic­tory of their party and for a change in the constitution.

HIerddiili (Gr. -oi), (temple servants). The name for all who were closely con­nected with the service of a sanctuary, and especially such as were bound to perform certain services, obligations, and duties to

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