The Ancient Library

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On this page: Hieromenia – Hieromnemon – Hieronymus – Hierophant – Hieropoei – Hieroscopy



the same, and in part lived as a kind of bondmen upon its land. We find them forming a considerable population in Asia; e.g. at Comana in Cappadocia, there were more than 6,000 of them, who with their descendants belonged as slaves to the god­dess called Enyo by the Greeks. They served as labourers on the estates of the temple, and performed the humblest offices as hewers of wood and drawers of water. The Delphic sanctuary of Apollo had similar ministrants from a very early date, as had also the temple of Aphrodite on Mount Eryx in Sicily. In the same manner Aphrodite of Corinth, in the flourishing times of that that city, had over 1,000 girls dedicated to her service; they added brilliancy and lustre to her worship, and living as hetairai they paid a portion of their earnings to the goddess as tribute.

Hleromenla. The Greek term for the holy time of the month, i.e. that portion of each month which was kept as a festival. It differed in the several months according to the number and duration of the festivals. During this time there was a suspension of all business and even of lawsuits, and executions and warrants were in abeyance; in short, everything that was likely to interrupt the universal peace and the celebration of the festival was set on one side. For the greater feasts a " truce of God " was proclaimed. (See ekecheiria.) HIgrflmnemon. The recorder or officer in charge of sacred business at the meet­ings of the Amphictyonic Council. (See amphictyons.)

HlSronymus. (1) A Greek historian born at Cardia in Thrace; he fought under Alex­ander the Great, and after his death attached himself to his compatriot Eumenes. They were both captured in b.c. 316, but Hieronymus found favour with Antlgflnus and was appointed governor of Syria. Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, entrusted him with the governorship of Boaotia. He survived Pyrrhus (ob. 272), and died, at the age of 104, at the court of Antigonus Gonatas. At an advanced age he composed a history of the Diadochi and their suc­cessors down to and beyond the death of Pyrrhus; which, although of small value in point of style, was an original work of great value, and the foundation of all the accounts of the successors of Alexander that have come down to us. The work exists in fragments only.

(2) Best known as Saint Jerome. One of the most famous of the Latin Fathers

of the Church. He was born at Stridon on the borders of Dalmatia and Pannonia, about a.d. 340. He was the son of respectable and wealthy Christian parents, and received in Rome and Treves a secular education in rhetoric and philosophy. In 374, during a journey in the East, he was alarmed by a dream, which led to his with­drawing from the world and living as a hermit in the Syrian desert. After five years he left his retirement and lived in Antioch, Constantinople, and Rome, till he settled at Bethlehem in 386. He there founded a monastery and a school of learn­ing, and he ended an active life in 420. Among his numerous works mention must be made of his translation and continuation (in 380 b.c.) of the Greek Chronological Tables of Eusebius (q.v.); this is of great value for the history of Roman literature, owing to its quotations from the work of Suetonius De Virls lllustrlbus, which was then extant in its complete form. In imita­tion of the latter and under a similar title he wrote a work on Christian Literature. He also wrote the well-known Latin version of the Bible known as the Vulgate, which is, strictly speaking, a revision, and in part a new version, of an older translation.

Hierophant (Gr. MlrSpftantes, " discloser of sacred things"). The chief priest in the Eleusinian mysteries (see eleusinia). He was always a member of the family of the Eumolpldse. It was his duty to exhibit to the initiated the sacred symbols of the mysteries, and at the same time probably to chant the liturgic hymns originally de­rived from his ancestor, the Thracian bard Eumolpus.

Hieropoei (Gr. hUropoioi, "managers of the sacrifices"). The Greek term forcer-tain officials, who. besides having the care of the sacrifices, had also the superintendence of the economic details of the sanctuary, and the charge of the money and treasures of the temple. In Athens, besides such officials attached to the several temples, there was a board of ten men, yearly appointed by lot, who had to attend to the celebration of the extraordinary and quinquennial sacri­fices, the cost of which was defrayed by the public treasury. Another college of three or ten hieropoei, appointed by the Areopagus, superintended the sacrifices offered to the Eumenldes by the state.

Hieroscopy (Gr. MSr&skSpia, "viewing the sacrifice"). A form of divination by means of the entrails of sacrificed beasts. (See mantike.)

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