The Ancient Library

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On this page: Hippias – Hippocampus – Hippocoon – Hippocrates – Hippocrene – Hippodameia




Greek fashion, who were as formidable in onslaught as in single combat; in order and discipline they far surpassed the dense squadrons of the Asiatic cavalry, and even in attacking the infantry of the enemy they had generally a decisive effect. The light cavalry, which was constituted under the name of prddromoi (skirmishers), con­sisted of Macedonian sarissOphoroi, so called from the sarissa, a lance from 14 to 16 feet long [Polybius, xviii 12], and of Thracian horsemen. The heavy-cavalry men had each a mounted servant and probably a led horse for the transport of baggage and forage. In the time after Alexander there came into existence what were called the Tarenttnl equitgs, or light-armed spear­men, with two horses each [b.c. 192, Livy, xxxv 28, 29].

Hipplas. A Greek Sophist of Elis and a contemporary of Socrates. He taught in the towns of Greece, especially at Athens. He had the advantage of a prodigious memory, and was deeply versed in all the learning of his day. He attempted literature in every form which was then extant. He also made the first attempt in the composition of dialogues. In the two Platonic dia­logues named after him, he is represented as excessively vain and arrogant.

Hippocampus. A fabulous marine animal, shaped like a horse, but having a curved and fish-like tail. The gods of the sea are often represented as riding or sitting on such animals.

Hipp5c66n. Son of (Ebalus of Sparta and of the Nymph Bateia, drove his brothers TyndarSos and Icarlus from home. After­wards, in consequence of his slaying the young (Bonus, a kinsman of Heracles, he himself, with his twenty sons, was slain by Heracles in alliance with king Cepheus of Tegga. Tyndareos was thereby restored to the inheritance of his father's kingdom.

Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician, was born in the island of Cos (an ancient seat of the worship of Asclepius), about 460 b.c. He was the son of Heracleides and of Phsenarete, and sprang from the race of the Asclepiadse, a priestly family, who in the course of time had gathered and pre­served medical traditions, which were secretly handed down from father to son. Like many of the Asclepiadse, he exercised his art whilst travelling in different parts of Greece. He is said to have been at Athens at the time of the Peloponnesian War, and to have taken advantage of the instructions of the Sophists Gorgias and Prodicus;

Democrltus of Abdera is also named as one of his teachers. The value he him­self set upon philosophic education is proved by his remark that " a philosophic physician resembles a god." Towards the end of his life he lived chiefly in Thessaly and on the island of Thasos. He died about 377 B.C. (or later) in the Thessalian Larissa, where his tomb was to be seen as late as the 2nd century a.d. All through his long life his activity was unceasing in its efforts to increase the amount of his knowledge on all subjects, by both practical and theore­tical investigations. He was the founder of the school of a scientific art of healing, and, as in the case of Homer, numerous writings of unknown authorship, proceed­ing from the school which followed his system, were attributed to him. Seventy-two works, great and small, in the Ionic and old Attic dialects, bear his name, and, apparently, formed a single collec­tion, even before they came under the con­sideration of the critics of Alexandria. But it is clear that, as the ancients themselves were aware, only a small portion, which can no longer be precisely defined, really belongs to him. It is highly probable that his nearest relations, who were also distin­guished physicians, contributed their share to the collection, and that it contains works by his sons Thessalus and Dracon, his son-in-law Polybus, and his two grandsons, the sons of Thessalus and Dracon, who bore his own name. The best known of these works are the Aphorisms, which, in anti­quity and in mediaeval times, were held in high esteem, and have been freely com­mented on by Greeks, Romans, and Arabians; they consist of short sentences upon the nature of illnesses, their symptoms and crises, and their final issue. One of his writings which is of general interest, and is in all respects among th« best, is that on the influence of the climate, the water, and the configuration of a country upon the physical and intellectual life of its inhabitants. In the second portion of this work we find the first beginnings of a com­parative ethnography, which at once sur­prises us by the acuteness and intelligence of its observation, and attracts us by the simplicity and clearness of its style.

Hippocrene ( = "the fountain of the steed"). The fount of the Muses, which was struck out of Mount Helicon, in Breotia, by the hoof of the winged steed Pegasus. (See muses and pegasus.)

Hippodameia (Lat. Hippoddmia). (1>

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