The Ancient Library

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On this page: Household Gods – Hyacinthus – Hyades – Hydria – Hydriaphoria – Hygieia




another took place, and a robe, woven by the Spartan women, was offered to the god.

Hyadgs ("the raining ones"). Daugh­ters of Atlas and of jEthra, and sisters of the Pleiades ; their number varies between two and seven. Being Nymphs who sup­plied nourishment by means of moisture, they were worshipped at Dodona as nurses of Zeus or of the infant Dionysus. As a reward for this they were placed in the sky as stars. At their rising about the same time as the sun, between May 7 and 21, rainy weather usually began. Hyades is natu­rally derived from the verb " to rain " ; but the Romans, wrongly supposing it came from the Greek for " a pig," called the con­stellation "the little pigs" (snculce).

Hydria (Greek). A kind of vessel for holding water. (See vessels.)

[Hydriaphdrla (Greek). "The carrying of a waterpot," a service performed by the wives of resident aliens at the Panathencect.]

Hygleia. In Greek mythology, the goddess of Health, daughter of JEsculapius (Gr. Asklepvis), with whom she is often worshipped. In works of art she is repre­sented by his side, as a maiden of kindly aspect, with a serpent, to whom she is

It did not move on hinges, but on pegs let into the threshold above and below. The door led immediately into the ostlum, a space opening directly into the atrium. At the side of the outturn was the room of the doorkeeper (ianitor), with other rooms, which were sometimes let out as shops.

The Roman house was originally calculated only for one story, but in course of time a second story became usual. As the dining-room was generally in this part of the house, all the rooms in the upper story were called ce~n&cula. The upper story was approached by steps in the form of a ladder, and was lighted by openings which could be closed by shutters. Some of these windows were pierced in the outer wall, and some in the inner wall, carried round the roofs of the atrium an&peristyHum. There were three-storied houses in Rome as early as the end of the Republic. The upper stories were let to tenants, and as early as the time of Augustus it was found neces­sary to limit the height of the street frontage to 70 Ro­man feet, a maximum which was afterwards lowered to 60 feet. The roof was of tiles, and sometimes pointed and sloping on the four sides, sometimes flat, in which case it was often ornamented with flowering plants and shrubs. A flat roof of this sort was called sOT&rium. The ancients heated their houses by means of portable fireplaces, braziers, and sometimes stoves. The Romans in the north of Italy, Gaul, and Germany used hot air for the purpose. (See baths.) Large lodging-houses were found both in Greek and Roman cities, the Greek name for such a house being synoikta and the Latin name insula.

Household Gods. See lares and pe­nates.

Hyacinthus. Son of king Anvyclas. of Amyclse in Laconia, and of DiSmede. He was beloved for his beauty by Apollo and Zephyrus. As Apollo was one day teach­ing the boy how to play at quoits, on the banks of the river Eurotas, the wind-god in his jealonsy drove the quoit with such violence against the head of Hyacinthus, that the blow killed him. JFrom his blood Apollo caused a flower of the same name to spring up, with the exclamation of woe, AI, AI, marked upon its petals. Hyacinthus, like Adonis, is a personification of vegeta­tion, which flourishes in the spring-time, but is scorched and killed by the glowing heat

of the summer sun, which is symbolized by the quoit or discus. Like other festivals in honour of nature, the festival of the Hyacinthia, celebrated by the Spartans at Amyclse for three days in July, down to the time of the Roman emperors, was connected with the expression of grief at the death of vegetation, of joy over the harvest, and of cheerful trust in the re-awakening of nature. On the first day, which was dedicated to silent mourning, sacrifice to the dead was offered at the grave of Hyacinthus, which was under the statue of Apollo in the temple at Amyclse. The following day was spent in public rejoicing in honour of Apollo, in which all the populace, including the slaves, took part. They went in festal pro­cession with choruses of singing boys and girls, accompanied by harps and flutes, to the temple of Apollo, where games and compe­titions, sacrifices and entertainments to one

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All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.