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On this page: Hemerodkomi – Hemichrysus – Hemicongius – Hemicyclium – Hemiecteon – Hemilitron – Hemina


a general name for armed slaves. The Helots only served as hoplites in particular emergencies ; and on such occasions they were generally emancipated, if they showed distinguished bravery. The first instance of this kind was in the expedition of Bra-sidas, b. c. 424. (Thucyd. iv. 80, v. 34, vii. 19.)

.The treatment to which the Helots were sub­jected, as described by the later Greek writers, is marked by the most wanton cruelty. Thus Myron states that " the Spartans impose upon them every ignominious service, for they compel them to wear a cap of .dog's skin, and to be clothed with a gar­ment of sheep's skin, and to have stripes inflicted upon them every year for no fault, that they may never forget that they are slaves. And besides all this., if any rise by their qualities above the condi­tion of a. slave, they appoint death as the penalty, and their masters are liable to punishment if they dp not destroy the most excellent." (Athen. xiv. p, 657.) And Plutarch (Lye. 28) states that He-Igts were forced to intoxicate themselves, and per­form indecent dances as a warning to the Spartan youth.- These statements must be received with some caution. There is no evidence that they are true.of the. period before the Messenian wars ; nor can we. believe that such wanton and impolitic op­pressions, provocations, and destruction of a valu­able servile population formed any part of the ori­ginal system of Lj^curgus. What has been said above, respecting the legal condition of the Helots, indicates a very different state of things ; and their real condition is probably not misrepresented by Grote, when he says :—" The Helots were a part of the state, having their domestic and social sym­pathies developed, a certain power of acquiring property (Plut. Cleam. 23), and the consciousness of Grecian lineage and dialect — all points of marked superiority over the foreigners who formed the slave population of Athens or Chios. They seem to have been no way inferior to any village population of Greece." As is usual with serfs, every means was taken to mark the distinction be­tween them and their masters : they were obliged to, wear the rustic garb described above, and they w.ere not permitted to sing one of the Spartan songs. (Plut. Lye. 28.) But the state of things described in the above quotations belongs to a period when the fear of a servile insurrection had produced the natural result of cruel oppression on the one part and rebellious hatred on the other. That the cruelty of their masters knew no restraint when it was thus stimulated by fear, is manifest enough from the institution of the /cpuTrreza [crypteia]. How far the statements of ancient writers respect­ing the crypieia are to be believed, is somewhat doubtful ; but there can be no doubt of the fact related by Thuc}TdidGS, that on one occasion two thousand of the Helots Avho had rendered the greatest service to the state in war, were induced to come forward by the offer of emancipation, and then were put to death. (Thuc. iv. 80.)

; The Helots might be emancipated, but in that case, instead of passing into the class of Periocci, they formed a distinct body in the state, known, at the time of the Peloponnesian war, by the general term of yeoSa^wSe/s, but subdivided into several classes. Myron of Priene (ap. Athen. vi. p. 271, f.), enumerates the following classes of emancipated

vavrat, and yeo5a(uw<5ets. Of these the atperai Were probably released from all service ; the epu/c-


rrjpes were those employed in war; the Seo'Trcxnorai5-rai served on board the fleet ; and the V6o<Safj,tibd<Eis were those who had been possessed of freedom for some time. Besides these there were the (Ji6Q<aves or inoBaices, who were domestic slaves, brought up with the young Spartans, and then emancipated. Upon being emancipated they received permission to dwell where they wished. [Compare civitas (Greek), p. 290.]

(Miiller, Dorians, iii. 3 ; Hermann, Political Antiquities of Greece, §§ 19, 24, 28, 30,48 ; Wachs- muth, Hellen. AltertJi. 2d ed. see Index ; Manso, Sparta, see Index ; Thirl wall's Hist, of Greece, vol. i. pp. 309—313 ; Grote, Hist, of Greece, vol. ii. pp.494—499.) [P. S.j HE'MERA (Wpa). [DiES.]

HEMERODKOMI (wepotiptfJLOt), were cou­ riers in the Greek states, who could keep on running all clay, and were often employed to carry news of important events. As the Greeks had no system of posts, and but few roads, such messen­ gers must have been of great service. They were trained for the purpose, and could perform the longest journeys in an almost incredibly short space, of time. (Herod, vi. 105 ; Corn. Ncp. Mill. 4 ; Pint. Arist. 20 ; Pans. vi. 16. §5.) Such couriers ap­ pear to have been kept by most of the Greek states, and were in times of danger stationed on some eminence in order to observe any thing of importance that might happen, and carry the- intelligence with speed to the proper quarter. Hence, we frequently find them called Hemero-- scopi (7}fj.€po(jic6Troi, Herod, vii. 182, 192 ; Xen. HelL i. 1. § 2 ; Aeneas Tact. c. 6.) That the Hemeroscopi were the same as the Hemerodromi appears not only from the passage of Aeneas Tac- ticus just referred to, but also from the words of Livy (xxxi. 24) " ni speculator (hemerodromos vocant Graeci, ingens die uno cursu emetientes spatium), contemplans regium agmen e specula quadam, praegressus nocte media Athenas per-- venisset." (See Duker, ad Liv. I. c.) The He- merodromi were also called Dromokerukes (Spojuo- Kypvices, Harpocrat. and Hesych. s. v.}. HEMEROSCOPI. [hemerodromi.]

HEMICHRYSUS. [aurum ; stater.]

HEMICONGIUS.[CoNGius; and the Tables.]

HEMICYCLIUM (^ikvk\iov}, a semicir­ cular seat, for the accommodation of persons en­ gaged in conversation, either in private houses or in places of public resort ; and also the semicircular seat round the tribunal in a basilica. (Plut. Alcib. 17, Nic. 12 ; Cic. Lad. 1 ; Vitruv. v, 1. § 8, comp. Schneider's Note.) [P. S.]



HEMILITRON. [litra.]

HEMINA (fifjilva), the name of a Greek and Roman measure, seems to be nothing more than the dialectic form used by the Sicilian and Italian Greeks for ri/nicrv. (See the quotations from Epi-charmus and Sophron, ap. Ath. xi. p. 479, a, b., xiv. p. 648, d., and Hesych. s. v. Iv r/,uiVa, which he explains as ev yp.icrv.') It was therefore naturally applied to the half of the standard fluid measure, the leW^s, which the other Greeks called KorvXj], and the word passed into the Roman metrical system, where it is used with exactly the same force, namely for a measure which is half of the: sextarius, and equal to the Greek cotyle. (Bockh. Metrol. Untersuclt,^. 17, 200, 203.) [P. S.]

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