Page:Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) - Volume 2.djvu/423

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HERMAS.
409
HERMAS.

Once when he was bathing in the well, she embraced him, and prayed to the gods that they might permit her to remain united with him for ever. The gods granted the request, and the bodies of the youth and the nymph became united in such a manner that the two together could not be called either a man or a woman, but were both. Hermaphroditus, on becoming aware of the change, prayed that in future every one who bathed in the well should be metamorphosed into an hermaphrodite. (Ov. l.c.; Diod. iv. 6; Lucian, Dial. Deor. 15. 2; Vitruv. ii. 8; Fest. s. v. Salmacis.) In this, as in other mythological stories, we must not suppose that the idea is based on a fact, but the idea gave rise to the tale, and thus received, as it were, a concrete body. The idea itself was probably derived from the worship of nature in the East, where we find not only monstrous compounds of animals, but also that peculiar kind of dualism which manifests itself in the combination of the male and female. Others, however, conceive that the hermaphrodites were subjects of artistic representation rather than of religious worship. The ancient artists frequently represented hermaphrodites, either in groups or separately, and either in a reclining or a standing attitude. The first celebrated statue of an hermaphrodite was that by Polycles. (Plin. H. N. xxiv. 19, 20; comp. Heinrich, Commentatio qua Hermaphroditorum Artis antiquae Operibus insignium Origines et Causae explicantur, Hamburg, 1805; Welcker, in Creuzer and Daub's Studien, iv. p. 169, &c.) [L. S.]


HERMA'PIAS (Ἑρμαπίας or Ἑρμαππίας), a Greek grammarian, who is mentioned several times in the Venetian scholia on Homer, among the commentators of the Homeric poems (ad Il. iv. 235, xi. 326, xiii. 137.) From these passages we learn that his commentary treated on grammar, accent, and the like; but the author, as well as his commentaries, are otherwise unknown. [L. S.]


HERMARCHUS (Ἕρμαρχος), sometimes, but incorrectly, written Hermachus. He was a son of Agemarchus, a poor man of Mytilene, and was at first brought up as a rhetorician, but afterwards became a faithful disciple of Epicurus, who left to him his garden, and appointed him his successor as the head of his school, about B. C. 270. (Diog. Laërt. x. 17, 24.) He died in the house of Lysias at an advanced age, and left behind him the reputation of a great philosopher. Cicero (de Fin. ii. 30) has preserved a letter of Epicurus addressed to him. Hermarchus was the author of several works, which are characterised by Diogenes Laёrtius (x. 24) as κάλλιστα, viz. Ἐπιστολικὰ περὶ Ἐμπεδοκλέους, in 22 books, Περὶ τῶν μαθημάτων, Πρὸς Πλάτωνα, and Πρὸς Ἀριστοτέλην; but all of them are lost, and we know nothing about them but their titles. But from an expression of Cicero (de Nat. Deor. i. 33), we may infer that his works were of a polemical nature, and directed against the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, and on Empedocles. (Comp. Cic. Acad. ii. 30; Athen. xiii. 588; Phot. Bibl. Cod. 167, p. 115 b. ed. Bekker.) It should be remarked that his name was formerly written Hermachus, until it was corrected by Villoison in his Anecdota Graec. ii. pp. 159, 290. [L. S.]


HERMAS (Ἑρμᾶς), a disciple of the apostle Paul, and one of the apostolic fathers. So at least it is generally believed, and it is further supposed that he is the same person as the Hermas who is mentioned in St. Paul's epistle to the Romans (16.14). This opinion arose from the fact that at the beginning of the second century of our era a Greek work entitled Hermae Pastor (ποιμήν) was circulated from Rome, and acquired a great reputation in the Christian church. We possess the work only in a Latin translation, which seems to have been made at a very early period, though there still exist some fragments of the Greek original, which have been collected by Fabricius (Cod. Apocryph. N. T. iii. p. 738) and Grabe (Spicileg. Patr. i. p. 303). The object of the author of this treatise is to instruct his readers in the duties of the Christian life, the necessity of repentance, man's relation to the church, fasts, prayer, constancy in martyrdom, and the like; but the manner in which he inculcates his doctrines is of a singular kind, for he represents them as divine revelations, which were made to him either in visions or by his own guardian angel, whom he calls pastor angelicus, and from whom his work derives its name. The whole work is divided into three books: the first is entitled Visiones, and contains four visions, which he pretends to have been ordered to commit to writing. The subjects are mostly of an ethical nature, or the church. The second contains 12 Mandata, which were given to Hermas by his guardian angel as answers to questions which he had put to him. The third book, entitled Similitudines, contains ten similes, which were likewise revealed to Hermas by his angel; and the similes themselves are taken from a tree and a tower. By these three means, visions, commands and similes, the author endeavours to show that a godly life consists in observing the commands of God and doing penance; that he who leads a godly life is safe against all temptations and persecutions, and will ultimately be raised into heaven. The objects of the writer were thus evidently good and noble, but some of his opinions have been very severely censured by theologians, and the character of the author has been the subject of lively controversies down to the present time. Most theologians are of opinion that, if not an impostor, he was at least a person of a weak understanding, but of a lively and enthusiastic imagination. Mosheim judges of him most severely, and treats him as a person guilty of a most unpardonable pious fraud, and whose production is of scarcely any value. The doctrines, however, are, on the whole, sound; and as to the form in which they are clothed, it is impossible for us to say what induced him to adopt it. The book itself is a sort of devotional treatise, and contains many a lesson, encouragement and warning, which must have been useful to the early Christians, and have comforted them under the sufferings to which they were exposed in those times. The high estimation in which the work was held is attested by Irenaeus (adv. Haeres. iv. 3), Clemens of Alexandria (Strom. 1.29), and Origen. (Explan. Epist. ad Rom. 16.) According to Eusebius (Hist. Eccles. iii. 3), many indeed doubted the genuineness of the Pastor, but others had it read in public, and regarded it as a necessary introduction to Christianity. This latter was the case, according to Hieronymus (de Script. Eccles. 10), more especially in those countries where Greek was spoken; but Hieronymus himself is uncertain in his opinion, for sometimes he calls it a useful book, and sometimes a foolish one. (Comment. in Habac.