Page:EB1911 - Volume 13.djvu/387

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
371
HERMESIANAX—HERMON

there were a goddess of writing (Seshit), and the ancient deified scribes Imuthes and Amenophis, and later inspired doctors Petosiris, Nechepso, &c., to be reckoned with; there are indeed some definite traces of such an attribution extant in individual cases. Whether a canon of such books was ever established, even in the latest times, may be seriously doubted. We know, however, that the vizier of Upper Egypt (at Thebes) in the eighteenth dynasty, had 40 (not 42) parchment rolls laid before him as he sat in the hall of audience. Unfortunately we have no hint of their contents. Forty-two was the number of divine assessors at the judgment of the dead before Osiris, and was the standard number of the nomes or counties in Egypt.

The name of Hermes seems during the 3rd and following centuries to have been regarded as a convenient pseudonym to place at the head of the numerous syncretistic writings in which it was sought to combine Neo-Platonic philosophy, Philonic Judaism and cabalistic theosophy, and so provide the world with some acceptable substitute for the Christianity which had even at that time begun to give indications of the ascendancy it was destined afterwards to attain. Of these pseudepigraphic Hermetic writings some have come down to us in the original Greek; others survive in Latin or Arabic translations; but the majority appear to have perished. That which is best known and has been most frequently edited is the Ποιμάνδρης sive De potestate et sapientia divina (Ποιμάνδρης being the Divine Intelligence, ποιμὴν ἀνδρῶν), which consists of fifteen chapters treating of such subjects as the nature of God, the origin of the world, the creation and fall of man, and the divine illumination which is the sole means of his deliverance. The editio princeps appeared in Paris in 1554; there is also an edition by G. Parthey (1854); the work has also been translated into German by D. Tiedemann (1781). Other Hermetic writings which have been preserved, and which have been for the most part collected by Patricius in the Nova de universis philosophia (1593), are (in Greek) Ἰατρομαθηματικὰ πρὸς Ἄμμωνα Αἰγύπτιον, Περὶ κατακλίσεως νοσούντων περιγνωστικά, Ἐκ τῆς μαθηματικῆς ἐπιστήμης πρὸς Ἄμμωνα: (in Latin) Aphorismi sive Centiloquium, Cyranides; (in Arabic, but doubtless from a Greek original) an address to the human soul, which has been translated by H. L. Fleischer (An die menschliche Seele, 1870).

The connexion of the name of Hermes with alchemy will explain what is meant by hermetic sealing, and will account for the use of the phrase "hermetic medicine" by Paracelsus, as also for the so-called "hermetic freemasonry" of the middle ages.

Besides Thoth, Anubis (q.v.) was constantly identified with Hermes; see also Horus.

See Ursinus, De Zoroastre, Hermete, &c. (Nuremberg, 1661); Nicolas Lenglet-Dufresnoy, L'Histoire de la philosophie hermétique (Paris, 1742); Baumgarten-Crusius, De librorum hermeticorum origine atque indole (Jena, 1827); B. J. Hilgers, De Hermetis Trismegisti Poemandro (1855); R. Ménard, Hermès Trismégiste, traduction complète, précédée d'une étude sur l'origine des livres hermétiques (1866); R. Pietschmann, Hermes Trismegistus, nach ägyptischen, griechischen, und orientalischen Überlieferungen (1875); R. Reitzenstein, Poimandres, Studien zur griechisch-ägyptischen und frühchristlichen Literatur (Leipzig, 1904); G. R. S. Mead, Thrice Greatest Hermes (1907), introduction and translation.

 ((F. Ll. G.)) 


HERMESIANAX, of Colophon, elegiac poet of the Alexandrian school, flourished about 330 B.C. His chief work was a poem in three books, dedicated to his mistress Leontion. Of this poem a fragment of about one hundred lines has been preserved by Athenaeus (xiii. 597). Plaintive in tone, it enumerates instances, mythological and historical, of the irresistible power of love. Hermesianax, whose style is characterized by alternate force and tenderness, was exceedingly popular in his own times, and was highly esteemed even in the Augustan period.

Many separate editions have been published of the fragment, the text of which is in a very unsatisfactory condition: by F. W. Schneidewin (1838), J. Bailey (1839, with notes, glossary, and Latin and English versions), and others; R. Schulze's Quaestiones Hermesianacteae (1858), contains an account of the life and writings of the poet and a section on the identity of Leontion.


HERMIAS. (1) A Greek philosopher of the Alexandrian school. A disciple of Proclus, he was known best for the lucidity of his method rather than for any original ideas. His chief works were a study of the Isagoge of Porphyry and a commentary on Plato's Phaedrus. Unlike the majority of logicians of the time, he admitted the absolute validity of the second and third figures of the syllogism.

(2) A Christian apologist and philosopher who flourished probably in the 4th and 5th centuries. Nothing is known about his life, but there has been preserved of his writings a small thesis entitled Διασυρμὸς τῶν ἔξω φιλοσόφων. In this work he attacked pagan philosophy for its lack of logic in dealing with the root problems of life, the soul, the cosmos and the first cause or vital principle. There is an edition by von Otto published in the Corpus apologetarum (Jena, 1872). It is interesting, but without any claim to profundity of reasoning.

Two minor philosophers of the same name are known. Of these, one was a disciple of Plato and a friend of Aristotle; he became tyrant of Atarneus and invited Aristotle to his court. Aristotle subsequently married Pythias, who was either niece or sister of Hermias. Another Hermias was a Phoenician philosopher of the Alexandrian school; when Justinian closed the school of Athens, he was one of the five representatives of the school who took refuge at the Persian court.

HERMIPPUS, "the one-eyed," Athenian writer of the Old Comedy, flourished during the Peloponnesian War. He is said to have written 40 plays, of which the titles and fragments of nine are preserved. He was a bitter opponent of Pericles, whom he accused (probably in the Μοῖραι) of being a bully and a coward, and of carousing with his boon companions while the Lacedaemonians were invading Attica. He also accused Aspasia of impiety and offences against morality, and her acquittal was only secured by the tears of Pericles (Plutarch, Pericles, 32). In the Ἀρτοπωλίδες ("Bakeresses") he attacked the demagogue Hyperbolus. The Φορμοφόροι (Mat-carriers) contains many parodies of Homer. Hermippus also appears to have written scurrilous iambic poems after the manner of Archilochus.

Fragments in T. Kock, Comicorum Atticorum fragmenta, i. (1880), and A. Meineke, Poëtarum Graecorum comicorum fragmenta (1855).

HERMIT, a solitary, one who withdraws from all intercourse with other human beings in order to live a life of religious contemplation, and so marked off from a "coenobite" (Gr. κοινός, common, and Βίος, life), one who shares this life of withdrawal with others in a community (see Asceticism and Monasticism). The word "hermit" is an adaptation through the O. Fr. ermite or hermite, from the Lat. form, eremite, of the Gr. ἐρεμίτης, a solitary, from ἐρημία, a desert. The English form "eremite," which was used, according to the New English Dictionary, quite indiscriminately with "hermit" till the middle of the 17th century, is now chiefly used in poetry or rhetorically, except with reference to the early hermits of the Libyan desert, or sometimes to such particular orders as the eremites of St Augustine (see Augustinian Hermits). Another synonym is "anchoret" or "anchorite." This comes through the French and Latin forms from the Gr. ἀναχωρητής, from ἀναχωρεῖν, to withdraw. A form nearer to the Greek original, "anachoret," is sometimes used of the early Christian recluses in the East.


HERMOGENES, of Tarsus, Greek rhetorician, surnamed Ξυστήρ (the polisher), flourished in the reign of Marcus Aurelius (A.D. 161-180). His precocious ability secured him a public appointment as teacher of his art while as yet he was only a boy; but at the age of twenty-five his faculties gave way, and he spent the remainder of his long life in a state of intellectual impotence. During his early years, however, he had composed a series of rhetorical treatises, which became popular text-books, and the subject of subsequent commentaries. Of his Τέχνη ῥητορική we still possess the sections Περὶ τῶν στάσεων (on legal issues), Περὶ εὑρέσεως (on the invention of arguments), Περὶ ἰδεῶν (on the various kinds of style), Περὶ μεθόδου δεινότητος (on the method of speaking effectively), and Προγυμνάσματα rhetorical exercises).

Editions by C. Walz (1832), and by L. Spengel (1854), in their Rhetores Graeci; bibliographical note on the commentaries in W. Christ, Geschichte der griechischen Literatur (1898).

HERMON, the highest mountain in Syria (estimated at 9050 to 9200 ft.), an outlier of the Anti-Lebanon. As the Hebrew name (חֶרְמוֹן, "belonging to a sanctuary," "separate") shows, it was always a sacred mountain. The Sidonians called it Sirion, and the