, 730 - 680
A celebrated Greek poet, supposed to have been born at Ascra in Boeotia. His father, it seems, had migrated to Ascra in consequence of his poverty, and resided at the latter place for some time, though without obtaining the rights of a citizen. Still, however, he left at his death a considerable property to his two sons, Hesiod, and a younger one named Perses. The brothers divided the inheritance; but Perses, by means of bribes to the judges, contrived to defraud his elder brother. Hesiod thereupon migrated to Orchomenus, as Gottling supposes, and the harsh epithets which he applies to his native village were, in all probability, prompted by resentment at the wrong which he had suffered from the Ascraean judges. From a passage in the proem to his Theogony, it has been inferred that Hesiod was literally a shepherd, and tended his flocks on the side of Helicon. He was evidently born in an humble station, and was himself engaged in rural pursuits; and this perfectly accords with the subject of the poem which was unanimously ascribed to him--namely, the Works and Days (Erga kai Hemerai), which is a collection of reflections and precepts relating to husbandry and the regulation of a rural household, interwoven with fables, allegories, etc., forming, as has been said, "a Boeotian shepherd's-calendar." The only additional fact that can be gathered from Hesiod's writings is that he went over to the island of Euboea, on occasion of a poetical contest at Chalcis, which formed part of the funeral games instituted in honour of Amphidamas; that he obtained a tripod as the prize, and consecrated it to the Muses of Helicon. This latter passage is suspected by Wolf; but it seems to have formed a part of the poem from time immemorial; and it may not be unreasonable to infer its authenticity from the tradition respecting an imaginary contest between Homer and Hesiod.
The following legendary account is given as to the manner of Hesiod's death. He is said to have consulted the oracle of Delphi as to his future destinies, and the Pythia directed him, in reply, to shun the grove of Nemean Zeus, since there death awaited him. There were at Argos a temple and a brazen statue of Zeus; and Hesiod, believing this to be the fatal spot, directed his course to Oenoe, a town of the Locri; but the ambiguity of the oracle had deceived him, for this place also, by obscure report, was sacred to the same god. He was here the guest of two brothers. It happened that their sister Clymene was violated in the night-time by the person who had accompanied Hesiod, and hanged herself in consequence of the outrage. This man they accordingly slew; and, suspecting the connivance of Hesiod, killed him also, and threw his body into the sea. The murder is said to have been detected by the sagacity of Hesiod's dog; though by some it is related that his corpse was brought to the shore by a company of dolphins, at the moment that the people were celebrating the festival of Poseidon. The body of Hesiod was recognized, the houses of the murderers were razed to the foundation, and the murderers themselves cast into the sea. Another account states them to have been consumed by lightning; a third, to have been overtaken by a tempest while escaping to Crete in a fishing-boat, and to have perished in the wreck.
The only works that remain under the name of Hesiod are: (i.) Erga kai Hemerai ("Works and Days"); (ii.) Theogonia ("Theogony"); (iii.) Aspis Herakleous ("The Shield of Heracles"). The Works and Days (which, according to Pausanias, the Boeotians regarded as the only genuine production of Hesiod) is entirely occupied with the events of common life. The poem consists of advice given by Hesiod to his brother Perses, on subjects relating for the most part to agriculture and the general conduct of life. The object of the first portion of the poem is to improve the character and habits of Perses, and to incite him to a life of labour, as the only source of permanent prosperity. Mythical narratives, fables, descriptions, and moral apophthegms, partly of a proverbial kind, are ingeniously chosen and combined, so as to illustrate and enforce the principal idea, and served as a model for Vergil in his Georgics. In the second part Hesiod shows Perses the succession in which his labours must follow, if he determines to lead a life of industry. The poet speaks of the time of life when a man should marry, and how he should look out for a wife. He recommends all to bear in mind that the immortal gods watch over the actions of men; in all intercourse with others to keep the tongue from idle and provoking words, and to preserve a certain purity and care in the commonest occurrences of every-day life. At the same time, he gives many curious precepts, which resemble sacerdotal rules, with respect to the decorum to be observed in acts of worship, and which, moreover, have much in common with the symbolic rules of the Pythagoreans, that ascribed a spiritual import to many acts of ordinary life. Of a very similar nature is the last part of the poem, which treats of the days on which it is expedient or inexpedient to do this or that business.
The Theogony (Theogonia) consists of an account of the origin of the world, including the birth of the gods, and makes use of numerous personifications. Even as early as the time of Pausanias it was doubted whether Hesiod was actually the author of this poem, though its genuineness is expressly asserted by Herodotus, and all the internal evidence is in favour of this view. According to Hermann, it is a species of melange, formed by the union of several poems on the same subject, and which has been effected by the same copyists or grammarians. The Theogony is interesting as being the most ancient monument that we have of the Greek mythology. When we consider it as a poem, we find no composition of ancient times so stamped with a rude simplicity of character. It is without luminous order of arrangement, abounds with dry details, and only occasionally rises to any particular elevation of fancy. It exhibits that crude irregularity and that mixture of meanness and grandeur which characterize a strong but uncultivated genius. The censure of Quintilian that "Hesiod rarely soars, and a great part of him is occupied in mere names," is undoubtedly merited. The sentence just quoted, however, refers plainly to the Theogony alone, while the following seems exclusively applicable to the Works and Days: "Yet he is distinguished by useful sentences of morality, and an admirable sweetness of diction and expression, and he deserves the palm in the middle style of writing." The passage relating to the battle of the gods, however, can not surely be classed among the specimens of the middle style. This passage, together with the combat of Zeus and Typhoeus, astonishes the reader by sudden bursts of enthusiasm, for which the prolix and nerveless narrative of the general poem has little prepared him. Mahaffy speaks of it as having "a splendid crash and thunder about it," and even as "far superior in conception, though inferior in execution, to the battle of the gods in the Iliad." Milton has borrowed some suggestions from these descriptions; and the arming of the Messiah for battle in Paradise Lost is obviously imitated from the magnificent picture of Zeus summoning all the terrors of his omnipotence for the extirpation of the Titans.
We have also, under the name of Hesiod, a fragment of 480 lines from a poem entitled the Heroogonia or the genealogy and history of the demigods. To this poem some unknown rhapsodist has attached a piece on the combat between Heracles and Cycnus, containing a description of the hero's shield. It is from this part that the fragment in question bears the title of the Shield of Heracles (Aspis Herakleous). Modern crities think that to the Heroogony of Hesiod belonged two works which are cited by the ancients--the one under the title of Catalogue of Women (Ka<*>alogos Gunaikon), a sort of Greek Debrett, giving t<*> history of those mortal women who had become the mothers of demigods, and the other under the title of the Megalai Eoiai, so named because the history of each woman or heroine mentioned therein commenced with the words e hoie ("or such as"). There are scholia on Hesiod by Proclus, John Tzetzes, Moschopulus, and John Protospatharius; but the commentary by Aristophanes of Byzantium is lost.
This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
Hesiodus (Hesiodos), one of the earliest Greek poets, respecting whose personal
history we possess little more authentic information than respecting that of Homer,
together with whom lie is frequently mentioned by the ancients. The names of these
two poets, in fact, form as it were the two poles of the early epic poetry of
the Greeks; and as Homer represents the poetry, or school of poetry, belonging
chiefly to Ionia in Asia
Minor, so Hesiod is the representative of a school of bards, which was developed
somewhat later at the foot of Mount
Helicon in Boeotia, and
spread over Phocis and Euboea.
The only points of resemblance between the two poets, or their respective schools,
consist in their forms of versification and their dialect, but in all other respects
they move in totally distinct spheres; for the Homeric takes for its subjects
the restless activity of the heroic age, while the Hesiodic turns its attention
to the quiet pursuits of ordinary life, to the origin of the world, the gods and
heroes. The latter thus gave to its productions an ethical and religious character;
and this circumstance alone suggests an advance in the intellectual state of the
ancient Greeks upon that which we have depicted in the Homeric poems, though we
do not mean to assert that the elements of the Hesiodic poetry are of a later
date than the age of Homer, for they may, on the contrary, be as ancient as the
Greek nation itself. But we must, at any rate, infer that the Hesiodic poetry,
such as it has come down to us, is of later growth than the Homeric; an opinion
which is confirmed also by the language and expressions of the two schools, and
by a variety of collateral circumstances, among which we may mention the range
of knowledge being much more extensive in the poems which bear the name of Hesiod
than in those attributed to Homer. Herodotus (ii. 53) and others regarded Homer
and Hesiod as contemporaries, and some even assigned to him an earlier date than
Homer (Gell. iii. 11, xvii. 21; Suid. s.v. Hesiodos; Tzetz. Chil. xii. 163, 198,
xiii. 650); but the general opinion of the ancients was that Homer was the elder
of the two, a belief which was entertained by Philochorus, Xenophanes, Eratosthenes,
Apollodorus, and many others.
If we inquire after the exact age of Hesiod, we are informed by Herodotus (l. c.) that he lived four hundred years before his time, that is, about B. C. 850. Velleius Paterculus (i. 7) considers that between Homer and Hesiod there was an interval of a hundred and twenty years, and most modern critics assume that Hesiod lived about a century later than Homer, which is pretty much in accordance with the statement of some ancient writers who place him about the eleventh Olympiad, i. e. about B. C. 735. Respecting the life of the poet we derive some information from one of the poems ascribed to him, viz. the Erga kai hemerai. We learn from that poem (648), that he was born in the village of Ascra in Boeotia, whither his father had emigrated from the Aeolian Cuma in Asia Minor. Ephorus (Fragm. p. 268, ed. Marx) and Suidas state that both Homer and Hesiod were natives of Cuma, and even represent them as kinsmen, --a statement which probably arose from the belief that Hesiod was born before his father's emigration to Ascra; but if this were true, Hesiod could not have said that he never crossed the sea, except from Aulis to Euboea (Op. et Dies, 648.) Ascra, moreover, is mentioned as his birthplace in the epitaph on Hesiod (Paus. ix. 38.9), and by Proclus in his life of Hesiod. The poet describes himself (Theog. 23) as tending a flock on the side of Mount Helicon, and from this, as well as from the fact of his calling himself an atimetos (Op. et Dies, 636), we must infer that he belonged to a humble station, and was engaged in rural pursuits. But subsequently his circumstances seem to have been bettered, and after the death of his father, he was involved in a dispute with his brother Perses about his small patrimony, which was decided in favour of Perses (Op. et Dies, 219, 261, 637). He then seems to have emigrated to Orchomenos, where he spent the remainder of his life. (Pind. ap. Proclum, genos Hesiodou, p. xliv. in Gottling's edit. of Hesiod.) At Orchomenos he is also said to have been buried, and his tomb was shown there in later times. This is all that can be said, with any degree of certainty, about the life of Hesiod. Proclus, Tzetzes, and others relate a variety of anecdotes and marvellous tales about his life and death, but very little value can be attached to them, though they may have been derived from comparatively early sources. We have to lament the loss of some ancient works on the life of Hesiod, especially those written by Plutarch and Cleomenes, for they would undoubtedly have enlightened us upon many points respecting which we are now completely in the dark. We must, however, observe that many of the stories related about Hesiod refer to his whole school of poetry (but not to the poet personally), and arose from the relation in which the Boeotian or Hesiodic school stood to the Homeric or Ionic school. In this light we consider, e. g. the traditions that Stesichorus was a son of Hesiod, and that Hesiod had a poetical contest with Homer, which is said to have taken place at Chalcis during the funeral solemnities of king Amphidamas, or, according to others, at Aulis or Delos (Proclus, l. c. p. xliii. and ad Op. et Dies, 648; Plut. Conv. Sept. Sap. 10). The story of this contest gave rise to a composition still extant under the title of Agon Homerou kai Hesiodou, the work of a grammarian who lived towards the end of the first century of our era, in which the two poets are represented as engaged in the contest and answering each other in their verses. The work is printed in Gottling's edition of Hesiod, p. 242--254, and in Westermann's Vitarum Scriptores Graeci, p. 33, &c. Its author knows the whole family history of Hesiod, the names of his father and mother, as well as of his ancestors, and traces his descent to Orpheus, Linus, and Apollo himself. These legends, though they are mere fictions, show the connection which the ancients conceived to exist between the poetry of Hesiod (especially the Theogony) and the ancient schools of priests and bards, which had their seats in Thrace and Pieria, and thence spread into Boeotia, where they probably formed the elements out of which the Hesiodic poetry was developed. Some of the fables pretending to be the personal history of Hesiod are of such a nature as to throw considerable doubt upon the personal existence of the poet altogether; and athough we do not deny that there may have been in the Boeotian school a poet of the name of Hesiod whose eminence caused him to be regarded as the representative, and a number of works to be attributed to him, still we would, in speaking of Hesiod, be rather understood to mean the whole school than any particular individual. Thus an ancient epigram mentions that Hesiod was twice a youth and was twice buried (Proclus; Suidas; Proverb. Vat. iv. 3); and there was a tradition that, by the command of an oracle, the bones of Hesiod were removed from Naupactus to Orchomenos, for the purpose of averting an epidemic (Paus. ix. 38. § 3). These traditions show that Hesiod was looked upon and worshipped in Boeotia (and also in Phocis) as an ancient hero, and, like many other heroes, he was said to have been unjustly killed in the grove of the Nemean Zeus (Plut. Conviv. Sept. Sap. 19; Certamen Hom. et Hes. p. 251, ed. Gottling; comp. Panus. ix. 31.3). All that we can say, under these circumstances, is that a poet or hero of the name of Hesiod was regarded by the ancients as the head and representative of that school of poetry which was based on the Thracian or Pierian bards, and was developed in Boeotia as distinct from the Homeric or Ionic school.
The differences between the two schools of poetry are plain and obvious, and were recognised in ancient times no less than at present, as may be seen from the Agon Homerou kai Hesiodou (p. 248, ed. Gottling). In their mode of delivery the poets of the two schools likewise differed; for while the Homeric poems were recited under the accompaniment of the cithara, those of Hesiod were recited without any musical instrument, the reciter holding in his hand only a laurel branch or staff (rhabdos, skeptron, Hesiod, Theog. 30; Paus. ix. 30, x. 7.2; Pind.Isthm. iii. 55, with Dissen's note; Callimach. Fragm. 138). As Boeotia, Phocis, and Euboea were the principal parts of Greece where the Hesiodic poetry flourished, we cannot be surprised at finding that the Delphic oracle is a great subject of veneration with this school, and that there exists a strong resemblance between the hexameter oracles of the Pythia and the verses of Hesiod; nay, there is a verse in Hesiod (Op. et Dies, 283), which is also mentioned by Herodotus (vi. 86) as a Pythian oracle, and Hesiod himself is said to have possessed the gift of prophecy, and to have acquired it in Acarnania. A great many allegorical expressions, such as we frequently find in the oracular language, are common also in the poems of Hesiod. This circumstance, as well as certain grammatical forms in the language of Hesiod, constitute another point of difference between the Homeric and Hesiodic poetry, although the dialect in which the poems of both schools are composed is, on the whole, the same,--that is, the Ionic-epic, which had become established as the language of epic poetry through the influence of Homer.
The ancients attributed to the one poet Hesiod a great variety of works; that is, all those which in form and substance answered to the spirit of the Hesiodic school, and thus seemed to be of a common origin. We shall subjoin a list of them, beginning with those which are still extant.
1. Erga or Erga kai hemerai, commonly called Opera et Dies. In the time of Pausanias (ix. 31.3), this was the only poem which the people about Mount Helicon considered to be a genuine production of Hesiod, with the exception of the first ten lines, which certainly appear to have been prefixed by a later hand. There are also several other parts of this poem which seem to be later interpolations; but, on the whole, it bears the impress of a genuine production of very high antiquity, though in its present form it may consist only of disjointed portions of the original. It is written in the most homely and simple style, with scarcely any poetical imagery or ornament, and must be looked upon as the most ancient specimen of didactic poetry. It contains ethical, political, and economical precepts, the last of which constitute the greater part of the work, consisting of rules about choosing a wife, the education of children, agriculture, commerce, and navigation. A poem on these subjects was not of course held in much esteem by the powerful and ruling classes in Greece at the time, and made the Spartan Cleomenes contemptuously call Hesiod the poet of helots, in contrast with Homer, the delight of the warrior (Plut. Apophth. Lac. Cleom. 1). The conclusion of the poem, from v. 750 to 828 is a sort of calendar, and was probably appended to it in later times, and the addition kai hemerai in the title of the poem seems to have been added in consequence of this appendage, for the poem is sometimes simply called Erga. It would further seem that three distinct poems have been inserted in it; viz.
1. The fable of Prometheus and Pandora (47--105);
2. On the ages of the world, which are designated by the names of metals (109--201); and,
3. A description of winter (504--558).
The first two of these poems are not so much out of keeping with the whole as the third, which is manifestly the most recent production of all, and most foreign to the spirit of Hesiod. That which remains, after the deduction of these probable interpolations, consists of a collection of maxims, proverbs, and wise sayings, containing a considerable amount of practical wisdom; and some of these gnomai or hupothekai may be as old as the Greek nation itself. (Isocrat. c. Nicocl. p. 23, ed. Steph.; Lucian, Dial. de Hes. 1, 8.) Now, admitting that the Erga originally consisted only of such maxims and precepts, it is difficult to understand how the author could derive from his production a reputation like that enjoyed by Hesiod, especially if we remember that at Thespiae, to which the village of Ascra was subject, agriculture was held degrading to a freeman (Heraclid. Pont. 42). In order to account for this phenomenon, it must be supposed that Hesiod was a poet of the people and peasantry rather than of the ruling nobles, but that afterwards, when the warlike spirit of the heroic ages subsided, and peaceful pursuits began to be held in higher esteem, the poet of the plough also rose from his obscurity, and was looked upon as a sage; nay, the very contrast with the Homeric poetry may have contributed to raise his fame. At all events, the poem, notwithstanding its want of unity and the incoherence of its parts, gives to us an attractive picture of the simplicity of the early Greek mode of life, of their manners and their domestic relations. (Comp. Twesten, Commentat. Critica de Hesiodi Carmine, quod inscrib. Opera et Dies, Kiel, 1815, 8vo.; F. L. Hug, Hesiodi Erga megala, Freiburg, 1835 ; Ranke, De Hesiodi Op. et Diebus, 1838, 4to ; Lehrs, Quaest. Epic. p. 180, &c.; G. Hermann, in the Jahrbucher fur Philol. vol. xxi. 2. p. 117, &c.)
2. Theogonia. This poem was, as we remarked above, not considered by Hesiod's countrymen to be a genuine production of the poet. It presents, indeed, great differences from the preceding one: its very subject is apparently foreign to the homely author of the Erga; but the Alexandrian grammarians, especially Zenodotus and Aristarchus, appear to have had no doubt about its genuineness (Schol. Venet. ad Il. xviii. 39), though their opinion cannot be taken to mean anything else than that the poem contained nothing that was opposed to the character of the Hesiodic school; and thus much we may therefore take for granted, that the Theogony is not the production of the same poet as the Erga, and that it probably belongs to a later date. In order to understand why the ancients, nevertheless, regarded the Theogony as an Hesiodic work, we must recollect the traditions of the poet's parentage, and the marvellous events of his life. It was on mount Helicon, the ancient seat of the Thracian muses, that he was believed to have been born and bred, and his descent was traced to Apollo; the idea of his having composed a work on the genealogies of the gods and heroes cannot therefore have appeared to the ancients as very surprising. That the author of the Theogony was a Boeotian is evident, from certain peculiarities of the language. The Theogony gives an account of the origin of the world and the birth of the gods, explaining the whole order of nature in a series of genealogies, for every part of physical as well as moral nature there appears personified in the character of a distinct being. The whole concludes with an account of some of the most illustrious heroes, whereby the poem enters into some kind of connection with the Homeric epics. The whole poem may be divided into three parts:
1. The cosmogony, which widely differs from the simple Homeric notion (Il. xiv. 200), and afterwards served as the groundwork for the various physical speculations of the Greek philosophers, who looked upon the Theogony of Hesiod as containing in an allegorical form all the physical wisdom that they were able to propound, though Hesiod himself was believed not to have been aware of the profound philosophical and theological wisdom he was uttering. The cosmogony extends from v. 116 to 452.
2. The theogony, in the strict sense of the word, from 453 to 962; and 3. the last portion, which is in fact a heroogony, being an account of the heroes born by mortal mothers whose charms had drawn the immortals from Olympus. This part is very brief, extending only fron v. 963 to 1021, and forms the transition to the Eoeae, of which we shall speak presently.
If we ask for the sources from which Hesiod drew his information respecting the origin of the world and the gods, the answer cannot be much more than a conjecture, for there is no direct information on the point. Herodotus asserts that Homer and Hesiod made the theogony of the Greeks; and, in reference to Hesiod in particular, this probably means that Hesiod collected and combined into a system the various local legends, especially of northern Greece, such as they had been handed down by priests and bards. The assertion of Herodotus further obliges us to take into consideration the fact, that in the earliest Greek theology the gods do not appear in any definite forms, whereas Hesiod strives to anthropomorphise all of them, the ancient elementary gods as well as the later dynasties of Cronus and Zeus. Now both the system of the gods and the forms under which he conceived them afterwards became firmly established in Greece, and, considered in this way, the assertion of Herodotus is perfectly correct. Whether the form in which the Theogony has come down to us is the original and genuine one, and whether it is complete or only a fragment, is a question which has been much discussed in modern times. There can be little doubt but that in the course of time the poets of the Hesiodic school and the rhapsodists introduced various interpolations, which produced many of the inequalities both in the substance and form of the poem which we now perceive; many parts also may have been lost. Hermann has endeavored to show that there exist no less than seven different introductions to the Theogony, and that consequently there existed as many different recensions and editions of it. But as our present form itself belongs to a very early date, it would be useless to attempt to determine what part of it formed the original kernel, and what is to be considered as later addition or interpolation. (Comp. Creuzer and Hermann, Brief uber Hom. und Hes., Heidelberg, 1817, 8vo.; F. K. L. Sickler, (Cadmus I. Erklurung der Theogonie des Hesiod, Hildburghausen, 181, 4to. ; J. D. Guigniant, De la Theogonie d'Hesiod, Paris, 1335, 8vo.; J. C. Mutzell, De Emendatione Theogoniae Hesiodi, Lips. 1833, 8vo.; A. Soetbeer, Versuch die Urform der Hesiod. Theogonie nachzuweisen, Berlin, 1837, 8vo.; O. F. Gruppe, Ueber die Theog, des Hesiod, ihr Verderbniss und ihre ursprungliche Beschaffenheit, Berlin, 1841, 8vo. The last two works are useless and futile attempts; comp. Th. Kock, De pristina Theogoniae Hesiodeae Forma, pars. i. Vratislav. 1842, 8vo.)
3. Eoiai or eoiai megalai, also called katalopsoi gunaikon. The name eoiai was derived, according to the ancient grammarians, from the fact that the heroines who, by their connection with the immortal gods, had become the mothers of the most illustrious heroes, were introduced in the poem by the expression e hoie. The poem itself, which is lost, is said to have consisted of four books, the last of which was by far the longest, and was hence called eoiai megalai, whereas the titles katalogoi or eoiai belonged to the whole body of poetry, containing accounts of the women who had been beloved by the gods, and had thus become the mothers of the heroes in the various parts of Greece, from whom the ruling families derived their origin. The two last verses of the Theogony formed the beginning of the eoiai, which, from its nature, might justly be regarded as a continuation of the Theogony, being as a heroogony (heroogonia) the natural sequel to the Theogony. The work, if we may regard it as one poem, thus contained the genealogies or pedigrees of the most illustrious Greek families. Whether the Eoeae or Catalogi was the work of one and the same poet was a disputed point among the ancients themselves. From a statement of the scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius (ii. 181), it appears that it consisted of several works, which were afterwards put together; and while Apollonius Rhodius and Crates of Mallus attributed it to Hesiod (Schol. ad Hes. Theog. 142), Aristopllanes and Aristarchus were doubtful (Anonym. Gram. in Gottling's ed. of Hes. p. 92; Schol. ad Hom. Il. xxiv. 30 ; Suid. and Apollon. s. v. machlosune). The anonymous Greek grammarian just referred to states that the first fifty-six verses of the Hesiodic poem Aspis Herakleous (Scutum Herculis) belonged to the fourth book of the Eoeae, and it is generally supposed that this poem, or perhaps fragment of a poem, originally belonged to the Eoeae. The Aspis Herakleous, which is still extant, consists of three distinct parts; that from v. 1 to 56 was taken from the Eoeae, and is probably the most ancient portion; the second from 57 to 140, which must be connected with the verses 317 to 480; and the third from 141 to 317 contains the real description of the shield of Heracles, which is introduced in the account of the fight between Heracles and Cycnus. When therefore Apollonius Rhodius and others considered the Asris to be a genuine Hesiodic production, it still remains doubtful whether they meant the whole poem as it now stands, or only some particular portion of it. The description of the shield of Heracles is an imitation of the Homeric description of the shield of Achilles, but is done with less skill and ability. It should be remarked, that some modern critics are inclined to lock upon the Aspis as an independent poem, and wholly unconnected with the Eoeae, though they admit that it may contain various interpolations by later hands. The fragments of the Eoeae are collected in Lehmann, De Hesiodi Carminibus perditis, pars i. Berlin, 1828, in Gottling's edition of Hesiod, p. 209, &c., and in Hermann's Opuscula, vi. 1, p. 255, &c. We possess the titles of several Hesiodic poems, viz. Keukos gamoi, Theseos eis Haiden katabasis, and Epithalamios Peleos kai [p. 443] Thetidos, but all these poems seem to have been only portions of the Eoeae. (Athen. ii. p. 49 ; Plut. Sympos. viii. 8; Paus. ix. 31. § 5; Schol. ad Hes. Theog. 142; comp. C. Ch. Heyler, Ueber Hesiods Schild des Hercules, Worms, 1787, 8vo. ; F. Schlichtegroll, Ueber den Schild des Heracles nach Hesiod, Gotha, 1788, 8vo.; G. Hermann, Opusc. vi. 2, p. 204, &c.; Marckscheffel, De Cutalogo et Eoeis Carminibus Hesiodeis, Vratislav. 1838, 8vo., and the same author's Hesiodi, Eumeli, Cinaethonis, &c., Fragmenta colley. emend. dispos., Lips. 1840, 8vo.)
4. Aigimios, an epic poem, consisting of several books or rhapsodies on the story of Aegimius, the famous ancestral hero of the Dorians, and the mythical history of the Dorians in general. Some of the ancients attributed this poem to Cercops of Miletus (Apollod. ii. 1,3; Diog. Laert. ii. 46). The fragments of the Aegimius are collected in Gottling's edit. of Hesiod, p. 205, &c.
5. Melampodia, an epic poem, consisting of at least three books. Some of the ancients denied that this was an Hesiodic poem (Paus. ix. 31.4). It contained the stories about the seer Melampus, and was thus of a similar character to the poems which celebrated the glory of the heroic families of the Greeks. Some writers consider the Melampodia to have been only a portion of the Eoeae, but there is no evidence for it, and others regard it as identical with the epe mantika, an Hesiodic work mentioned by Pausanias (l. c. ; comp. Athen. ii. p. 47, xi. p. 498, xiii. p. 609 ; Clem. Alex. Strom. vi. p. 751). The fragments of the Melampodia are collected in Gottling's edit. of Hesiod, p. 228, &c.
6. Exegesis epi terasin is mentioned as an Hesiodic work by Pausanias, and distinguished by him from another entitled epe mantika; but it is not improbable that both were identical with, or portions of, an astronomical work ascribed to Hesiod, under the title of astrike biblos or astrologia (Athen. xi. p. 491; Plut. dee Pyth. Orac. 18; Plin. H. N. xviii. 25). See the fragments in Gottling's edit. of Hesiod, p. 207.
7. Cheironos hupothekai seems to have been an imitation of the Erga. The few fragments still extant are given by Gottling, l. c. p. 230, &c.
Strabo (vii. p. 436) speaks of a ges Periodos as the work of Hesiod, but from another passage (vii. p. 434) we see that he means a compilation made by Eratosthenes from the works of Hesiod. Respecting a poem called Peri ldaion Daktulon, which was likewise ascribed to Hesiod, see Lobeck, Aglaoph. p. 1156.
The poems of Hesiod, especially the Theogony, were looked up to by the Greeks from very early times as a great authority in theological and philosophical matters, and philosophers of nearly every school attempted, by various modes of interpretation, to bring about a harmony between the statements of Hesiod and their own theories. The scholars of Alexandria and other cities, such as Zenodotus, Aristophanes, Aristarchus, Crates of Mallus, Apollonius Rhodius, Seleucus of Alexandria, Plutarch, and others, devoted themselves with great zeal to the criticism and explanation of the poems of Hesiod; but all their works on this poet are lost, with the exception of sonic isolated remarks contained in the scholia on Hesiod still extant. These scholia are the productions of a much later age, though their anthors made use of the works of the earlier grammarians. The scholia of the Neo Platonist Proclus (though only in an abridged form, of Joannes Tzetzes, and Moschopulus, on the Erga and introductions on the life of Hesiod, are still extant; the scholia on the Theogony are a compilation fiom earlier and later commentators. The most complete edition of the scholia on Hesiod is that in the third volume of Gaisford's Poetae Graeci Minores.
The Greek text of the Hesiodic poems was first printed at Milan in 1493, fol., together with Isocrates and some of the idyls of Theocritus. The next edition is that in the collection of gnomic and bucolic poems published by Aldus Manutius, Venice, 1495. The first separate edition is that of Junta, Florence, 1515, and again 1540, 8vo. The first edition that contains the Greek scholia is that of Trincavellus, Venice, 1537, 4to., and more complete at Cologne, 1542, 8vo., and Frankfurt, 1591, 8vo. The most important among the subsequent editions are those of Dan. Heinsius (Amsterdam, 1667, 8vo., with lectiones Hesiodeae, and notes by Scaliger and Gujetus; it was reprinted by Leclerc in 1701, 8vo), of Th. Robinson (Oxford, 1737, 4to., reprinted at Leipzig 1746, 8vo.), of Ch. F. Loesner (Leipzig, 1778, 8vo., contains all that his predecessors had accumulated, together with some new remarks), of Th. Gaisford (in vol. i. of his Poet. Gr. Min., where some new MSS. are collated), and of C. Gottling (Gotha and Erfurt, 1831, 8vo., 2d edit. 1843, with good critical and explanatory notes). The Erga were edited also by Brunck in his Poetae Gnomici and other collections; the Theogony was edited separately by F. A. Wolf (Halle, 1783), and by D. J. van Lennep (Amsterdam, 1843, 8vo., with a very useful commentary). There are also two good editions of the Aspis', the by C. Fr. Heinrich (Breslau, 1802, 8vo., with introduction, scholia, and commentary), and by C. F. Ranke (Quedlinburg, 1840, 8vo.).
This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited April 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
Editor's Information: The e-texts of the works by Hesiod are found in Greece (ancient country) under the category Ancient Greek Writings.
Ctesibius (Ktesibios). A native of Ascra and contemporary of Archimedes, who flourished during the reigns of Ptolemy II. and Ptolemy III., or between B.C. 260 and 240. He was the son of a barber, and for some time exercised at Alexandria the calling of his parent. His mechanical genius, however, soon caused him to emerge from obscurity, and he became known as the inventor of several very ingenious contrivances for raising water, etc. The invention of clepsydrae, or water clocks, is also ascribed to him. (Cf. Vitruvius, ix. 9.) He wrote a book on hydraulic machines, which is now lost.
Ctesibica Machina. An hydraulic engine named after its inventor, Ctesibius of
Alexandria. In the language of modern hydraulics it is a double-action forcing
pump. Vitruvius, in his description (x. 10.7), speaks of it as designed to raise
water, while Ctesibius's pupil, Hero (Pneumat. p. 180), describes, under the name
of siphon, a machine identical in principle, but of improved construction, and
says that it was used as a fireengine (eis tous empresmous). Indeed, the same
principle has been employed in modern fire-engines. The remains of such a siphon
were discovered at Castrum Novum, near Civita Vecchia, in 1795, having probably
served to supply the public baths with water.
The following cut (in URL below) illustrates the construction of Ctesibius's invention as described by Vitruvius. Two cylinders (modioli), B B, are connected by pipes with a receiver (catinus), A, which is closed by a cowl (paenula), D. In each cylinder a piston (embolus masculus), C, is worked by means of its rod (regula). In the bottom of each cylinder, and at the opening of each pipe into the receiver, is a movable lid or valve (assis), which only opens upwards. The bottoms of the cylinders are inserted into a reservoir, or connected with it by pipes. When one of the pistons is raised, a vacuum is produced in the cylinder, and the atmospheric pressure forces a stream of water past the raised valve into the cylinder. When this stream ceases, the valve falls; and if the piston is forced down, the water is driven out of the cylinder into the pipe, and past the valve into the receiver, and retained there by the closing of the valve. If the two pistons are worked alternately, so that one descends as the other rises, a continuous stream of water is forced out of the top of the paenula.
This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited April 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
Horologium (horologion) was the name of the various instruments by means of which
the ancients measured the time of the day and night. The earliest and simplest
horologia of which mention is made, were called polos and gnomon. Herodotus (ii.
109) ascribes their invention to the Babylonians, and Prof. Sayce says, This is
perfectly correct; Favorinus (ap. Diog. Laert. ii. 1, 3; compare Suidas, s. v.
Inomon and Anaximandros) to Anaximander, but this means only that he was the first
to set one up in Greece, at Sparta; and Pliny, probably by an oversight (H. N.
ii.187), to his disciple Anaximenes. Herodotus mentions the polos and gnomon as
two distinct instruments. Both, however, divided the day into twelve equal parts,
and were a kind of sun-dial. The gnomon, which was also called stoicheion was
the more simple of the two, and probably the more ancient. It consisted of a staff
or pillar standing perpendicular, in a place exposed to the sun (skiatheron),
so that the length of its shadow might be easily ascertained. The shadow of the
gnomon was measured by feet, which were probably marked on the place where the
shadow fell (Hesych. s. v. Heptapous skia and dodekapodos: Pollux, i. 72). The
gnomon is almost without exception mentioned in connexion with the deipnon or
the bath; and the time for the former was towards sunset, or at the time when
the shadow of the gnomon measured 10 or 12 feet (Aristoph. Eccles. 652, with the
Schol.; Pollux, l. c.; Menander, ap. Athen. vi. p. 243; Hesych. s. v. Dekapoun
Stoicheion). The longest shadow of the gnomon, at sunrise and sunset, was 12 feet:
it is only in jest that Eubulus, ap. Athen. i. p. 8 (fr. 118 Meineke), represents
it as double the length, where it is consulted by a very big man. The time for
bathing was when the gnomon threw a shadow of 6 feet (Lucian, Cronos, c. 17; Somn.
s. Gall. c. 9). In later times the name gnomon was applied to any kind of sun-dial,
and especially to its finger, which threw the shadow, and thus pointed to the
hour. Even the clepsydra is sometimes called gnomon (Athen. ii. p. 42).
The gnomon was evidently a very imperfect instrument, and it was impossible to divide the day into twelve equal spaces by it. This may be the reason that we find it only used for such purposes as are mentioned above. The polos or heliotropion, on the other hand, seems to have been a more perfect kind of sun-dial; but it appears, nevertheless, not to have been much used, as it is but seldom mentioned (Aristoph. ap. Polluc. ix. 46). It consisted of a basin (lekanis), in the middle of which the perpendicular staff or finger (gnomon) was erected, and in it the twelve parts of the day were marked by lines (Alciphron, Epist. iii. 4; Lucian, Lexiph. c. 4).
Another kind of horologium was the clepsydra (klepsudra). It derived its name from (kleptein and hudor, as in its original and simple form it consisted of a vessel with several little openings (trupemata) at the bottom, through which the water contained in it escaped, as it were, by stealth. This instrument seems at first to have been used only for the purpose of measuring the time during which persons were allowed to speak in the courts of justice at Athens. The time of its invention or introduction is not known; but in the age of Aristophanes (see Acharn. 692; Vesp. 93 and 857) it appears to have been in common use. Its form and construction may be seen very clearly from a passage of Aristotle (Problem. xvi. 8). The clepsydra was a hollow globe, probably somewhat flat at the top part, where it had a short neck (aulos), like that of a bottle, through which the water was poured into it. This opening might be closed by a lid or stopper (poma), to prevent the water running out at the bottom. The clepsydra which Aristotle had in view was probably not of glass or of any transparent material, but of bronze or brass, so that it could not be seen in the clepsydra itself what quantity of water had escaped. As the time for speaking in the Athenian courts was thus measured by water, the orators frequently use the term hudor instead of the time allowed to them (en toi emoi hudati, Demosth. de Coron. p. 274,139; ean enchorei to hudor, c. Leoch. p. 1094,45). Aeschines (c. Ctesiph.197), when describing the order in which the several parties were allowed to speak, says that the first water was given to the accuser, the second to the accused, and the third to the judges. An especial officer (ho eph hudor) was appointed in the courts for the purpose of watching the clepsydra, and stopping it when any documents were read, whereby the speaker was interrupted; and it is to this officer that Demosthenes calls out: su de epilabe to hudor (c. Steph. i. p. 1103;8; cf. c. Conon. p. 1268,36, with Sandys' note). The time, and consequently the quantity of water allowed to a speaker depended upon the importance of the case; and we are informed that in a graphe parapresbeias the water allowed to each party amounted to eleven amphorae (Aeschin. de Fals. Leg.126), whereas in trials concerning the right of inheritance only one amphora was allowed (Demosth. c. Macart. p. 1052,8) Those actions in which the time was thus measured to the speakers are called by Pollux (viii. 113) dikai pros hudor: others are termed dikai aneu hudatos, and in these the speakers were not tied down to a certain space of time. The only instance of this kind of actions of which we know, is the graphe kakoseos (Harpocrat. s. v. kakosis).
The clepsydra used in the courts of justice however was, properly speaking, no horologium; but smaller ones, made of glass, and of the same simple structure, were undoubtedly used very early in families for the purposes of ordinary life, and for dividing the day into twelve equal parts. In these glass clepsydrae the division into twelve parts must have been visible, either on the glass globe itself, or in the basin into which the water flowed. These instruments, however, did not show the time quite correctly all the year round: first, because the water ran out of the clepsydra sometimes quicker and sometimes slower, according to the different temperature of the water (Athen. ii. p. 42; Plut. Quaest. Natur. c. 7); and secondly, because the length of the hours varied in the different seasons of the year. To remove the second of these defects the inside of the clepsydra was covered with a coat of wax during the shorter days, and when they became longer the wax was gradually taken away again (Aen. Tact. c. 22,10). Plato is said to have used a nukterinon horologion in the shape of a large clepsydra, which indicated the hours of the night, and seems to have been of a complicated structure (Athen. iv. p. 174). This instance shows that at an early period improvements were made on the old and simple clepsydra. But all these improvements were excelled by the ingenious invention of Ctesibius, a celebrated mathematician of Alexandria (about 135 B.C.). It is called horologion hudraulikon, and is described by Vitruvius (ix. 9; compare Athen. l. c.), and more fully by Galen (v. p. 82 K.): cf. Marquardt, Privatalt. ii. 377 ff. Water was made to drop upon wheels which were thereby turned. The regular movement of these wheels was communicated to a small statue, which, gradually rising, pointed with a little stick to the hours marked on a pillar which was attached to the mechanism. It indicated the hours regularly throughout the year, but still required to be often attended to and regulated. This complicated crepsydra seems never to have come into general use, and was probably only found in the houses of very wealthy persons. The sun-dial or gnomon, and a simpler kind of clepsydra, on the other hand, were much used down to a very late period. The twelve parts of the day were not designated by the name ora until the time of the Alexandrian astronomers, and even then the old and vague divisions, described in the article DIES were preferred in the affairs of common life. At the time of the geographer Hipparchus, however (about 150 B.C.), it seems to have been very common to reckon by hours. (Comp. Becker-Goll, Charikles, vol. i. p. 321 ff.)
There is still existing, though in ruins, a horological building, which is one of the most interesting monuments at Athens. It is the structure formerly called the Tower of the Winds, but now known as the Horological Monument of Andronicus Cyrrhestes. It is expressly called horologium by Varro (R. R. iii. 5,17). This building is fully described by Vitruvius (i. 6,4), and the following woodcuts show its elevation and ground-plan, as restored by Stuart. The structure is octagonal; with its faces to the points of the compass. On the N.E. and N.W. sides are distyle Corinthian porticoes, giving access to the interior; and to the south wall is affixed a sort of turret, forming three quarters of a circle, to contain the cistern which supplied water to the clepsydra in the interior. On the summit of the building was a bronze figure of a Triton, holding a wand in his hand; and this figure turned on a pivot, so that the wand always pointed above that side of the building which faced the wind then blowing. The directions of the several faces were indicated by figures of the eight winds on the frieze of the entablature. On the plain wall below the entablature of each face, lines are still visible, which, with the gnomons that stood out above them, formed a series of sun-dials. In the centre of the interior of the building was a clepsydra, the remains of which are still visible, and are shown on the plan, where the dark lines represent the channels for the water, which was supplied from the turret on the south, and escaped by the hole in the centre. Three other Athenian horologia are extant, one in the monument of Thrasyllus, another that of Phaedrus in the British Museum (C. I. G n. 522), a third in the Theatre of Dionysus, besides others from different parts of Greece.
The first horologium with which the Romans became acquainted was a sun-dial (solarium, or horologium sciothericum), and was, according to some writers, brought to Rome by Papirius Cursor twelve years before the war with Pyrrhus, and placed before the temple of Quirinus (Plin H. N. vii.213); Varro (cf. Censorinus, de Die Nat. 23) stated that it was brought to Rome from Catina in Sicily, at the time of the first Punic war, by the Consul M. Valerius Messala, and erected on a column behind the Rostra. But this solarium being made for a different latitude did not show the time at Rome correctly. Ninety-nine years afterwards, the Censor Q. Marcius Philippus erected by the side of the old solarium a new one, which was more carefully regulated according to the latitude of Rome. But as sun-dials, however perfect they might be, were useless when the sky was cloudy, P. Scipio Nasica, in his censorship, 159 B.C., established a public clepsydra, which indicated the hours both of day and night. This clepsydra was in after-times generally called solarium (Cic. de Nat. Deor. ii. 3. 4, 87; Plin. H. N. vii.215; Censorin. de Die Nat. c. 23). The word hora for hour was introduced at Rome at the time when the Romans became acquainted with the Greek horologia, and was in this signification well known at the time of Plautus (Pseudol. 1307). After the time of Scipio Nasica several horologia, chiefly solaria, seem to have been erected in various public places at Rome. In a fragment of the Boeotia ascribed by Ribbeck to Aquilius, but by others to Plautus (cf. Ritschl, Parerg. 83 ff., 123 ff.), we have jam oppletum oppidumst solariis. Cf. Ribbeck, Frag. Com. p. 33. A magnificent horologium was erected by Augustus in the Campus Martius. It was a gnomon in the shape of an obelisk; but Pliny (H. N. xxxvi.73) complains that in the course of time it had become incorrect. Another horologium stood in the Circus Flaminius (Vitruv. ix. 9, 1). Sometimes solaria were attached to the front side of temples and basilicas (Varro, L. L. vi. 4; Gruter, Inscript. vi. 6). The old solarium which had been erected behind the Rostra seems to have existed on that spot till a very late period, and it would seem that the place was called ad Solarium, so that Cicero uses this expression as synonymous with Rostra or Forum (pro Quint. 18, 59; ad Herenn. iv. 10, 14). Horologia of various descriptions seem also to have been commonly kept by private individuals (Cic. ad Fam. xvi. 1. 8, 3; Dig. 33, 7, 12, 23); and at the time of the emperors, the wealthy Romans used to keep slaves whose special duty it was to announce the hours of the day to their masters. (Juven. x. 216, with Mayor's note; Mart. viii. 67; Petron. 26.)
From the number of solaria which have been discovered in modern times in Italy (thirteen having been discovered in the neighbourhood of Rome alone), we must infer that they were very generally used among the ancients. The following woodcut represents one of the simplest horologia which have been discovered; it seems to bear great similarity to that, the invention of which Vitruvius ascribes to Berosus. It was discovered in 1741, on the hill of Tusculum, and is described by Zuzzeri, in a work entitled D'una antica villa scoperta sul dosso del Tusculo, e d'un antico orologio a sole, Venezia, 1746, and by G. H. Martini, in his Abhandlung von den Sonnenuhren der Alten, Leipzig, 1777, p. 49, &c.
The breadth as well as the height (A O and P A) are somewhat more than 8 inches; and the length (A B) a little more than 16 inches. The surface (A O R B) is horizontal. S P Q T is the basis of the solarium, which, originally, was probably erected upon a pillar. Its side, A S T B, inclines somewhat towards the basis. This inclination was called enklima, or inclinatio solarii and enclima succisum (Vitruv. l. c.), and shows the latitude or polar altitude of the place for which the solarium was made. The angle of the enclima is about 40° 43?, which coincides with the latitude of Tusculum. In the body of the solarium is the almost spherical excavation, H K D M I F N, which forms a double hemicyclium (hemicyclium excavatum ex quadrato, Vitruv.). Within this excavation the eleven hour-lines are marked which pass through three semicircles, H L N, K E F, and D M J. The middle one, K E F, represents the equator, the two others the tropic lines of winter and summer. The curve representing the summer tropic is somewhat more than a semicircle, the other two curves somewhat smaller. The ten middle parts or hours in each of the three curves are all equal to one another; but the two extreme ones, though equal to each other, are by one-fourth smaller than the rest. In the middle, G, of the curve D K H N I J, there is a little square hole, in which the gnomon or pointer must have been fixed, and a trace of it is still visible in the lead by means of which it was fixed. It must have stood in a perpendicular position upon the surface A B R O, and at a certain distance from the surface it must have turned in a right angle above the spheric excavation, so that its end (C) extended as far as the middle of the equator, as it is restored in the above woodcut. Another solarium is described in G. H. Martini's Antiquorum Monumentorum Sylloge, p. 93 f. (Lips. 1783); cf. Overbeck's Pompeii, p. 411.
Clepsydrae were used by the Romans in their camps, chiefly for the purpose of measuring accurately the four vigiliae into which the night was divided (Caes. de Bell. Gall. v. 13; Veget. de Re Milit. iii. 8; Aen. Tact. c. 22).
The custom of using clepsydrae as a check upon the speakers in the courts of justice at Rome is said to have been introduced by a law of Cn. Pompeius, in his third consulship (Tac. de clar. Orat. 38), who adds, before that time the speakers had been under no restrictions, but spoke as long as they deemed proper. But there is some inaccuracy here, as Cicero in B.C. 70 (in Verr. i. 9, 25) speaks of his legitimae horae; in B.C. 63 (pro Rab. Perd. 2, 6) his defence is limited to half an hour, and in B.C. 59 (pro Flacc. 33, 82) six hours are allotted. At Rome, as at Athens, the time allowed to the speakers depended upon the importance of the case. Pliny (Epist. ii. 11) states that on one important occasion he spoke for nearly five hours, ten large clepsydrae having been granted to him by the judices, but the case was so important that four others were added. (Compare Plin. Epist. vi. 2; Martial, vi. 35, viii. 7.) The law of Pompeius only limited the time during which the accuser was allowed to speak to two hours, while the accused was allowed three hours in the case of prosecutions de vi. (Ascon. in Milon. p. 37, ed. Orelli.) It is clear from the case of Pliny and others that this restriction was not observed on all occasions. In a case mentioned by Pliny (Epist. iv. 9), according to law (e lege) the accuser had six hours, while the accused had nine. An especial officer was at Rome as well as at Athens appointed to stop the clepsydra during the time when documents were read. (Apul. Apolog. i. and ii.; compare Ernesti, de Solariis, in his Opuscul. Philolog. et Grit. pp. 21-31; Wopcke, Disquisitiones arch. math. circa Solaria veterum, Berol. 1842; Becker-Goll, Gallus, ii p. 407 ff.; and especially Marquardt, Privatl. 370 ff.)
This text is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited April 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
Hydraulus (hudraulos). A water-organ. According to Athenaeus, it was the invention
of Ctesibius of Alexandria, who evidently took the idea of his organ from the
syrinx or Pandean pipes, a musical instrument of the highest antiquity among the
Greeks. His object being to employ a row of pipes of great size, and capable of
emitting the most powerful as well as the softest sounds, he contrived the means
of adapting keys with levers (ankoniskoi), and with perforated sliders (pomata)
to open and shut the mouths of the pipes (glossokoma), a supply of wind being
obtained, without intermission, by bellows, in which the pressure of water performed
the same part which is fulfilled in the modern organ by a weight (Hero , Spirit.
228). On this account the instrument invented by Ctesibius was called the water-organ
(hudraulis, hudraulikon organon, Heron, Spirit.; hydraulica machina, Vitruv. x.
13; hydraulus, Pliny , Pliny H. N.ix. 24; Cic. Tusc.iii. 18. 43). It is described
in an epigram by the emperor Julian (Brunck, Anal.ii. 403=Anth. Pal. ix. 365),
who mentions the swift fingers of the performer, but not the water-bellows; and
more clearly in the lines of Claudian (De Manl. Theod. Cons. 316-319). We have
here the keys, the innumerable pipes of metal, the lever as large as a beam which
sets the water in motion. Its pipes were partly of bronze (chalkeie aroura, Julian
; seges aena, Claudian), and partly of reed (donakes, Julian ). The number of
its stops, and consequently of its rows of pipes, varied from one to eight, so
that Tertullian (De Anima, 14) describes it with reason as an exceedingly complicated
instrument. We are still in the dark as to the exact part played by the water,
which, besides, must have rendered the instrument much less portable. As invented
by Ctesibius, the organ was doubtless hydraulic: but the epigram of Julian omits
all mention of the water, and probably, in later times, the mechanism was simplified
and the bellows blown directly by the pedal, as in the modern harmonium.
The organ was well adapted to gratify the Roman people in the splendid entertainments provided for them by the emperors and other opulent persons. Nero was very curious about organs, both in regard to their musical effect and their mechanism ( Suet. Ner.41Suet. Ner., 54). A contorniate coin of this emperor in the British Museum (see illustration in the URL below) shows a small organ with a sprig of laurel on one side and a man standing on the other. The general form of the organ is also clearly exhibited in a poem by Publilius Porphyrius Optatianus, describing the instrument, and composed of verses so constructed as to show both the lower part which contained the bellows, the wind-chest which lay upon it, and over this the row of twenty-six pipes. These are represented by twenty-six lines, which increase in length each by one letter, until the last line is twice as long as the first (Wernsdorf, Poetae Lat. Min. vol. ii. pp. 394-413). There can be little doubt that hudraules, hydraula or hydraules, denotes the organist ( Suet. Ner.54; Sat.36). See Musica.
This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited April 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
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