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DAPHNIS 100.00%
A hero of the Sicilian shepherds, son of Hermes and of a nymph. A beautiful child, he was exposed by his mother in a grove of bay trees, brought up by nymphs and Pan, and taught by Pan to play the shepherd's flute. He had plighted his troth to a nymph, but breaking his word, he was punished by her with blindness, or (according to another story) turned into a stone. According to another fable, Aphrodite inflicted upon him a hopeless and fatal passion for a woman, because he had despised the love of a girl whom she had wished him to wed. Hermes took him up to heaven and created a fountain at the spot where he was taken. At this fountain the Sicilians offered yearly sacrifices. Daphnis was regarded as the inventor of bucolic poetry, and his fate was a favourite subjecit with bucolic poets. [See Theocritus, Idyll i.]
 
BUCOLIC 94.84%

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<b>Poetry.</b> From very ancient times it was the habit of the Dorian shepherds in Sicily to practise a national style of song, the inventor of which was supposed to be Daphnis, the hero of shepherds (see DAPHNIS). The subject of their song was partly the fate of this hero, partly the simple experiences of shepherds' life, especially their loves. There was a good deal of the mimic element in these poems, the shepherds contending with each other in alternate verses, particularly at the town and country festivals held in honour of Artemis. Pastoral poems , relating the story of Daphnis' love and of his tragic end, had been written by the Sicilian poet Stesichorus (about 600 B.C.). But it was Theocritus of Syracuse (about 270 B.C.) who developed pastoral poetry into something like an epic style, often with a strong dramatic tinge. This was in the Alexandrian period, when, as in all over-civilized ages, men found pleasure and relief in the contrasts afforded by the simple ways of country life. Theocritus' sketches of rural life, and indeed of the ways of the lower orders in general, are true to nature and exquisitely finished. He called them eidyllia or little pictures. Theocritus was unsurpassed in his own style, which was cultivated after him by Bion and Moschus. The pastoral style was introduced into Latin poetry by Vergil, who, while closely imitating Theocritus, had the tact to perceive that the simple sketches of ancient rural life in Sicily given by his master would not be sufficient to satisfy the taste of his countrymen. Under the mask of shepherds, therefore, he introduced contemporary characters, thus winning attention by the expression of his personal feelings, and by covert allusions to events of the day. Two poems falsely attributed to him, the Moretum ("Salad") and Copa (" Hostess"), are real idylls; true and natural studies from low life. Vergil's allegorical style was revived in later times by Calpurnius in the age of Nero, and Nemesianus at the end of the 3rd century A.D.
 
SOSITHEUS 82.52%
Of Alexandria in the Troad; a Greek tragedian, one of the Alexandrine <italis>Pleids (q.v.). He lived in the first half of the 3rd century B.C., in Athens and in Alexandria in Egypt. In an epigram of the Greek Anthology [vii 707] he is celebrated as the restorer of the satyric drama. We still possess an interesting fragment of his satyric plays, the Daphnis [twenty-one lines in Nauck's <italisc>Tragicorum Gr. Fragm., p. 822, ed. 1889].
 
LONGUS 74.06%
who probably lived in the 3rd century A.D., was the author of a Greek pastoral romance, Daphnis and Chloe, in four books. It is considered the best of all ancient romances which have come down to us, on account of its deep and natural feeling, its grace of narrative, and the comparative purity and ease of the language. It has often been imitated by Italian, French, German, and English writers. [The rare translation by John Day of the French version of Amyot was reprinted in 1890.]
 
HERMES 18.24%

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Son of Zeus and of the Naiad Maia, daughter of Atlas. Immediately after his birth upon the Arcadian mountain of Cyllene, he gave proof of his chief characteristics, inventiveness and versatility, united with fascination, trickery, and cunning. Born in the morning, by mid-day he had invented the lyre; in the evening he stole fifty head of cattle from his brother Apollo, which he hid so skilfully in a cave that they could not be found; after these exploits he lay down quietly in his cradle. Apollo, by means of his prophetic power, discovered the thief and took the miscreant to Zeus, who ordered the cattle to be given up. However, Hermes so delighted his brother by his playing on the lyre that, in exchange for it, he allowed him to keep the cattle, resigned to him the golden staff of fortune and of riches, with the gift of prophecy in its humbler forms, and from that time forth became his best friend. Zeus made his son herald to the gods and the guide of the dead in Hades. In this myth we have allusions to several attributes of the god. In many districts of Greece, and especially in Arcadia, the old seat of his worship, Hermes was regarded as a god who bestowed the blessing of fertility on the pastures and herds, and who was happiest spending his time among shepherds and dallying with Nymphs, by whom he had numberless children, including Pan and Daphnis. In many places he was considered the god of crops; and also as the god of mining and of digging for buried treasure, His kindliness to man is also shown in his being the god of roads. At cross-roads in particular, there were raised in his honour and called by his name, not only heaps of stones, to which every passer by added a stone, but also the quadrangular pillars known as Hermae (q.v.) At Athens these last were set up in the streets and open spaces, and also before the doors. Every unexpected find on the road was called a gift of Hermes (hermaion). Together with Athene, he escorts and protects heroes in perilous enterprises, and gives them prudent counsels. He takes special delight in men's dealings with one another, in exchange and barter, in buying and selling; also in all that is won by craft or by theft. Thus he is the patron of tradespeople and thieves, and is himself the father of Autolycus (q.v.), the greatest of all thieves. He too it is who endowed Pandora, the first woman, with the faculty of lying, and with flattering discourse and a crafty spirit. On account of his nimbleness and activity he is the messenger of Zeus, and knows how to carry out his father's commands with adroitness and cunning, as in the slaying of Argos (the guard of Io), from which he derives his epithet of Argos-Slayer, or Argeiphontes. Again, as Hermes was the sacrificial herald of the gods, it was an important part of the duty of heralds to assist at sacrifices. It was on this account that the priestly race of the Kerykes claimed him as the head of their family (see ELEUSINIA). Strength of voice and excellence of memory were supposed to be derived, from him in his capacity of herald. Owing to his vigour, dexterity, and personal charm, he was deemed the god of gymnastic-skill, which makes men strong and handsome, and the especial patron of boxing, running, and throwing the discus; in this capacity the palaestrae and gymnasia were sacred to him, and particular feasts called Hermaia were dedicated to him. He was the discoverer of music (for besides the lyre he invented the shepherd's pipe), and he was also the god of wise and clever discourse. A later age made him even the inventor of letters, figures, mathematics, and astronomy. He is, besides, the god of sleep and of dreams, with one touch of his staff he can close or open the eyes of mortals; hence the custom, before going to sleep, of offering him the last libation. As he is the guide of the living on their way, so is he also the conductor of the souls of the dead in the nether-world (Psuchopompos), and he is as much loved by the gods of those regions as he is by those above. For this reason sacrifices were offered to him in the event of deaths, Hermae, were placed on the graves, and, at oracles and incantations of the dead, he was honoured as belonging to the lower world; in general, he was accounted the intermediary between the upper and lower worlds. His worship early spread through-out the whole of Greece. As he was born in the fourth month, the number four was sacred to him. In Argos the fourth month was named after him, and in Athens he was honoured with sacrifices on the fourth of every month. His altars and images (mostly simple Hermae) were in all the streets, thoroughfares, and open spaces, and also at the entrance of the palaestra. In art he is represented in the widely varying characters which be assumed, as a shepherd with a single animal from his flock, as a mischievous little thief, as the god of gain with a purse in his hand (cp. fig. 1), with a strigil as patron of the gymnasia, at other times with a lyre but oftenest of all as the messenger of the gods. He was portrayed by the greatest sculptors, such as Phidias, Polyclitus, Scopas, and Praxiteles, whose Hermes with the infant Dionysus was discovered in 1877, in the temple of Hera, at Olympia. (See PRAXITELES, and SCULPTURE, fig. 10.) In the older works of art he appears as a bearded and strong man; in the later ones he is to be seen in a graceful and charming attitude, as a slim youth with tranquil features, indicative of intellect and good will. His usual attributes are wings on his feet, a flat, broad-brimmed hat (see PETASUS), which in later times was ornamented with wings, as was also his staff. This last (Gr. kerykeion; Lat. caduceus, fig. 2) was originally an enchanter's wand, a symbol of the power that profinces wealth and prosperity, and also an emblem of influence over the living and the dead. But even in early times it was regarded as a herald's staff and an emblem of peaceful intercourse; it consisted of three shoots, one of which formed the handle, the other two being intertwined at the top in a knot. The place of the latter was afterwards taken by serpents; and thus arose our ordinary type of herald's staff. By the Romans Hermes was identified with MERCURIUS (q.v.).
 
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