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There was a certain Polybius, completely uneducated and ill-spoken, who said, “The emperor has honored me with Roman citizenship.” To which Demonax responded, “If only he'd made you a Greek rather than a Roman.”:
Lucian of Samosata, Life of Demonax

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Elegy and Iambus. with an English Translation by. J. M. Edmonds. Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press. London. William Heinemann Ltd. 1931. 1.

Hipparchus: Poems


“From the time when Harmodius and Aristogeiton slew Hipparchus the successor of Peisistratus, and the Athenians expelled the Peisistratids from the Pelasgic Wall, in the archonship of Harpactides at Athens, 248 years (511 B.C.).”

Parian Chronicle

“The Supreme power, by reason of station and age, lay in the hands of Hippias and Hipparchus (rather than of their half-brothers), of whom Hippias, being not only the elder but having a bent for politics and a natural shrewdness, held the reins of government. Hipparchus on the other hand lacked seriousness. He was of an amorous disposition and an aesthete. It was he who sent to fetch Anacreon and Simonides and the other poets to Athens. Thettalus, who was much younger, was a self-confident bully, and this was the cause of all their trouble. Becoming the lover of Harmodius and failing to win his friendship, he put no restraint upon his anger but gave frequent expression to his resentment, and finally when the sister of his beloved was going to carry a sacred basket in the Panathenaic Festival he prevented her doing so and called Harmodius a weakling; which incensed Harmodius and Aristogeiton and prompted them and many others with them to hatch the plot. On the day of the festival they were lying in wait in the Acropolis for Hippias, who was to receive the procession while Hipparchus was to dispatch it, when, seeing one of the conspirators in friendly converse with Hippias, they jumped to it he was revealing the plot, and in order to do at least something before they were taken, went down into the city, and starting before the others were ready, slew Hipparchus in the act of marshalling the procession before the Leocorium, thus bringing the whole plot to ruin; and were themselves killed, Harmodius by the bodyguard on the spot, and Aristogeiton when he was seized later and had undergone some hours of torture.”

Aristotle Constitution of Athens

“A marvellous great light shone upon Athens when Aristogeiton and Harmodius slew Hipparchus.”

Simonides Inscription for the Statues of the Tyrannicides

“The Wall of Hipparchus:—Hipparchus son of Peisistratus built a wall round the Academy at great expense to the Athenians, whom he forced to pay for it. Hence the proverb is used of costly undertakings.”

Suidas Lexicon

“Three-headed:—The herm or bust of Hermes, pointing the way, so to speak, and bearing an inscription beneath it to say where this road leads and where that. It may have had a head for each direction. The three-headed herm was set up, according to Philochorus, by Procleides the lover of Hipparchus.”

Suidas Lexicon

“These were four-sided posts or stones bearing a face of Hermes above, and below on the flat part the inscriptions.”

Scholiast on Demosthenes [‘in the Colonnade of the Hermae’]

See also Diod. Sci. 10. 17, Hdt, 7. 6, Arist. Rhet. 1367b, Greg. Cypr. 3. 81, Apost. 17. 8, Harp. 86, 12.


Now that the city-part of the Athenians were educated by him till they admired his learning and wisdom, in order to confer the same benefit on the country-folk, he set up effigies of Hermes on the roads halfway between the city and every deme or parish of Attica, and choosing what appeared to him the finest fruits of his wisdom whether learnt of others or invented by himself, put each into an elegiac line, and inscribed these verses, or, if you will, exhibitions of his wisdom, on the aforesaid effigies; with the intent that his fellow-townsmen should shift their admiration from those maxims inscribed at Delphi, Know thyself and Moderation in all things and the rest, and giving the palm for wisdom to the sayings of Hipparchus, should read them and taste his wisdom as they passed on their way to their farms or their homes, and so in the end become educated men. The inscriptions in each case are two. On the right1 side of each effigy Hermes is depicted saying that he stands halfway between the city and the deme, and on the left:

This is a reminder of Hipparchus2:—As thou walkest think righteous things.

There are many other fine poems of his inscribed on other effigies of Hermes, notably this, which may be read on the way to Steiria:

This is a reminder of Hipparchus:—Deceive not a friend.

[Plato] Hipparchus

“Glorious Hermes is halfway between Cephala and the city.”

Inscriptions of Attica (in lettering of the period)

1 the Greeks in such a case said left where we say right , and vice-versa

2 apparently an imitation of Phocylides

text/hipparchus_poems.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/15 11:57 (external edit)