Talk:Herma

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The sense of the etymology[edit]

Both here and under the entry for Hermes, the name "Hermes" is said to come from the word "herma" used to describe a pillar depicting Hermes. The god would have to have been part of the lore before becoming the subject of these pillars. Doesn't it make more sense that the pillars would have been named for the god they depicted?

The only way I can imagine it otherwise is if "herma" was already a more general Greek word for a pillar, or for a pillar serving a particular purpose or bearing a particular kind of depiction. Then perhaps some other culture developed a custom of representing a particular deity of their own on similar pillars, and the Greeks applied the name "Hermes" to that god, i.e., "the god that those other people engrave on their hermai", and ultimately adopted the god as their own. —Largo Plazo 15:52, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Indeed, as Walter Burkert says, (Greek Religion, p 156), "that a monument of this kind could be transformed into an Olympian god is astounding." His brief notes on hermai leading to that remark, and the references he gives, would be enlightening. --Wetman 19:33, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
Ah. Now I see that's quoted right there in the Hermes article.--Largo Plazo 19:56, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

References v. External link[edit]

I changed the single footnoted reference to an External Link. That wonderful site actually doesn't (on admittedly casual inspection) have text to explain the 2007 incident, only completely delightful photos with the helpful how-to. Moreover, it's a circular citation in that the site references the Wikipedia article. The info in the article came from somewhere; where?

I also added a subhead for the trial of Alcibiades, so the article would conform to Wiki standards in having an introduction. The article deserves further development, and I hope someone will do it. Now let us all hail the U of Chicago students.Cynwolfe (talk) 15:57, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Merge[edit]

Yes, I'd just do it, but don't know enough to sort out Hermes/Priapus. Johnbod (talk) 17:27, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Vandalism[edit]

The text does not say how the herms were vandalised. I understood they were 'castrated'. Is there doubt about this? Myrvin (talk) 19:08, 25 August 2010 (UTC)


Thucydides 6.27.1 says they were περιεκόπησαν τὰ πρόσωπα. (mutilated in their faces). Also, the singular is Ἑρμῆς, not ἕρμα. The correct English word is Herm; I don't know why herma appears as an alternative in the dictionary - herma, hermatos, n. in Greek is a prop or a support (in Modern Greek, as well as in Ancient). 86.144.10.251 (talk) 13:43, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Caryatid[edit]

It seems to me that the image "Herms with Mannerist antecedents, in A Handbook of Ornament (1898)" shows caryatids, rather than herms. If this is the case, the image should be relocated. Timusuke (talk) 22:37, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

...commonly in English...[edit]

You know that's Wikipedia code for "it's time to move the page, right? ;) — LlywelynII 11:40, 22 November 2013 (UTC)