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Headword: Ἑρμίας
Adler number: epsilon,3040
Translated headword: Hermias
Vetting Status: high
The eunuch, of Atarneus (it is a place in Mysia in Asia close to the Hellespont,[1] which he also ruled as a subject of the Persian king). He became a eunuch and slave of Euboulos, a Bithynian dynast and philosopher. Having been educated in the school of Aristotle,[2] he wrote On the Soul, that it is immortal.[3]
This man is "the thrice-sold eunuch".[4] He was well-disposed towards Aristotle and gave his adopted daughter in marriage to the philosopher.[5]
They write [sc. the name of] this Hermias with iota only;[6] for the following verse is found among the iambic verses of Hipponax: "a eunuch and slave, Hermias ruled [sc. Atarneus]".[7]
This man, despite being castrated, inseminated his own wife and begat by her his daughter Pythias.[8]
See concerning these matters under 'Aristotle, son of Nicomachus'.[9] Note well how many degenerated from philosophy into tyranny.
Greek Original:
Ἑρμίας, ὁ εὐνοῦχος, Ἀταρνεύς [χώρα δέ ἐστι Μυσίας τῆς ἐν Ἀσίᾳ τῆς πρὸς τῷ Ἑλλησπόντῳ, ἧς καὶ ἦρχε βασιλέως τοῦ Περσῶν ὑπήκοος], εὐνοῦχος καὶ δοῦλος γενόμενος Εὐβούλου Βιθυνοῦ δυνάστου καὶ φιλοσόφου, ἀσκηθεὶς παιδείαν παρὰ Ἀριστοτέλει ἔγραψε περὶ ψυχῆς, ὅτι ἀθάνατος. οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ εὐνοῦχος ὁ τρίπρατος. οἰκείως δὲ διέκειτο πρὸς Ἀριστοτέλην καὶ τὴν θετὴν αὐτοῦ θυγατέρα ἔδωκε τῷ φιλοσόφῳ. τοῦτον δὲ τὸν Ἑρμίαν μόνον γράφουσι διὰ τοῦ ι: ἐν γὰρ τοῖς τοῦ Ἱππώνακτος στίχοις ἰαμβικοῖς εὕρηται στίχος οὕτως: εὐνοῦχος ὢν καὶ δοῦλος ἦρχεν Ἑρμίας. ὅτι οὗτος, καίτοι θλαδίας ὤν, ἔσπειρε τὴν ἑαυτοῦ γυναῖκα καὶ ἔτεκεν ἐξ αὐτῆς τὴν Πυθιάδα θυγατέρα αὐτοῦ. ζήτει περὶ τούτων ἐν τῷ Ἀριστοτέλης, υἱὸς Νικομάχου. σημείωσαι πόσοι ἐκ φιλοσοφίας εἰς τυράννιδα μετέπεσον.
C4 BC. See generally OCD(4) 670, 'Hermias(1)'.
[1] Barrington Atlas map 56 grid D3.
[2] Strabo (13.1.57) states that Hermias attended the lectures of Plato and Aristotle in Athens.
[3] Wormell (p. 90) conjectures that the Suda may have confused Hermias of Atarneus with Hermeias of Alexandria; see epsilon 3036. Aristotle also wrote a work On the Soul.
[4] Menander, Sikyonios 11 (formerly Comica adespota fr. 884 Kock). 'Thrice-sold' probably has the sense of 'a sly fox'; see Wormell p.90.
[5] This paragraph comes from Harpokration s.v.; similar entries in Photius (and, post-Suda, Etymologicum Magnum). Hermias' daughter was Pythias: see below, and alpha 3929.
[6] That is, not Hermeias (as in epsilon 3036 and alpha 3929). See Choeroboscus in Etymologicum Magnum 376.25.
[7] The attribution of the verse to Hipponax is incorrect. The verse derives from Helladius Besantinoos. See Wormell p.91.
[8] On θλαδίας , one whose testicles have been crushed, see epsilon 1474.
[9] alpha 3929; cf. alpha 3930.
P. Harding, Didymos on Demosthenes. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2006), pp. 57-65 (text); 124-162 (commentary)
Wormell, D.E.W., 'The literary tradition concerning Hermias of Atarneus', Yale Classical Studies 5 (1935), pp.56-92
Jaeger, W., Aristotle. Fundamentals of the history of his development, 2nd ed. trans. R. Robinson, Oxford, 1948, pp.111-121, 288-290
Keywords: biography; comedy; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; gender and sexuality; geography; history; medicine; philosophy; poetry; politics; women
Translated by: Tony Natoli on 31 March 2002@02:13:01.
Vetted by:
Tony Natoli (Added footnote.) on 17 March 2002@16:13:18.
David Whitehead (added keyword; cosmetics; re-raised status) on 18 March 2002@02:57:26.
David Whitehead on 10 April 2002@03:32:22.
Catharine Roth (tweaked notes) on 4 January 2008@23:33:42.
Mehmet Fatih Yavuz (augmented bibliography) on 7 October 2008@00:42:35.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 28 October 2012@08:51:38.
David Whitehead on 28 October 2012@08:52:04.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 3 August 2014@08:28:04.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 29 December 2014@06:17:01.
David Whitehead (another note; coding and other cosmetics) on 13 February 2016@07:56:04.
Catharine Roth (cross-reference) on 3 December 2017@19:59:16.


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