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The Mutilation of the Herms: Unpacking an Ancient Mystery

The Mutilation of the Herms Unpacking an Ancient Mystery In B C the Athenians woke to find that during the night most of the herms in Athens priapic statues of the Greek god Hermes had been vandalized The damage was too widespread for the act to be dism

  • Title: The Mutilation of the Herms: Unpacking an Ancient Mystery
  • Author: Debra Hamel
  • ISBN: 9781475051
  • Page: 321
  • Format: Paperback
  • In 415 B.C the Athenians woke to find that during the night most of the herms in Athens priapic statues of the Greek god Hermes had been vandalized The damage was too widespread for the act to be dismissed as a youthful prank What was it, then a conspiracy brewing against the democracy Or merely a bad omen for their upcoming expedition to Sicily The so called mutiIn 415 B.C the Athenians woke to find that during the night most of the herms in Athens priapic statues of the Greek god Hermes had been vandalized The damage was too widespread for the act to be dismissed as a youthful prank What was it, then a conspiracy brewing against the democracy Or merely a bad omen for their upcoming expedition to Sicily The so called mutilation of the herms is an important episode in Athenian history Nearly 2500 years later, basic questions about the crime continue to exercise scholars who done it and why they done it In The Mutilation of the Herms Unpacking an Ancient Mystery, Debra Hamel provides a comprehensible account of the vandalism and its aftermath This booklet is written for an audience of general readers and students No previous knowledge of the period is assumed The text could profitably be assigned for undergraduate classes in Greek history Topics discussed include the Eleusinian Mysteries, the role of drinking groups in the vandalism, Alcibiades involvement in the affair, and Eva Keuls feminist take on the episode.

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      Posted by:Debra Hamel
      Published :2019-03-24T00:33:51+00:00

    1 thought on “The Mutilation of the Herms: Unpacking an Ancient Mystery

    1. This is a short ebook which summarises the written evidence about a curious event that happened in Athens in 415 BC. It might be tempting to dismiss the mutilated statues of Hermes as a drunken prank, but the people of Athens took it extremely seriously. It’s important to remember that at that time religion was a big part of life; it isn’t just like a gang going round and defacing images of Christ, which seems in poor taste but not (for most people) much of a threat. More like a nuisance. Bu [...]

    2. In this short work, Hamel writes succinctly and humorously about the an unsettling event for the citizens of ancient Athens--the night that most of the herms (priapic statues of the Greek god Hermes)were vandalized. Hamel explains why this incident was important and gives an interesting account of the both the response of Athens and the possible reasons for the vandalism. This is a quick, well written and fascinating read, which is happily accessible to the layperson.

    3. I had never heard of this incident before reading this book. It centers around a fascinating, true life mystery that still baffles scholars. Glad I read it. If yo hare a fan of the ancient Greeks and their history, I recommend this quick read. Most enjoyable.Three stars.

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