(redirected from Hermai)
Related to Hermai: hermae


 (hûrm) also her·ma (hûr′mə)
n. pl. herms also her·mae (-mī)
A rectangular, often tapering stone post bearing a carved head or bust, usually of Hermes, used as a boundary marker in ancient Greece and for decorative purposes in later periods.

[Latin hermēs, herma, from Greek hermēs, from Hermēs, Hermes.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.



a monument consisting of a four-sided shaft tapering inward from top to bottom and bearing a head or bust.
[1570–80; < Latin hermēs < Greek hermês statue of Hermes]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
That Kleonymos proposed a reward of one thousand drachmas for information about the desecration of the Hermai and the profanation of the Mysteries (Katz 1976:375), is neither mentioned nor implied in Birds, but is information derived from Andokides, On the mysteries 27.
In view of the fact that it was Aristophanes' first extant comedy since 421, it is indeed strange that themes such as the Melian massacre, the mutilation of the Hermai, the Sicilian expedition or Alkibiades' treason was not used more explicitly as comic material in a genre like Old Comedy.
It is worth mentioning, however, that The Revellers, in which reference was made to the mutilation of the Hermai, earned Ameipsias (= Phrunichos?) a first prize in 414.
The same reasoning applies to the demarch's supervision of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (legal challenge of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) and issuance of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (declared assessment of property as a basis for payment of taxes, delinquent debts, or legal confiscations), the latter attested at least as early as the confiscations from the profaners of the Hermai and Mysteries (415-413 B.C.) and the Thirty Tyrants (402/1 B.C.).
(39.) The classic monogram on the subject of the herms is Robin Osborne, "The Erection and Mutilation of the Hermai," Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 211 (1985): pp.
`The property of those condemned in the cases of the Mysteries and the Hermai was confiscated and sold by the official sellers of state property....
Subsequent to the nocturnal mutilation of the hermai in 415, a board of zetetai was set up to investigate this, and other suspected acts of impiety.
Peisandros, of course, became himself in 411 a leading oligarch; but as recently as 415 he had been on the other side, 'being thought extremely loyal to the demos', proclaiming that the mutilation of the Hermai was part of a plot to overthrow the democracy, and proposing a tenfold (or maybe an eleven-fold) increase in the reward suggested by Kleonymos for information about profanations of the Mysteries,(66) and his change of front seems to have come so late that even at the time when Lysistrata was produced it was not yet public knowledge.(67) This leaves Teisamenos, the eponym of a play by Theopompos, usually identified with the son of Mechanion (PA 13443), the mover of a decree from the first days of the restored democracy in 403/2 cited by Andok.
Osborne, `The erection and mutilation of the Hermai', PCPhS 31 (1985), 41-73.