Saturday, May 28, 2011

Image: Mercurius et Canis

M0788 - M0789 - M0790

789. Mercurius et Canis. Stabat in via Mercurius quadrangularis, imus cui subiacebat lapidum acervus. Accedens canis “Primum, salve,” inquit, “Mercuri; tum inungere te volo, nec sic Deum praeterire eumque palaestritam.” Cui Deus, “Si mihi hocce, quod adpositum est, non linges oleum, nec imminxeris mihi, gratiam habebo tibi. Neque me amplius honorare velis.”

(image: ancient herm)

M0789 = Perry308. Source: Babrius 48 (translated into Latin prose). This is Perry 308. The “herm” was a rectangular or square pillar decorated with the head of Hermes on top and male genitalia. It was supposed to bring good luck and fertility. In ancient Greece, you would find herms erected at crossroads and also at the athletic gymnasia.

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