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they call these statues Hermae, from Mercury, whose Greek name was Hermes: concerning which Hermae it is to be observed : 1. That they have neither hands nor feet; and hence Mercury was called Cyllenius, and by contraction Cyllius, which words are derived from a Greek word signifying a man without hands and feet: and not from Cyllene, a mountain in Arcadia, on which he was educated. 2. A purse was usually hung to a statue of Mercury, to signify that he was the god of gain and profit, and presided over merchandising ; in which, because many times things are done by fraud and treachery, they gave him the name of Dolius. 3. The Romans used to join the statues of Mercury and Minerva together, and these images they called Hermathenae; and sacrificed to both deities upon the same altar. Those who had escaped any great danger, always offered sacrifices to Mercury: they offered up a calf, and milk, and honey, and especially the tongues of the sacrifices, which, with a great deal of ceremony, they cast into the fire, and then the sacrifice was finished. It is said that the Megarenses first used this ceremony.
QUESTIONS FOR EXAMINATION.
What is related of Mercury in connexion with Venus 2
BAccHUs, the god of wine, and the captain and emperor of drunkards, is represented with swoln cheeks, red face, and a body bloated and puffed up. He is crowned with ivy and wine-leaves; and has in his hand a thyrsus, instead of a sceptre, which is a javelin with an iron head, encircled by ivy or vineleaves. He is carried in a chariot, which is sometimes drawn by tigers and lions, and sometimes by lynxes and panthers: and, like a king, he has his guards, who are a drunken band of satyrs, demons, nymphs that preside over the wine-presses, fairies of fountains, and priestesses. Silenus oftentimes comes after him, sitting on an ass that bends under his burden.
He is sometimes painted an old man, and somer times a smooth and beardless boy; as Ovid and Tibullus describe him. I shall give you the reason of these things, and of his horns, mentioned also in Ovid :
“Tibi inconsumpta juventa ?
Still dost thou enjoy
According to the poets, the birth of Bacchus was both wonderful and ridiculous. They say, that when Jupiter was in love with Semele, it excited Juno's jealousy, who endeavoured to destroy her; and in the shape of an old woman, visited Semele, and advised her to oblige him, when
he came, by an inviolable oath, to grant her a request: then, says she to Semele, ask him to come to you as he is wont to come to Juno ; and he will come clothed in all his glory, and majesty, and honour. Semele was greatly pleased with this advice; and therefore, when Jupiter visited her next, she begged a favour of him, but did not expressly name the favour. Jupiter bound himself in the most solemn oath to grant her request, let it be what it would. Semele, little foreseeing what she desired would prove her ruin, made the rash request. What Jupiter had so solemnly sworn to perform, he could not refuse: he accordingly put on all his terrors, arrayed himself with his greatest glory, and in the midst of thunder and lightning entered Semele's house. Her mortal body could not stand the shock, and she perished; for the thunder struck her down and stupified her, and the lightning reduced her to ashes. So fatal are the rash desires of the ambitious ! Bacchus, her son, not yet born, was preserved, taken from his mother, and sewed into Jupiter's thigh, whence in fulness of time he was born, and delivered into the hands of Mercury to be carried into Euboea, to Macris, the daughter of Aristaeus, who immediately anointed his lips with honey, and brought him up with great care in a cave, to which there were two gates. Ovid. Met. 3.
QUESTIONS FOR EXAMINATOIN.
How is Bacchus represented 2
SEC. 3–THE NAMES OF BACCHUS.
Bacchus was so called from a Greek word, which signifies “to revel;” and for the same reason, the