Brill’s New Pauly

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Herms
(610 words)

[German version]

Hermai (ἕρμαι/hérmai, ‘Hermes heads’), also hermádion (‘small Hermes’), schêma tetrágōnon, tetráglōchis, describes in Graeco-Roman art a special form of anthropoid freestanding sculpture. The herm consists of a pillar with a head, mostly with wooden lateral beam stumps instead of arms (cheîres, cunei) and a male sexual organ attached at the front that is always ithyphallic in early herms. Double herms bear two heads turned away from each other. Three- and four-fold herms on one pillar are also to be found. In Arcadian he…

Cite this page
Neudecker, Richard (Rome), “Herms”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 03 December 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e510020>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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