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181
HYMETTUS—HYMNS


insectes (Bordeaux, 1895), and E. Zander, Zeits. wiss. Zool. lxvii., 1900. The systematic student of Hymenoptera is greatly helped by C. G. de Dalla Torre’s Catalogus Hymenopterorum (10 vols., Leipzig, 1893–1902). For general classifications see F. W. Konow, Entom. Nachtr. (1897), and W. H. Ashmead, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus. xxiii., 1901; the latter paper deals also especially with the Ichneumonoidea of the globe. For habits and life histories of Hymenoptera see J. Lubbock (Lord Avebury), Ants, Bees and Wasps (9th ed., London, 1889); C. Janet, Études sur les fourmis, les guêpes et les abeilles (Paris, &c., 1893 and onwards); and G. W. and E. G. Peckham, Instincts and Habits of Solitary Wasps (Madison, Wis. U.S.A., 1898). Monographs of most of the families of British Hymenoptera have now been published. For saw-flies and gall-flies, see P. Cameron’s British Phytophagous Hymenoptera (4 vols., London, Roy. Soc., 1882–1893). For Ichneumonoidea, C. Morley’s Ichneumons of Great Britain (Plymouth, 1903, &c.), and T. A. Marshall’s “British Braconidae,” Trans. Entom. Soc., 1885–1899. The smaller parasitic Hymenoptera have been neglected in this country since A. H. Haliday’s classical papers Entom. Mag. i.-v., (1833–1838) but Ashmead’s “North American Proctotrypidae” (Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus. xlv., 1893) is valuable for the European student. For the Fossores, wasps, ants and bees see E. Saunders, Hymenoptera Aculeata of the British Islands (London, 1896). Exhaustive references to general systematic works will be found in de Dalla Torre’s Catalogue mentioned above. Of special value to English students are C. T. Bingham’s Fauna of British India, “Hymenoptera” (London, 1897 and onwards), and P. Cameron’s volumes on Hymenoptera in the Biologia Centrali-Americana. F. Smith’s Catalogues of Hymenoptera in the British Museum (London, 1853–1859) are well worthy of study.  (G. H. C.) 


HYMETTUS (Ital. Monte Matto, hence the modern name Trello Vouni), a mountain in Attica, bounding the Athenian plain on the S.E. Height, 3370 ft. It was famous in ancient times for its bees, which gathered honey of peculiar flavour from its aromatic herbs; their fame still persists. The spring mentioned by Ovid (Ars Amat. iii. 687) is probably to be recognized near the monastery of Syriani or Kaesariani on the western slope. This may be identical with that known as Κύλλον Πήρα, said to be a remedy for barrenness in women. The marble of Hymettus, which often has a bluish tinge, was used extensively for building in ancient Athens, and also, in early times, for sculpture; but the white marble of Pentelicus was preferred for both purposes.

See E. Dodwell, Classical and Topographical Tour (1819), i. 483.


HYMNS.—1. Classical Hymnody.—The word “hymn” (ὕμνος) was employed by the ancient Greeks[1] to signify a song or poem composed in honour of gods, heroes or famous men, or to be recited on some joyful, mournful or solemn occasion. Polymnia was the name of their lyric muse. Homer makes Alcinous entertain Odysseus with a “hymn” of the minstrel Demodocus, on the capture of Troy by the wooden horse. The Works and Days of Hesiod begins with an invocation to the Muses to address hymns to Zeus, and in his Theogonia he speaks of them as singing or inspiring “hymns” to all the divinities, and of the bard as “their servant, hymning the glories of men of old, and of the gods of Olympus.” Pindar calls by this name odes, like his own, in praise of conquerors at the public games of Greece. The Athenian dramatists (Euripides most frequently) use the word and its cognate verbs in a similar manner; they also describe by them metrical oracles and apophthegms, martial, festal and hymeneal songs, dirges and lamentations or incantations of woe.

Hellenic hymns, according to this conception of them, have come down to us, some from a very early and others from a late period of Greek classical literature. Those which passed by the name of Homer[2] were already old in the time of Thucydides. They are mythological poems (several of them long), in hexameter verse—some very interesting. That to Apollo contains a traditionary history of the origin and progress of the Delphic worship; those on Hermes and on Dionysus are marked by much liveliness and poetical fancy. Hymns of a like general character, but of less interest (though these also embody some fine poetical traditions of the Greek mythology, such as the story of Teiresias, and that of the wanderings of Leto), were written in the 3rd century before Christ, by Callimachus of Cyrene. Cleanthes, the successor of Zeno, composed (also in hexameters) an “excellent and devout hymn” (as it is justly called by Cudworth, in his Intellectual System) to Zeus, which is preserved in the Eclogae of Stobaeus, and from which Aratus borrowed the words, “For we are also His offspring,” quoted by St Paul at Athens. The so-called Orphic hymns, in hexameter verse, styled τελεταί, or hymns of initiation into the “mysteries” of the Hellenic religion, are productions of the Alexandrian school,—as to which learned men are not agreed whether they are earlier or later than the Christian era.

The Romans did not adopt the word “hymn”; nor have we many Latin poems of the classical age to which it can properly be applied. There are, however, a few—such as the simple and graceful “Dianae sumus in fide” (“Dian’s votaries are we”) of Catullus, and “Dianam tenerae dicite virgines” (“Sing to Dian, gentle maidens”) of Horace—which approach much more nearly than anything Hellenic to the form and character of modern hymnody.

2. Hebrew Hymnody.—For the origin and idea of Christian hymnody we must look, not to Gentile, but to Hebrew sources. St Augustine’s definition of a hymn, generally accepted by Christian antiquity, may be summed up in the words, “praise to God with song” (“cum cantico”); Bede understood the “canticum” as properly requiring metre; though he thought that what in its original language was a true hymn might retain that character in an unmetrical translation. Modern use has enlarged the definition; Roman Catholic writers extend it to the praises of saints; and the word now comprehends rhythmical prose as well as verse, and prayer and spiritual meditation as well as praise.

The modern distinction between psalms and hymns is arbitrary (see Psalms). The former word was used by the LXX. as a generic designation, probably because it implied an accompaniment by the psaltery (said by Eusebius to have been of very ancient use in the East) or other instruments. The cognate verb “psallere” has been constantly applied to hymns, both in the Eastern and in the Western Church; and the same compositions which they described generically as “psalms” were also called by the LXX. “odes” (i.e. songs) and “hymns.” The latter word occurs, e.g. in Ps. lxxii. 20 (“the hymns of David the son of Jesse”), in Ps. lxv. 1, and also in the Greek titles of the 6th, 54th, 55th, 67th and 76th (this numbering of the psalms being that of the English version, not of the LXX.). The 44th chapter of Ecclesiasticus, “Let us now praise famous men,” &c., is entitled in the Greek πατέρων ὕμνος, “The Fathers’ Hymn.” Bede speaks of the whole book of Psalms as called “liber hymnorum,” by the universal consent of Hebrews, Greeks and Latins.

In the New Testament we find our Lord and His apostles singing a hymn (ὑμνήσαντες ἐξῆλθον), after the institution of the Lord’s Supper; St Paul and Silas doing the same (ὕμνουν τὸν θεόν) in their prison at Philippi; St James recommending psalm-singing (ψαλλέτω), and St Paul “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (ψαλμοῖς καὶ ὕμνοις καὶ ῲδαῖς πνευματικαῖς) St Paul also, in the 14th chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians, speaks of singing (ψαλῶ) and of every man’s psalm (ἕκαστος ὑμῶν ψαλμὸν ἕχει). In a context which plainly has reference to the assemblies of the Corinthian Christians for common worship. All the words thus used were applied by the LXX. to the Davidical psalms; it is therefore possible that these only may be intended, in the different places to which we have referred. But there are in St Paul’s epistles several passages (Eph. v. 14; 1 Tim. iii. 16; 1 Tim. vi. 15, 16; 2 Tim. ii. 11, 12) which have so much of the form and character of later Oriental hymnody as to have been supposed by Michaelis and others to be extracts from original hymns of the Apostolic age. Two of them are apparently introduced as quotations, though not found elsewhere in the Scriptures. A third has not only rhythm, but rhyme. The thanksgiving prayer of the assembled disciples, recorded in Acts iv., is both in substance and in manner poetical;

  1. The history of the “hymn” naturally begins with Greece, but it may be found in some form much earlier; Assyria and Egypt have left specimens, while India has the Vedic hymns, and Confucius collected “praise songs” in China.
  2. See Greek Literature.