HOURS

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HOURS ; with Homer, goddesses of the air and the winds, the portresses of heaven. The old Ionic bard does not fix their number, nor assign them names. But, according to an old tradition, the Athenians knew twoThallo, the goddess of blossoms and of spring, and Carpo, the goddess of fruitbearing autumn. We likewise find these two mentioned as Graces (q. v.), who, for a long time, were considered, if not the same with the Horse, at least as very closely connected with them. They were not only portresses of heaven, but goddesses of the seasons: the idea of the Horse was therefore changed, but not so much so that the latter representation may not be easily derived from the former. The idea of the goddesses of beauty, which was afterwards united with that of the Graces and Horse, was also easily deduced from their original character. Hora signifies1. originally, the air; with this idea is connected2. the idea of time, which occurs frequently in Homer (hora, among the Romans, signified hour); and from this3. the year. It is not with him, however, the expression for any particular season: when he wished to designate these, he added the term spring, winter, &c. We then find, in a narrower sense4. hora, the season of spring or summer; and, because this is the most beautiful season5. the time of the bloom of man, of youth, beauty. Why the Hours and Graces should be considered as goddesses of the seasons is not difficult to be understood, when we remember that the Graces (according to the etymology of the name, Ckarites) were the givers of joy. We here speak not of the later Graces, but of the early Attic Hegemone, the governess of the year, and auxo, the giver of increase. With these two, the Attic Hours were often confounded, and they were afterwards distinguished by making the Hours bring in the seasons, and representing the Graces as rendering them agreeable. Thus far, the difficulty of explaining this fable is not very great; but it increases, when we consider the later representation of the Hours in Hesiod. According to this poet, there are three Horse, daughters of Themis, whose names are Dike (Justice), Eunomia (Order) and Eirene (Peace). It is obvious that these have nothing in com mon with the portresses of heaven or the> goddesses of the seasons; a physical idea lying at the foundation of the latter, and a moral idea forming the foundation of the former. The Hours experienced the same changes as the Graces. As the idea of the latter was transferred from the physical pleasure to moral beauty, so, in the former, there was a transition from the physical to moral order, while they still continued the goddesses of beauty and loveliness. But how happened it that three political, moral abstractions, such as the Hours, could so supplant the goddesses of time and of the year, that the latter should almost sink into forgetfulness J Without doubt, Themis was here the turning point of the transition. The Hours, as goddesses of time, were the daughters of Themis, as she was at first conceived of as the goddess of physical order, particularly in regard to time. These daughters may have had, in the beginning, entirely different names. When Themis is afterwards considered as moral order, these moral abstractions are attributed to her as daughters, and these supplant either the early Attic, or the still earlier nameless Homeric goddesses. In this way beauty is also again received as the quality of the Horse, so that the goddesses of beauty are looked upon as goddesses of law and order. That all these ideas were often confounded together, and thus rendered the mythology of the Horse very complicated, appears from the double fist of them in Hyginus, who twice names 11 Hours. All these names are significant, and, in the first catalogue, we find merely the daughters of Themis as seasons and authors of civil prosperity; but, in the second, they appear in a narrower signification, as divisions of the day and of life. According to the usual accounts, however, there are three Horse, who, in the words of Hesiod, bring to perfection all the undertakings of men. Statuary, in the earliest times, represents only two; for example, on the throne at Amy else. On the other hand, there were three on the throne of the Olympian Jupiter. On a candelabrum in the villa Albani, they are represented in the attitude of dancers, with their robes gathered up by a loop fixed on the side. The first figure bears in her hand a fruitdish, and near her lie fruits, a symbol of autumn: the other two hold nothing in their hands, but at the feet of one burns, upon an elevated stone, a fire, the emblem of winter, and at the side of the third is placed a flower, the emblem of spring. Their heads are crowned with garlands of leaves. On a candelabrum in the Farnese palace, there are four figures; those on a sarcophagus in the villa Albani are remarkably beautiful and expressive.