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“Now that the city-part of the Athenians were educated by him till they admired his learning and wisdom, in order to confer the same benefit on the country-folk, he set up effigies of Hermes on the roads halfway between the city and every deme or parish of Attica, and choosing what appeared to him the finest fruits of his wisdom whether learnt of others or invented by himself, put each into an elegiac line, and inscribed these verses, or, if you will, exhibitions of his wisdom, on the aforesaid effigies; with the intent that his fellow-townsmen should shift their admiration from those maxims inscribed at Delphi, Know thyself and Moderation in all things and the rest, and giving the palm for wisdom to the sayings of Hipparchus, should read them and taste his wisdom as they passed on their way to their farms or their homes, and so in the end become educated men. The inscriptions in each case are two. On the right1 side of each effigy Hermes is depicted saying that he stands halfway between the city and the deme, and on the left:

This is a reminder of Hipparchus2:—As thou walkest think righteous things.

There are many other fine poems of his inscribed on other effigies of Hermes, notably this, which may be read on the way to Steiria:

This is a reminder of Hipparchus:—Deceive not a friend.


[Plato] Hipparchus

“Glorious Hermes is halfway between Cephala and the city.” Inscriptions of Attica (in lettering of the period)

1 the Greeks in such a case said left where we say right , and vice-versa

2 apparently an imitation of Phocylides

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