Getting Started - Initial Thoughts on 3D Printing

  • Agreed that one is much better!


    Which reminds me to comment - I've never understood how anyone came up with the idea of the double-head. I suppose i can see that it saves stone that would otherwise be pretty useless showing the back of the head, but it seems awkward at best as a display mechanism and I would have thought someone with the resources to undertake a project like this would have had two pieces of stone available.


  • You're treading on a peculiar interest of mine, Cassius! The double herm was the reason I bought Bernard Frischer's book.


    "Herm" in this case is short for Hermes, who was the figure chiefly represented in early herm statues. The typical herm was a standing stone with a bust carved into the topmost portion. In the case of Hermes in particular, the rest of the statue would be left squared off all the way down, apart in some cases from a conspicuous set of genitals at the appropriate location.


    Hermes was the patron god of messengers, merchants and travelers, and–by extension–roads, highways, and crossings. The herm statue was in some places used to mark roads, in some places to mark milestones, and in others to mark boundaries (The Romans had their own patron god of boundaries, Jupiter Terminus, a statue of whom would be placed on property lines and propitiated by both neighbors in a special ritual on Terminalia every spring).


    How the herm statue came to be sculpted with two heads facing opposite is an interesting question. There was another god, Janus, with a face on either side of his head–he presided over the new year, with one aspect facing to the future and one to the past. In Hermes' case, there was a cultural boundary line just as important as those of time and property; the diad between male and female. Aphrodite was often chosen as the figure to complement him.


    In other statues the twin figures are an old man and a youth; the key feature in all of these artistic expressions is the curious interplay of limitation and continuity.


    Metrodorus, who would certainly have succeeded Epicurus had he survived him, represented continuity–the master/student relationship, the succession of the scholarchs, etc.


    I disliked the double herm at first sight, but I'm beginning to grasp its meaning better by seeing it through Greek and Roman eyes.

  • I say "peculiar interest of mine" because, for one thing, I am a land surveyor and these statues in their original forms were boundary stones. But I'm also beginning to think of Epicurean philosophy as, in a lot of interesting ways, a radical reinvention of limitations. There is Lucretius and his "deepset boundary stone" (alte terminus haerens), showing what can be and what cannot; there is the atom, a lower limit on the size and scale of the material; there is matter itself, without expiration and eternal; there is the void, infinite, without boundary; there is the limit of the scope of pleasure in the removal of all pain–not the highest pleasure, not the telos in itself–but the limit of its magnitude; there is the circumscription placed around the gods, bundled up and bounded off-oh, somewhere.


    There is the utterly final boundary line of death, beyond which there is nothing. There is nothing itself, limited in its own way–for nothing can come from nothing.


    These and many others have engaged my thinking for the last several weeks. Epicurus' philosophy is the result of his boundary survey of the whole of nature. He established new boundaries, removed those that were set wrongly before him, and rediscovered even older lines that were set rightly by others but had been forgotten or overlooked since.


    When Thomas More in his Utopia wanted to explore Epicurean philosophy, he flung it out onto the very margins of the New World, at the far tip of the spear of human knowledge. He seems to have intuited what we know in any case: that it doesn't matter much where you put him, because Epicurus and his students are "at home" in the universe. Diogenes of Oenoanda grasped this plainly;


    Quote

    Not least for those who are called foreigners, for they are not foreigners. For, while the various segments of the Earth give different people a different country, the whole compass of this world gives all people a single country, the entire Earth, and a single home, the world.

  • So what are you thinking was in the mind of the sculptors as to the purpose of this herm in particular


    In other statues the twin figures are an old man and a youth; the key feature in all of these artistic expressions is the curious interplay of limitation and continuity.


    Metrodorus, who would certainly have succeeded Epicurus had he survived him, represented continuity–the master/student relationship, the succession of the scholarchs, etc.

    I like that interpretation.

  • That's good to know (that it's a claim, anyway) because I was thinking that the date of confirmation was more traceable to the small busts at Herculaneum. I'm not sure of the date of that one but maybe not so far apart (?) At any rate I would think this would be a key part of Frischer's studies so if he thinks the date of confirmation is traceable to the herm, then that seems like a pretty reliable source.

  • Good site!


    1 - That is a really good bust of Epicurus - maybe one of the best from my point of view. But there were several from Herculaneum - cause I don't see an inscription on this one? Is the base original? Also, that date of discovery sure is close to that of the herme - almost too much to be a coincidence and almost points to "this is the period we started keeping track of things" rather than "prior to this date no one anywhere in the world had any idea."



    2 - This one struck me as funny - that's quite a divergence of possibilities!




    3. This is a really clear view of Hermarchus. Almost looks as if he is frowning or sad? And this one emphasizes my ongoing question about these bases -- are these bases original, or added?



    4. Because THIS view of Epicurus has a base that looks original, and as if this could be the inscription that confirmed his identity:



    5. Same comment again as to Hermarchus. Does he look sad? This base looks "original"?




    6. For no reason whatsoever other than I like it I have to include the one of the leaping pig. I also wonder on this one? Presumably the base is original?



    7. Also for completeness:


  • Since we were on the subject of Hermes earlier, I thought I would post this. It's a passage from The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt, quoting Giordano Bruno. Bruno was illustrating the silliness of the idea that human life is divinely ordained and influenced. Bruno himself, of course, was heavily influenced by Lucretius.