herm

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herm, hermes. Statue composed of a head and neck or head and shoulders (often representing Hermes or Mercury) joined to a quad-rangular shaft proportioned to be the same height as a human body and slightly tapered downwards, found in Antiquity, frequently with the male reproductive organs protruding from the front face of the shaft. The form was revived from Renaissance times, often used for garden-ornaments (e.g. at the Palazzo Farnese, Caprarola (1547–9)), and from C18 became a common motif, often with female head and frequently with the feet showing at the base (since Antiquity the phallic imagery has normally been avoided). Herms are distinct from terms in that they do not have torsos or waists, and are without arms, but may have volute-like forms instead of shoulders.

Bibliography

J. Curl (1992);
Lewis & and Darley (1986)

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hermaffirm, berm, confirm, firm, germ, herm, midterm, perm, sperm, squirm, term, therm, worm •pachyderm • echinoderm •wheatgerm • endosperm •gymnosperm • isogeotherm •ragworm • flatworm • threadworm •tapeworm •eelworm, mealworm •silkworm • ringworm • inchworm •blindworm • lobworm • roundworm •slow-worm • screw worm •woodworm •bookworm, hookworm •bloodworm • lugworm • lungworm •earthworm

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herm a squared stone pillar with a carved head on top (typically of Hermes), used in ancient Greece as a boundary marker or a signpost.

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herm (hûrm), in 6th-century Greek art, vertical pillar surmounted by a bearded human head and often having a phallus below. These structures were considered sacred to Hermes. They were placed on street corners in Athens and used outside the city as milestones. By the end of the Hellenistic era the form was employed for portraiture.

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Herm: see Channel Islands.