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Mengs, Hesperus als Personifikation des Abends

Hesperus as Personification of the Evening by Anton Raphael Mengs (1765).

In Greek mythology, Hesperus (Ancient Greek Ἓσπερος, Hesperos) is the Evening Star, the planet Venus in the evening. He is the son of the dawn goddess Eos (Roman Aurora) and is the brother of Eosphorus (also called Phosphorus, and Lucifer), the son of the morning. Hesperus' Roman equivalent is Vesper (cf. "evening", "supper", "evening star", "west"[1]). Hesperus' father was Cephalus, a mortal, while Eosphoros' was the star god Astraios.

Variant names

Hesperus (Greek Hesperos) is the personification of the "evening star", the planet Venus in the evening. His name is sometimes conflated with the names for his brother, the personification of the planet as the "morning star" Eosphorus (Greek: Ἐωσφόρος, "bearer of dawn") or Phosphorus (Ancient Greek: Φωσφόρος, "bearer of light", often translated as "Lucifer" in Latin), since they are all personifications of the same planet Venus. "Heosphoros" in the Greek Septuagint and "Lucifer" in Jerome's Latin Vulgate were used to translate the Hebrew "Helel" (Venus as the brilliant, bright or shining one), "son of Shahar (Dawn)" in the Hebrew version of Isaiah 14:12.

When named thus by the ancient Greeks, it was thought that Eosphorus (Venus in the morning) and Hesperos (Venus in the evening) were two different celestial objects. The Greeks later accepted the Babylonian view that the two were the same, and the Babylonian identification of the planets with the Great Gods, and dedicated the "wandering star" (planet) to Aphrodite (Roman Venus), as the equivalent of Ishtar.

Eosphorus/Hesperus was said to be the father of Ceyx[2] and Daedalion.[3] In some sources, he is also said to be the father of the Hesperides.[4]

"Hesperus is Phosphorus"

"Hesperus is Phosphorus" is a famous sentence in the philosophy of language. Gottlob Frege used the terms "the evening star" (der Abendstern) and "the morning star" (der Morgenstern) to illustrate his distinction between sense and reference, and subsequent philosophers changed the example to "Hesperus is Phosphorus" so that it utilized proper names. Saul Kripke used the sentence to demonstrate that the knowledge of something necessary (in this case the identity of Hesperus and Phosphorus) could be discoverable rather than known a priori.

References

  1. Collins Latin Dictionary plus Grammar, p. 231. ISBN 0-06-053690-X)
  2. Hyg. Fab. 65
  3. Ovid. Metamorphoses. Book XI, 295.
  4. Servius. ad Aen. 4,484.
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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Hesperus. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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