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Herse \Herse\ (h[~e]rs), n. [F. herse harrow, portcullis, OF. herce, LL. hercia, L. hirpex, gen. hirpicis, and irpex, gen. irpicis, harrow. The LL. hercia signifies also a kind of candlestick in the form of a harrow, having branches filled with lights, and placed at the head of graves or cenotaphs; whence herse came to be used for the grave, coffin, or chest containing the dead. Cf. Hearse.]

  1. (Fort.) A kind of gate or portcullis, having iron bars, like a harrow, studded with iron spikes. It is hung above gateways so that it may be quickly lowered, to impede the advance of an enemy.

  2. See Hearse, a carriage for the dead.

  3. A funeral ceremonial. [Obs.]


Herse \Herse\, v. t. Same as Hearse, v. t.


n. 1 A kind of gate or portcullis, having iron bars, like a harrow, studded with iron spikes, hung above gateways so that it may be quickly lowered to impede the advance of an enemy. 2 (obsolete form of hearse nodot=yes English) (a carriage for the dead) 3 (context obsolete English) A funeral ceremony. vb. (alternative form of hearse English)


Herse ( " dew") is a figure in Greek mythology, daughter of Cecrops, sister to Aglauros and Pandrosos.

According to the Bibliotheca, when Hephaestus unsuccessfully attempted to rape Athena, she wiped his semen off her leg with wool and threw it on the ground, impregnating Gaia. Athena wished to make the resulting infant Erichthonius immortal and to raise it, so she gave it to three sisters, Herse, Aglauros and Pandrosos, in a willow basket and warned them to never open it. Aglauros and Herse disobeyed her and opened the basket which contained the infant and future king, Erichthonius, who was somehow mixed or intertwined with a snake. The sight caused Herse and Aglauros to go insane and they jumped to their deaths off the Acropolis. Shrines were constructed for Herse and Aglauros on the Acropolis.

An alternative version of the story is that, while Athena was gone bringing a limestone mountain from the Pallene peninsula to use in the Acropolis, the sisters, minus Pandrosos again, opened the box with Erichthonius inside. A crow witnessed the opening and flew away to tell Athena, who fell into a rage and dropped the mountain (now Mt. Lykabettos). Once again, Herse and Aglauros went insane and threw themselves to their deaths off the cliffs of the Acropolis. This story supposedly inspired an ancient ritual in Athens: "The Festival of the Dew Carriers" or Arrhephoria.

Some authors, such as Ovid in his Metamorphoses and Ars Amatoria, wrote a different end for Herse and Aglauros. Ovid tells in Book 2 of his Metamorphoses that Erichthonius was born without a mother. Pallas Athena (better known as Athena, Minerva is her Roman name) placed him in a willow basket and told the sisters not to look on the mysteries. Two daughters, Herse and Pandrosos obeyed, but Aglauros looked and saw the child lying next to a great snake. Cornix, the crow, told Athena, who turned her feathers from white to black for her pains. Later in Book 2, Hermes (Mercury in Roman mythology) is in Athens and sees a festival to Athena. He falls in love with Herse and goes to her house to ask for her hand. Aglauros agrees to give Herse his message for the price of gold. Athena sees all of this and goes to the house of Envy and orders the goddess to poison Aglauros. Aglauros, who begins to waste away with jealousy, blocks the passage to Herse's room and refuses to move. Hermes, angry at Aglauros for breaking her promise, changes her into a black marble statue.

Cephalus is the son of Hermes and Herse who suffers a tragic ending to his happy marriage with Procris.

The name Herse also refers to:

  • A daughter of Selene by Zeus, see Ersa.
  • One of the many consorts of Danaus, mother of his daughters Hippodice and Adiante.
Herse (moon)

Herse ( ; Greek: Ἕρση), or Jupiter L, previously known by its provisional designation of , is a natural satellite of Jupiter. It was discovered on 8 February 2003 by the astronomers Brett J. Gladman, John J. Kavelaars, Jean-Marc Petit, and Lynne Allen and also by a team of astronomers at the University of Hawaii. It was named after Herse 'dew', a daughter of Zeus and Selene the moon in Greek mythology , on 11 November 2009.

Herse is about 2 kilometres in diameter, and orbits Jupiter at an average distance of 22.134 gigametre (Gm) in 672.752 days, at a mean inclination of 165° to the ecliptic , in a retrograde direction and with a mean eccentricity of 0.2493.

It is the innermost member of the Carme group, made up of irregular retrograde moons orbiting Jupiter at a distance ranging between 23 and 24 Gm and at an inclination of about 165°.

Usage examples of "herse".

Breathing in the sea air and salt spray kicked up by the bow behind the conning tower's weather screen, Hersing took every opportunity to leave the close confines of the pressure hull with its smell of dampness, diesel fumes, and sweat.

Unlike Hersing, who savored conning his vessel in the open air, British Royal Navy Captain Martin Leake stood in the comfort of H.

First Officer Erich Herbert handed Hersing his binoculars and pointed toward the northwest.

The U-boat and the cruiser were only fifteen hundred yards apart when Hersing shouted in the same breath, "Away torpedo!

Like a spear thrown from a mythical god's hand, the deadly tube streaked toward Pathfinder Hersing waited anxiously for the sound of a muffled explosion and the following concussion.

As Hersing watched, another explosion rocked the already shattered vessel as the forward ammunition locker detonated.

Otto Hersing and his U-21 made history by becoming the first submarine to sink a ship and escape.

There were other U-boat commanders who sank more ships than Hersing, but none matched his tonnage.

After the Armistice, on November 20, 1918, Hersing was ordered to surrender his boat to the British Navy at Harwich, England, where it was to be impounded and scrapped.

Defiant to the end, Otto Hersing had sent his beloved U-21 to the bottom of the North Sea rather than Turn her over to the enemy.

Several years after the war, famed explorer and correspondent Lowell Thomas visited Hersing in his village just thirty miles from the North Sea.

When Thomas asked the former scourge of Allied shipping how he kept busy, Hersing replied, "I grow fine potatoes.

During the crossing, we had only to make a short detour to the approximate position where Otto Hersing scuttled his beloved U-21.