HERMES

Messenger of the Gods

who is hermes?

Hermes, also called Mercury, is known for many things, but his most important role is the herald, or messenger, of the gods. His swiftness and speed greatly benefited him since he traveled from place to place in order to deliver messages. Also, Hermes is the god of the following: "shepherds, land travel, merchants, weights and measures, oratory, literature, athletics, and thieves" (Leadbetter). He was well respected all throughout Greece.

The beginning of hermes

Hermes is the son of Zeus, king of the gods, and Maia, a nymph. According to the myth, Hermes was born in the morning in a cave on Mount Cyllene in Arkadia. Immediately after his birth, he escaped to Thessaly, the land where his brother, Apollo, was. Hermes stole the cattle that belonged to Apollo and guided them back to Greece. Before he went back to the cave, Hermes created a lyre with the shell of a tortoise that he killed and the intestines of a cow that he killed, also. He returned to Arcadia, where he later became very well-repected (Guthrie), putting everything as it was before he left. When Apollo claimed that Hermes had stolen his cattle, Maia didn't believe that her son would do such a thing. However, Zeus had observed what Hermes had done and ordered Hermes to return the cattle. Luckily, Apollo had a great desire for the lyre, and offered Hermes the cattle in exchange for the lyre.

Hermes in the Odyssey

Hermes is seen at the beginning and the end of the Odyssey. At the beginning, it is Hermes that is sent by Zeus to tell Calypso, Hermes' aunt, that she must give up Odysseus. Hermes appears once more at the end of the book when "Hermes leads the suitors to the Underworld" (Gill).

Hermes offspring

Hermes had two children with Aphrodite, the woman he loved the most, named Hermaphroditus and Priapus. "Hermes was also the father of Pan, the god of shepherds and flocks who was half man and half goat ("Hermes")."

works cited


Gill, N. S. "The Many Roles of Hermes: Thief, Inventor, and Messenger." About. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2014. <http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/hermesmercurymyth/ss/Hermes122108_6.htm>.

Guthrie, W. "Hermes." The Greeks and Their Gods. Boston: Beacon, 1955. 86-94. Print.

"Hermes." UXL Encyclopedia of World Mythology. Vol. 3. Detroit: UXL, 2009. 524-27. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 3 Nov. 2014. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE|CX3230900162&v=2.1&u=stil88526&it=r&p=GVRL&sw=w&asid=5ecc66ff999c66e4a7a432bd2916aa55>.

Leadbetter, Ron. "Hermes." Hermes. Encyclopedia Mythica, 08 Feb. 2006. Web. 05 Nov. 2014. <http://www.pantheon.org/articles/h/hermes.html>.