Greek God of Trade, Eloquence and Messenger of the Gods
Hermes was one of the 12 Olympian Gods and was god of trade, thieves, travelers, sports, athletes, and border crossings, guide to the Underworld. He was the second youngest Olympian god and was the son of Zeus and Maia, one of the seven Pleiades and daughter of the Titan Atlas.
As the god of boundaries and transitions, Hermes was known to be quick and cunning and had the ability to freely move between the mortal and divine worlds. It is this skill that made him a luck-bringing messenger to the gods and intercessor between mortals and the divine.
He is also the patron and protector of travelers, herdsmen, thieves, orators and wit, literature and poets, athletics and sports, invention and trade. In some myths Hermes is also depicted as a trickster where he would outwit the gods either for the good of humankind or for his own personal amusement and satisfaction.
Both Homer and Hesiod portrayed Hermes as the author of skilled or deceptive acts, and also as a benefactor of mortals.
Facts about Hermes
- Hermes was the son of Zeus and Maia, one of the Pleiades.
- He primarily served as the herald or messenger of the gods.
- Hermes was the god of shepherds, land travel, and literature. More specifically, he was known as a patron of poetry.
- His interests were varied and widespread.
- In his role as herald, it also fell to him to conduct souls to Hades.
- As was the case with other gods, Hermes was known for abundant love affairs with goddesses.net/mortals/”>mortals, goddesses, and nymphs.
- According to some sources, Hermes was associated with fertility and good fortune.
- Hermes is most often presented as a graceful youth, wearing a winged hat and winged sandals. This is how he appeared to Perseus when he and Athena arrived to help the hero kill Medusa.
- Hermes was considered a “trickster” due to his cunning and clever personality.
- Hermoea was the name given to the riotous festivals thrown in his honor.
- Hermes was born in a cave on a mountain in Arcadia; he was conceived and born within the course of one day.
- His son Pan was half man, half goat. Pan’s mother was named Dryope, and she was terrified of her son’s strange appearance.
- Abderus, another of Hermes’ sons, was a friend to Hercules. He met his fate when he was devoured by the Mares of Diomedes.
- Hermaphroditus (also known as Aphroditus) was an androgynous deity and the offspring of Hermes and Aphrodite.
- The tortoise is a symbol of Hermes.
- Hermes freed Io, one of Zeus’ lovers, from the giant Argus.
- Hermes talked the nymph Calypso into releasing Odysseus.
- Hermes played a part in the infamous love story of Orpheus and Eurydice. After Eurydice is granted one day on earth with her husband, it is Hermes who escorts her back to the underworld.
- He was a patron of thieves. On the day of his birth, Hermes stole cattle from Apollo.
- He was the only one other than Hades and Persephone who was allowed to leave the underworld without consequence.
- He was the god of boundaries, both literal and figurative.
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