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Ancient Greek Mythology: Hermes

Not only did Hermes serve as a guide to the Underworld, he was also the renowned messenger of the ancient Greek gods. An Olympian god himself, Hermes was born on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia. In this article, you will learn more about the god who is also connected to the Roman god Mercury.

His Purpose

Hermes is known as the patron of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them. Those who pray to the god are thought to receive the protection of the god, which includes the likes of thieves and harlots. He also watches over shepherds and those that herd cows. He is associated with the cunning of thieves , a trait that he passed onto his son Autolycus, Orators and wit looked up to the god, as did those who wrote or composed poetry.

Hermes is also linked to weights and measures, commerce, as well as athletics and sports. Since he is fast, it is no wonder that he is linked to athletes and it is said that he looks out for runners or the sporting type that are in need of his help , especially those that have suffered an injury.

Hermes served as a messenger between the gods and humans. This role was also shared by Iris, but he is known for delivering messages

Symbols of the God

The tortoise, the rooster, the winged sandals, and the winged hat were amongst some of the symbols that represented the swift-footed god.

The Offspring of Hermes

Hermes is linked to the birth of many sons and daughters , some of which are quite recognizable in ancient Greek myths. They include:

Pan , With the nymph Dryope, it is believed that Hermes fathered Pan , the Greek god of nature, flocks and shepherds, who had features of a satyr. Homer wrote that Pan’s mother fled when she laid eyes on her newborn because his goat-like appearance scared her.

Eros , As the son of Aphrodite, Eros was a god of love who had a mischievous side. Taking after Hermes, he was a winged god. Some tales state that other gods could have been the father of Eros , namely Ares or Hephaestus. Eros also used magical arrows to cause any human to fall in love with the next living creature they laid eyes on. The Romans referred to their version of this god as the infamous Cupid.

Tyche , Hermes and Aphrodite are said to have brought the goddess of prosperity into the world. Tyche was also referred to as Fortuna.

Interesting Facts About Hermes

·    Hermes was second youngest of the Olympian gods.

·    It was a pair of shoes equipped with wings that allowed Hermes to fly between the mortal and immortal world with ease.

·    Hermes is credited with being the inventor of fire.

·    Other inventions associated with Hermes include the lyre, wrestling as a sport, different types of races, and the sport of boxing.

·    Hermes would help the dead find their way to the Underworld. He was one of few gods with the ability to enter and leave the Underworld without any repercussions.

·    When the ancient Greeks prepared for a journey, it was not uncommon to offer a sacrifice to Hermes before their departure.