Likewise, the FTD flower delivery company used the image of a streaking Hermes with flowers in his hand as shorthand for the swiftness and reliability of its delivery services. He also traded his lute for Apollo’s herd, making him the god of herdsmen and the unlikely protector of livestock. “Hermes.” Wikipedia. But there was much more to the herald of Zeus than just his ability to deliver messages quickly. The names “Hermes” was derived from the ancient Greek herma, meaning a cairn, or heap of stones used to indicate the boundaries of something. As an ever-growing archive, our mission is to catalog the world’s mythology on the web for all to enjoy. When Hera found out about the affair, she set out to find and punish Io, leading Zeus to transform his young lover into a heifer and hide her within a herd of cattle. As the messenger of the gods, Hermes was a natural patron of people who traveled around the Greek world. The theft of Apollo’s cattle painted Hermes as a trickster god, an archetype that existed throughout the world. Nowhere was this faculty better exemplified than in the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Zeus had fallen for Io, a young, mortal priestess of Hera, and in his lust came down from Olympus to ravish her. One famous episode told by Hesiod featured Hermes rescuing Zeus’ lover Io from the vengeful designs of Hera and the watchful gaze of Argus. Hermes came to his aid once more, this time delivering news from Zeus himself. While he was never viewed as the primary god of the dead, Hermes was often featured in myths of the underworld and pictured on gravestones in the ancient world. Apel, Thomas. Flying into action, Hermes distracted the giant by lulling him to sleep with his pipes, whispering charms in his ear, or hypnotizing him with his staff (the kerikeion), depending on the version of the story. Thomas Apel, “Hermes,” Mythopedia, accessed , The borders between estates and kingdoms were not the only boundaries Hermes crossed, however. the herald of the gods put in...3. Travellers regarded him as their patron, and stone pillars (hermae) with a phallus symbol were often to be seen set up along roadsides to act as guides and offer … Seeing she had no choice in the matter, Calypso relented and released Odysseus and his crew. In so doing, Hermes created the first lyre, an instrument forever associated with ancient Greek culture. At various occasions, Hermes stole Poseidon’s trident, Artemis’ arrows, and the girdle of Aphrodite. This made them representatives of the underworld as well, and Hermes served a role as a conduit between the living and the dead. Hermes often acted as a psychopomp, or a guide to the dead, escorting the souls of the deceased to the underworld. Please like and share this article if you found it useful. Hermes was credited with inventing fire, the alphabet, dice (actually knucklebones) - and so he was worshipped by gamblers in his capacity as god of luck and wealth, and musical instruments, in particular, the lyre - made from a tortoiseshell by the god. Apel, Thomas. There the son of Cronos used to lie with the rich-tressed nymph, unseen by deathless gods and mortal men, at dead of night while sweet sleep should hold white-armed Hera fast. When Hermes delivered a message from the king of the gods he did so with the authority to speak on Zeus’s behalf, and thus that of all the gods of Mount Olympus. So it was that Apollo first took up the lyre, the instrument he would use to become the greatest of all musicians. Learn more. Apollo eventually tracked down the clever thief, who had disguised his tracks, and found an apparently innocent baby whose mother was unaware of his abilities. That his name was derived from words associated with roads and thresholds suggested not only his status as god of travlers, but also his reputation as a trickster who played with boundaries.1. Hermes was the son of Zeus and Maia, daughter of the titan Atlas (whose children were called the Atlantides) and the Oceanid nymph Pleione, whose seven daughters were known as the Pleiades (a name given to a constellation of seven stars). As the son of Zeus, Hermes represented the essential communication line among the gods as the fastest Greek God and God of the Wind. Hermes was the messenger god and the herald of the Olympians. On the verge of being bested, Zeus appealed to Hermes for assistance. The evolution of Hermes as a messenger and god of travel was a continuation of this archetype, leading to his role as a herald of the gods and a guide to those crossing the boundary of life and death. Such a symbol was but another expression of Hermes, who delivered one from sickness to health. Hermes informed Odysseus of Circe’s treachery and gave him a magical herb called mory, which Hermes promised would protect him from the sorceress’ charms. In the film version of the Rick Riordan novel, Percy Jackson and The Sea of Monsters, Hermes was played by Nathan Fillion. My name is Mike and for as long as I can remember (too long!) Translated by Bruce MacLennan. Together, the two had the god child Pan, a rustic deity associated with shepherds and their flocks. He is often dressed in a toga, but his winged hat and sandals make him easy to indetify. For the ancient Greeks who worshiped him, Hermes represented the disorder and moral relativism they saw in the world. Hermes was the god of trade and the patron-god of merchants.