Find out these interesting facts about Hermes – The Messenger of Gods in Greek Mythology:
Born in Arcadia
#1 He was the son of Zeus (the king of the gods) and Maia (a nymph), who gave birth to him in a cave on Mount Cyllene (also known as Mount Kyllini) in Arcadia and then fell asleep exhausted. He was also called Atlantiades due to his mother who was one of the seven daughters of Atlas, a leader of the Titans.
#2 In Greek mythology, he is said to appear more frequently than any other gods. He was the messenger of the gods, the god of merchants, eloquence, travelers, commerce, and public speakers. In addition, he was good-humored, cheerful, and cunning. In Roman mythology, he was called Mercury.and is linked with the Egyptian god of wisdom, Thoth or Tahuti.
#3 He was believed to be a “trickster” because of his clever and cunning personality. In an effort to offer protection to humanity, he tricked many gods and goddesses for his own personal amusement and fun.
#4 He is usually depicted as a beardless, athletic, young god who has a winged hat, winged boots and carries a magic wand (or a herald’s staff). He is sometimes portrayed as a bearded man with a golden helmet.
#5 He is faster than any other Greek god and a good talker, hence, whenever the gods wanted to send messages to humans, they gave the job to him.
#6 In Zeus’ opinion, the best thing about him was his capacity to keep a secret.
#7 He was known as a poetry patron and the god of all the gymnastic games. Furthermore, because of his amazing diplomatic traits, he was acknowledged as the patron of rhetoric and languages.
#8 Moreover, he is deemed with inventing sacrifice and divine worship. Additionally, he is said to have invented the lyre from a turtle shell on the first day he was born. He also invented the alphabet and it is said that liars and thieves usually prayed to him, to receive his sympathy.
#9 He had slain Argus Panoptes – the 100-eyed giant who watched over the nymph Io (one of the mortal lovers of Zeus), who had been turned into a cow by Zeus to hide her from Hera, the jealous wife of Zeus.
#10 As a newborn, he was remarkably precocious. For example, his first ”crime” was to steal cattle belonging to the god Apollo (the son of Leto and Zeus). To avoid from being exposed by tracks, he put boots on the cattle`s feet and led them to Pylos. He also sacrificed some of the stolen goods to many different goddesses.
#11 He helped Perseus (a Greek hero part god and part man) in his quest to slay the Gorgon Medusa (a winged human female with living snakes in place of hair). In addition, He rescued Ares (the Greek god of war) from a brazen vessel where he was imprisoned by Ephialtes and Otus.
#12 He gave Odysseus (king of the island of Ithaca) a holy herb known as “moly” that only he could dig deep to find, due to his godly powers.
#13 He also accompanied Zeus on numerous journeys and, for instance, at some point he helped Zeus during a fight with Typhon, the most deadly creature in Greek mythology.
#14 He took part in the battle of the Giants, also called Gigantes, and was able to kill Hippolytus (a son of Theseus) with the help of his magic helmet that he received from the god of the underworld -Hades, making whoever wore it invisible.
#15 Following Zeus’ decision, the 3 goddesses, Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, were led by him to Mount Ida (in close proximity of Troy) in order to be judged by Paris (the son of Queen Hecuba of Troy and King Priam), who decided which one would have the Apple of Eris, better known as the apple of discord.
#16 He was the one who gave Pandora a human voice and made her speak with fraudulent, false, and bad words.
Symbols of Hermes
#17 His symbols include the Caduceus, a staff that appears in a form of 2 snakes wrapped around a winged staff with carvings of the other gods. The place where the snakes cross symbolizes the chakras or the spinal energy vortexes of the subtle body. Occasionally, he is holding a wand instead of staff but with the same traits.
#18 Other symbols include:
- a leather pouch winged sandals;
- satchel or pouch;
- the herma;
- a rooster;
- the tortoise.
#19 The goddess he loved the most was Aphrodite (the Greek goddess of procreation and love), with whom he had 2 children – Priapus and Hermaphroditus (he has a great relationship with both his feminine and masculine sides). Furthermore, he was the father of Pan who was half man and half goat and the god of flocks and shepherds.
#20 Among the 12 Olympian gods, he was the only one who was admitted traveling to Heaven, Earth, and Underworld, plus it was his job to transfer the dead souls to the Underworld.