Hermes (/ˈhɜːrmiːz/; Greek: Ἑρμῆς) is an Olympian god in
Greek religion and mythology, the son of
Zeus and the Pleiad Maia, and
the second youngest of the Olympian gods (
Dionysus being the
Hermes was the emissary and messenger of the gods.
Hermes was also
"the divine trickster" and "the god of boundaries and the
transgression of boundaries, ... the patron of herdsmen, thieves,
graves, and heralds." He is described as moving freely between the
worlds of the mortal and divine, and was the conductor of souls into
the afterlife. He was also viewed as the protector and patron of
roads and travelers.
In some myths, he is a trickster and outwits other gods for his own
satisfaction or for the sake of humankind. His attributes and symbols
include the herma, the rooster, the tortoise, satchel or pouch, winged
sandals, and winged cap. His main symbol is the Greek kerykeion or
Latin caduceus, which appears in a form of two snakes wrapped around a
winged staff with carvings of the other gods.
In the Roman adaptation of the Greek pantheon (see interpretatio
Hermes is identified with the Roman god Mercury, who,
though inherited from the Etruscans, developed many similar
characteristics such as being the patron of commerce.
1 Etymology and origins
2.1 Early Greek sources
Homer and Hesiod
2.1.2 Athenian tragic playwrights
2.1.4 Hymn to Hermes
2.2 Hellenistic Greek sources
3 Epithets of Hermes
3.4 Messenger and guide
3.7.1 Patron of thieves
4 Worship and cult
6 Hermes's possible offspring
7 Extended list of Hermes's lovers and children
9 Art and iconography
10 In other religions
11 Modern interpretation
Hermes series essays
Hermes in popular culture
13 See also
16 Further reading
17 External links
Etymology and origins
The earliest form of the name
Hermes is the Mycenaean Greek
*hermāhās, written 𐀁𐀔𐁀 e-ma-a2 (e-ma-ha) in the Linear B
syllabic script. Most scholars derive "Hermes" from Greek ἕρμα
herma, "prop, heap of stones, boundary marker", from which the
word hermai ("boundary markers dedicated to
Hermes as a god of
travelers") also derives. The etymology of ἕρμα itself is
unknown, but it is probably not an
However, the stone etymology is also linked to Indo-European *ser-
(“to bind, put together”). Scholarly speculation that "Hermes"
derives from a more primitive form meaning "one cairn" is
disputed. In Greek, a lucky find is a ἕρμαιον hermaion.
According to one theory that has received considerable scholarly
Hermes himself originated as a form of the god Pan, who
has been identified as a reflex of the
god *Péh2usōn, in his aspect as the god of boundary markers.
Later, the epithet supplanted the original name itself and
over the roles as god of messengers, travelers, and boundaries, which
had originally belonged to Pan, while Pan himself continued to be
venerated by his original name in his more rustic aspect as the god of
the wild in the relatively isolated mountainous region of Arcadia. In
later myths, after the cult of Pan was reintroduced to Attica, Pan was
said to be Hermes's son.
Other origins have also been proposed. R. S. P. Beekes rejects the
connection with herma and suggests a
Pre-Greek origin. Other
scholars have suggested that
Hermes may be a cognate of the Vedic
Early Greek sources
Hermes with his mother Maia. Detail of the side B of an Attic
red-figure belly-amphora, c. 500 BC.
Hermes (which takes the lamb), late-Roman copy of Greek
original from the 5th century BC. Barracco Museum, Rome
Homer and Hesiod
Hermes as the author of skilled or
deceptive acts and also as a benefactor of mortals. In the Iliad, he
is called "the bringer of good luck", "guide and guardian", and
"excellent in all the tricks". He was a divine ally of the Greeks
against the Trojans. However, he did protect
Priam when he went to the
Greek camp to retrieve the body of his son
Hector and accompanied them
back to Troy.
He also rescued
Ares from a brazen vessel where he had been imprisoned
by Otus and Ephialtes. In the Odyssey,
Hermes helps his great-grand
son, the protagonist Odysseus, by informing him about the fate of his
companions, who were turned into animals by the power of Circe. Hermes
Odysseus to protect himself by chewing a magic herb; he
also told Calypso of Zeus' order to free
Odysseus from her island to
allow him to continue his journey back home. When
Odysseus killed the
suitors of his wife,
Hermes led their souls to Hades. In The Works
and Days, when
Hephaestus to create
Pandora to disgrace
humanity by punishing Prometheus's act of giving fire to man, every
god gave her a gift, and Hermes' gifts were lies, seductive words, and
a dubious character.
Hermes was then instructed to take her as wife to
Athenian tragic playwrights
Aeschylus wrote in
The Eumenides that
Clytemnestra under a false identity and other stratagems, and also
said that he was the god of searches, and those who seek things lost
or stolen. In Philoctetes,
Hermes when Odysseus
needs to convince
Philoctetes to join the
Trojan War on the side of
the Greeks, and in Euripides' Rhesus
Hermes helps Dolon spy on the
Aesop featured him in several of his fables, as ruler of the gate of
prophetic dreams, as the god of athletes, of edible roots, and of
hospitality. He also said that
Hermes had assigned each person his
share of intelligence.
Hymn to Hermes
The Hymn to Hermes invokes him as the one "of many shifts
(polytropos), blandly cunning, a robber, a cattle driver, a bringer of
dreams, a watcher by night, a thief at the gates, one who was soon to
show forth wonderful deeds among the deathless gods." Hermes, as
an inventor of fire, is a parallel of the Titan Prometheus. In
addition to the lyre,
Hermes was believed to have invented many types
of racing and the sports of wrestling and boxing, and therefore was a
patron of athletes.
In 1820 Shelley translated this hymn.
H. G. Evelyn-White's translation, published 1914, is used on the
Hellenistic Greek sources
Several writers of the
Hellenistic period expanded the list of
Callimachus said that
Hermes disguised himself
as a cyclops to scare the Oceanides and was disobedient to his
mother. One of the
Orphic Hymns Khthonios is dedicated to Hermes,
indicating that he was also a god of the underworld.
called him by this epithet several times. Another is the Orphic
Hymn to Hermes, where his association with the athletic games held in
tone is mystic.
Phlegon of Tralles said he was invoked to ward off ghosts, and
Pseudo-Apollodorus reported several events involving Hermes. He
participated in the
Gigantomachy in defense of Olympus; was given the
task of bringing baby
Dionysus to be cared for by Ino and Athamas and
later by nymphs of Asia, followed Hera,
Aphrodite in a
beauty contest; favored the young Hercules by giving him a sword when
he finished his education and lent his sandals to Perseus. The
Thracian princes identified him with their god Zalmoxis, considering
Anyte of Tegea of the 3rd century BC, in translation by Richard
Hermes stand here at the crossroads by the wind beaten orchard, near
the hoary grey coast; and I keep a resting place for weary men. And
the cool stainless spring gushes out.
Hermes of the Ways after the patronage of travelers.
Epithets of Hermes
Hermes was also called Atlantiades (Greek: Ατλαντιάδης),
because his mother, Maia was the daughter of Atlas.
Main article: Kriophoros
In ancient Greek cult, kriophoros (Greek: κριοφόρος) or
criophorus, the "ram-bearer," is a figure that commemorates the solemn
sacrifice of a ram. It becomes an epithet of Hermes: Hermes
Hermes's epithet Ἀργειφόντης Argeiphontes (Latin:
Argicida), meaning "Argus-slayer", recalls his slaying of the
hundred-eyed giant Argus Panoptes, who was watching over the
heifer-nymph Io in the sanctuary of Queen
Hera herself in Argos.
Hermes placed a charm on Argus's eyes with the caduceus to cause the
giant to sleep, after this he slew the giant. Argus' eyes were
then put into the tail of the peacock, a symbol of the goddess Hera.
Messenger and guide
The chief office of the God was as messenger.
Hermes (Diactoros, Angelos) the messenger, is in fact only
seen in this role, for Zeus, from within the pages of the Odyssey
Oh mighty messenger of the gods of the upper and lower worlds ...
explicitly, at least in sources of classical writings, of Euripides
Electra and Iphigenia in Aulis and in Epictetus Discourses.
Sarpedon's body carried by
Thanatos (Sleep and Death),
Hermes watches. Side A of the so-called "Euphronios krater",
Attic red-figured calyx-krater signed by Euxitheos (potter) and
Euphronios (painter), c. 515 BC.
The messenger divine and herald of the Gods, he wears the gifts from
his father, the
Petasus and Talaria.
Hodios, patron of travelers and wayfarers.
Oneiropompus, conductor of dreams.
Poimandres, shepherd of men.
Psychopompos, conveyor or conductor of souls and psychogogue,
conductor or leader of souls in (or through) the underworld.
So-called "Logios Hermes" (
Hermes Orator). Marble, Roman copy from the
late 1st century BC - early 2nd century AD after a Greek original of
the 5th century BC.
Agoraeus, of the agora; belonging to the market (Aristophanes)
Empolaios, "engaged in traffic and commerce"
Hermes is sometimes depicted in art works holding a purse.
No cult to
Hermes Dolios existed in Attica, of this
Athens being the
capital, and so this form of
Hermes seems to have existed in speech
The god is ambiguous.
According to prominent folklorist Yeleazar Meletinsky,
Hermes is a
deified trickster and master of thieves ("a plunderer, a
cattle-raider, a night-watching" in Homers' Hymns) and deception
(Euripides) and (possibly evil) tricks and
trickeries, crafty (from lit. god of craft), the
cheat, the god of stealth.
friendliest to man
and cunning, (see also, to act secretively as kleptein, in
reference EL Wheeler), of treachery, the schemer.
Hermes Dolios, was worshipped at Pellene and invoked through
(As the ways of gain are not always the ways of honesty and
Hermes obtains a bad character and an in-moral
(amoral [ed.]) cult as Dolios)
Hermes is amoral like a baby. Although
Hermes as a
teacher to humanity to teach them knowledge of and value of justice
and to improve inter-personal relationships ("bonding between
Considered to have a mastery of rhetorical persuasion and special
pleading, the god typically has nocturnal modus operandi. Hermes
knows the boundaries and crosses the borders of them to confuse their
In the Lang translation of Homer's Hymn to Hermes, the god after being
born is described as a robber, a captain of raiders, and a thief of
According to the late Jungian psychotherapist López-Pedraza,
Hermes thieves, he later sacrifices to the gods.
Patron of thieves
Autolycus received his skills as the greatest of thieves due to
Hermes as his patron.
Other epithets included:
chthonius – at the festival Athenia Chytri sacrifices are made to
this visage of the god only.
cyllenius, born on Mount Kyllini
epimelios, guardian of flocks
ploutodotes, giver of wealth (as inventor of fire)
proopylaios, "before the gate", "guardian of the gate", Pylaios,
strophaios, "standing at the door post"
Stropheus, "the socket in which the pivot of the door moves" (Kerényi
in Edwardson) or "door-hinge". Protector of the door (that is the
boundary), to the temple
patron of gymnasia
Worship and cult
Hermes wearing the petasos, a voyager's cloak, the caduceus
and a purse. Roman copy after a Greek original (Vatican Museums).
Prior to being known as Hermes, Frothingham thought the god to have
existed as a snake-god. Angelo (1997) thinks
Hermes to be based on
Thoth archetype. The absorbing ("combining") of the
Thoth developed after the time of Homer
amongst Greek and Roman; Herodotus was the first to identify the Greek
god with the Egyptian (Hermopolis), Plutarch and Diodorus also,
although Plato thought the gods to be dis-similar (Friedlander
A cult was established in Greece in remote regions, likely making him
a god of nature, farmers, and shepherds. It is also possible that
since the beginning he has been a deity with shamanic attributes
linked to divination, reconciliation, magic, sacrifices, and
initiation and contact with other planes of existence, a role of
mediator between the worlds of the visible and invisible.
During the 3rd century BC, a communication between Petosiris (a
priest) to King Nechopso, probably written in Alexandria c. 150 BC,
Hermes is the teacher of all secret wisdoms available to
knowing by the experience of religious ecstasy.
Due to his constant mobility, he was considered the god of commerce
and social intercourse, the wealth brought in business, especially
sudden or unexpected enrichment, travel, roads and crossroads, borders
and boundary conditions or transient, the changes from the threshold,
agreements and contracts, friendship, hospitality, sexual intercourse,
games, data, the draw, good luck, the sacrifices and the sacrificial
animals, flocks and shepherds and the fertility of land and cattle. In
addition to serving as messenger to Zeus,
Hermes carried the souls of
the dead to Hades, and directed the dreams sent by
One of the oldest places of worship for
Hermes was Mount Cyllene in
Arcadia, where the myth says that he was born. Tradition says that his
first temple was built by Lycaon. From there the cult would have been
taken to Athens, and then radiated to the whole of Greece, according
to Smith, and his temples and statues became extremely numerous.
Lucian of Samosata said he saw the temples of
In many places, temples were consecrated in conjunction with
Aphrodite, as in Attica, Arcadia, Crete, Samos and in Magna Graecia.
Several ex-votos found in his temples revealed his role as initiator
of young adulthood, among them soldiers and hunters, since war and
certain forms of hunting were seen as ceremonial initiatory ordeals.
This function of
Hermes explains why some images in temples and other
vessels show him as a teenager. As a patron of the gym and fighting,
Hermes had statues in gyms and he was also worshiped in the sanctuary
of the Twelve Gods in Olympia where Greeks celebrated the Olympic
Games. His statue was held there on an altar dedicated to him and
Apollo together. A temple within the Aventine was consecrated in
Hermes were the palm tree, turtle, rooster, goat, the
number four, several kinds of fish and incense. Sacrifices involved
honey, cakes, pigs, goats, and lambs. In the sanctuary of Hermes
Promakhos in Tanagra is a strawberry tree under which it was believed
he had created, and in the hills Phene ran three sources that
were sacred to him, because he believed that they had been bathed at
Hermes's feast was the special Hermaea which was celebrated with
sacrifices to the god and with athletics and gymnastics, possibly
having been established in the 6th century BC, but no documentation on
the festival before the 4th century BC survives. However, Plato said
Socrates attended a Hermaea. Of all the festivals involving Greek
games, these were the most like initiations because participation in
them was restricted to young boys and excluded adults.
Main article: Herma
This circular Pyxis or box depicts two scenes. The one shown presents
Hermes awarding the golden apple of the Hesperides to Aphrodite, who
Paris has selected as the most beautiful of the goddesses. The
Walters Art Museum.
In Ancient Greece,
Hermes was a phallic god of boundaries. His name,
in the form herma, was applied to a wayside marker pile of stones;
each traveler added a stone to the pile. In the 6th century BC,
Hipparchos, the son of Pisistratus, replaced the cairns that marked
the midway point between each village deme at the central agora of
Athens with a square or rectangular pillar of stone or bronze topped
by a bust of
Hermes with a beard. An erect phallus rose from the base.
In the more primitive
Mount Kyllini or Cyllenian herms, the standing
stone or wooden pillar was simply a carved phallus. In Athens, herms
were placed outside houses for good luck. "That a monument of this
kind could be transformed into an Olympian god is astounding," Walter
In 415 BC, when the Athenian fleet was about to set sail for Syracuse
during the Peloponnesian War, all of the Athenian hermai were
vandalized one night. The Athenians at the time believed it was the
work of saboteurs, either from Syracuse or from the anti-war faction
Athens itself. Socrates' pupil
Alcibiades was suspected of
Socrates indirectly paid for the impiety with his
Hermes's possible offspring
The satyr-like Greek god of nature, shepherds and flocks, Pan, could
possibly be the son of
Hermes through the nymph Dryope. In the
Homeric Hymn to Pan, Pan's mother fled in fright from her newborn
son's goat-like appearance.
Depending on the sources consulted, the god
Priapus could be
understood as a son of Hermes.
Autolycus, the Prince of Thieves, was a son of
Hermes and Chione
(mortal) and grandfather of Odysseus.
Extended list of Hermes's lovers and children
Alcidameia of Corinth
Antianeira / Laothoe
Astabe, daughter of Peneus
Stilbe / Telauge
Chryses, priest of Apollo
Polybus of Sicyon
Daeira the Oceanid
Dryope, Arcadian nymph
Erytheia (daughter of Geryon)
Eupolemeia (daughter of Myrmidon)
three unnamed daughters
Iphthime (daughter of Dorus)
Libye (daughter of Palamedes)
Palaestra, daughter of Choricus
Persephone (unsuccessfully wooed her)
Polymele (daughter of Phylas)
Saon of Samothrace
Tanagra, daughter of Asopus
Theobula / Clytie / Clymene /
Cleobule / Myrto / Phaethusa the Danaid
Hermes's family tree
Art and iconography
Main page: Category:
Hermes from a herm, early 5th century BC.
Hermes Fastening his Sandal, early Imperial Roman marble copy of a
Lysippan bronze (Louvre Museum)
The image of
Hermes evolved and varied according to Greek art and
Archaic Greece he was usually depicted as a mature
man, bearded, dressed as a traveler, herald, or pastor. During
Hellenistic Greece he is usually depicted young and
nude, with athleticism, as befits the god of speech and of the
gymnastics, or a robe, a formula is set predominantly through the
centuries. When represented as Logios (Greek: Λόγιος, speaker),
his attitude is consistent with the attribute.
Phidias left a statue
of a famous
Hermes Logios and
Praxiteles another, also well known,
showing him with the baby
Dionysus in his arms. At all times, however,
through the Hellenistic periods, Roman, and throughout Western history
into the present day, several of his characteristic objects are
present as identification, but not always all together.
Among these objects is a wide-brimmed hat, the petasos, widely used by
rural people of antiquity to protect themselves from the sun, and that
in later times was adorned with a pair of small wings; sometimes the
hat is not present, and may have been replaced with wings rising from
the hair. Another object is the Porta: a stick, called a
rhabdomyolysis[clarification needed] (stick) or skeptron (scepter),
which is referred to[by whom?] as a magic wand. Some early
sources[who?] say that this was the bat he received from Apollo, but
others[who?] question the merits of this claim. It seems that there
may have been two canes, one of a shepherd's staff, as stated in the
Homeric Hymn, and the other a magic wand, according to some
authors.[who?] His bat also came to be called kerykeion, the caduceus,
in later times. Early depictions of the staff show it as a baton stick
topped by a golden way[clarification needed] that resembled the number
eight, though sometimes with its top truncated and open. Later the
staff had two intertwined snakes and sometimes it was crowned with a
pair of wings and a ball, but the old form remained in use even when
Hermes was associated with Mercury by the Romans.
Hyginus explained the presence of snakes, saying that
traveling in Arcadia when he saw two snakes intertwined in battle. He
put the caduceus between them and parted, and so said his staff would
bring peace. The caduceus, historically, appeared with Hermes,
and is documented among the Babylonians from about 3500 BC. The two
snakes coiled around a stick was a symbol of the god Ningishzida,
which served as a mediator between humans and the goddess
the supreme Ningirsu. In Greece itself the other gods have been
depicted holding a caduceus, but it was mainly associated with Hermes.
It was said to have the power to make people fall asleep or wake up,
and also made peace between litigants, and is a visible sign of his
authority, being used as a sceptre.
He was represented in doorways, possibly as an amulet of good fortune,
or as a symbol of purification. The caduceus is not to be confused
with the Rod of Asclepius, the patron of medicine and son of Apollo,
which bears only one snake. The rod of
Asclepius was adopted by most
Western doctors as a badge of their profession, but in several medical
organizations of the United States, the caduceus took its place since
the 18th century, although this use is declining. After the
Renaissance the caduceus also appeared in the heraldic crests of
several, and currently is a symbol of commerce.
His sandals, called pédila by the Greeks and talaria by the Romans,
were made of palm and myrtle branches but were described as beautiful,
golden and immortal, made a sublime art, able to take the roads with
the speed of wind. Originally, they had no wings, but late in the
artistic representations, they are depicted. In certain images, the
wings spring directly from the ankles.
Hermes has also been depicted
with a purse or a bag in his hands, wearing a robe or cloak, which had
the power to confer invisibility. His weapon was a sword of gold,
which killed Argos; lent to
Perseus to kill Medusa.
In other religions
According to Acts 14, when
Paul the Apostle
Paul the Apostle visited the city of
Lystra, the people there mistook him for
Hermes and his companion
Barnabas for Zeus.
Hermes as a
Postman on the Old-Mail-Office-Building in Flensburg
Carl Jung Hermes's role as messenger between realms and as guide
to the underworld, made him the god of the unconscious, the
mediator between the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind, and
the guide for inner journeys. Jung considered the gods Thoth
Hermes to be counterparts. In Jungian psychology
Hermes is seen as relevant to study of the phenomenon
of synchronicity (together with Pan and Dionysus):
Hermes is ... the archetypal core of Jung's psyche, theories ...
— DL Merritt
He is identified by some with the archetype of healer, as the
ancient Greeks ascribed healing magic to him.
In the context of abnormal psychology Samuels (1986) states that Jung
Hermes the archetype for narcissistic disorder; however, he
lends the disorder a "positive" (beneficious) aspect, and represents
both the good and bad of narcissism.
Hermes is the protector of psychotherapy. For
Hermes is a god of the healing arts.
According to Christopher Booker, all the roles
Hermes held in ancient
Greek thought all considered reveals
Hermes to be a guide or observer
For Jung, Hermes's role as trickster made him a guide through the
Hermes series essays
Michel Serres wrote a set of essays called the
Hermes in popular culture
Greek mythology in popular culture: Hermes
^ Burkert, p. 158. Iris has a similar role as divine messenger.
^ Burkert, p. 156.
^ Burkert, p. 158.
^ Burkert, pp. 157–158.
^ Lay, p. 3.
^ The Latin word cādūceus is an adaptation of the Greek
κηρύκειον kērukeion, meaning "herald's wand (or staff)",
deriving from κῆρυξ kērux, meaning "messenger, herald, envoy".
Liddell and Scott, Greek-English Lexicon; Stuart L. Tyson, "The
Caduceus", The Scientific Monthly, 34.6 (1932:492–98), p. 493.
Mythology (1978), Crown Publishers, p. 926.
^ a b c Beekes, R.S.P. (2010). Etymological Dictionary of Greek. With
the assistance of Lucien van Beek. Leiden, Boston: Brill.
pp. 461–2. ISBN 9789004174184.
^ Joann Gulizio,
Hermes and e-m-a2 (PDF), University of Texas,
archived from the original (PDF) on 5 October 2013, retrieved 26
^ a b Greek History and the Gods. Grand Valley State University
^ ἕρμα. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English
Lexicon at the
^ ἑρμαί in Liddell and Scott.
^ Davies, Anna Morpurgo & Duhoux, Yves. Linear B: a 1984 survey.
Peeters Publishers, 1985, p. 136.
^ H. Collitz, "Wodan,
Hermes und Pushan," Festskrift tillägnad Hugo
Pipping pȧ hans sextioȧrsdag den 5 November 1924 1924, pp 574–587.
^ a b Mallory, J. P.; Adams, D.Q. (2006). The Oxford Introduction to
Proto-Indo-European and the
Proto-Indo-European World. Oxford,
England: Oxford University Press. pp. 411 and 434.
^ West, Martin Litchfield (2007). Indo-European Poetry and Myth (PDF).
Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 281–283.
ISBN 978-0-19-928075-9. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
^ Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, ed. Félix Guirand & Robert
Graves, Hamlyn, 1968, p. 123.
^ Debroy, Bibek (2008).
Sarama and her Children: The Dog in the Indian
Myth. Penguin Books India. p. 77. ISBN 0143064703.
^ Homer. The Iliad. The
Project Gutenberg Etext. Trans. Samuel Butler.
^ Homer. The Odyssey. Plain Label Books, 1990. Trans. Samuel Butler.
pp. 40, 81–82, 192–195.
^ Hesiod. Works And Days. ll. 60–68. Trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White,
^ a b c Norman Oliver Brown (1990).
Hermes the Thief: The Evolution of
a Myth. Steiner Books. pp. 3–10.
^ Aeschylus, Suppliant Women 919. Quoted in God of Searchers. The
Theoi Project: Greek Mythology.
^ Aesop. Fables 474, 479, 520, 522, 563, 564. Quoted in God of Dreams
of Omen; God of Contests, Athletics, Gymnasiums, The Games, Theoi
Project: Greek Mythology.
^ "The conventional attribution of the Hymns to Homer, in spite of
linguistic objections, and of many allusions to things unknown or
unfamiliar in the Epics, is merely the result of the tendency to set
down "masterless" compositions to a well-known name...": Andrew Lang,
THE HOMERIC HYMNS A NEW PROSE TRANSLATION AND ESSAYS, LITERARY AND
MYTHOLOGICAL. Transcribed from the 1899 George Allen edition. Project
^ Hymn to
Hermes 13. The word polutropos ("of many shifts, turning
many ways, of many devices, ingenious, or much wandering") is also
used to describe
Odysseus in the first line of the Odyssey.
^ In the Homeric hymn, "after he had fed the loud-bellowing cattle...
he gathered much wood and sought the craft of fire. He also invented
written music and many other things. He took a splendid laurel branch,
gripped it in his palm, and twirled it in pomegranate wood" (lines
^ "First Inventors... Mercurius [Hermes] first taught wrestling to
mortals." – Hyginus, Fabulae 277.
^ N Richardson, The
Homeric Hymns (edited by J Cashford), Penguin UK,
2003, ISBN 0140437827.
Perseus Project. The
Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English
Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University
Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1914.
^ Callimachus. Iambi, Frag. 12. Quoted in "God of Memory and
Learning". The Theoi Project: Greek Mythology.
^ Orphic Hymn 57 to Chthonian
Cited in Guide of the Dead. The Theoi Project: Greek Mythology.
^ Orphic Hymn 28 to Hermes. Quoted in God of Contests, Athletics,
Gymnasiums, The Games. The Theoi Project: Greek Mythology.
^ Phlegon of Tralles. Book of Marvels, 2.1. Quoted in Guide of the
Dead. The Theoi Project: Greek Mythology.
^ Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library. Quoted in
Hermes Myths 2, Hermes
Hermes Favour. The Theoi Project: Greek Mythology.
^ Herodotus. Histories, 5.7. Quoted in "Identified with Foreign Gods".
The Theoi Project: Greek Mythology.
^ SG Yao, Translation and the Languages of Modernism: Gender,
Politics, Language, Palgrave Macmillan, 2002, ISBN 0312295197.
^ S Benstock, Women of the Left Bank: Paris, 1900-1940, University of
Texas Press, 2010, p. 323.
^ H Kenner, The Pound Era, Random House, 2011, ISBN 1446467740
and E Gregory, H. D. and Hellenism: Classic Lines, Cambridge
University Press, 1997, p. 253, ISBN 0521430259.
^ Ovid, Metamorphoses
^ Mike Dixon-Kennedy (1998). Encyclopedia of Greco-Roman Mythology.
ABC-CLIO. p. 160. ISBN 978-1-57607-094-9.
^ a b c d The Facts on File: Encyclopedia of World
Homeric Hymn 29 to Hestia.
^ W. Blackwood Ltd. (Edinburgh). Blackwood's Edinburgh magazine,
Volume 22; Volume 28. Leonard Scott & Co. 1849.
^ R Davis-Floyd, P Sven Arvidson, Intuition: The Inside Story :
Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Routledge, 1997, ISBN 0415915945.
^ a b New Larousse Encyclopedia of
Mythology (New (fifth impression)
ed.). Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited. 1972 . p. 123.
^ Jacques Duchesne-Guillemin. Études mithriaques: actes du 2e
Congrès International, Téhéran, du 1er au 8 september 1975. BRILL,
Perseus – Tufts University.
Perseus – Tufts University.
^ Rochester Institute of Technology. "Greek Gods". Rochester Institute
of Technology. Archived from the original on 25 May 2013.
^ a b M-L von Franz. Projection and Re-Collection in Jungian
Psychology: Reflections of the Soul. Open Court Publishing, 1985.
^ JF Krell, "Mythical patterns in the art of Gustave Moreau: The
primacy of Dionysus".
^ The Chambers Dictionary Allied Publishers, 1998.
^ a b
Mabel Lang (1988). Graffiti in the Athenian
Excavations of the Athenian
Agora (rev. ed.). Princeton, NJ: American
School of Classical Studies at Athens. p. 7.
ISBN 0-87661-633-3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 June
2004. Retrieved 14 April 2007.
^ V Ehrenberg, The People of Aristophanes: A Sociology of Old Attic
Comedy, Taylor & Francis, 1943.
^ a b c Aristophanes[clarification needed]
^ S. Hornblower; A. Spawforth. The Oxford Companion to Classical
Civilization (p. 370). Oxford Reference, Oxford University Press,
2014, ISBN 0198706774.
^ P Young-Eisendrath, The Cambridge Companion to Jung, Cambridge
University Press, 2008, ISBN 0521685001.
^ I Polinskaya, citing Robert Parker (2003): I Polinskaya, A Local
History of Greek Polytheism: Gods, People and the Land of Aigina,
800-400 BCE (p. 103), BRILL, 2013, ISBN 9004262083.
^ An universal history, from the earliest accounts to the present time
- Volume 5 (p. 34), 1779.
^ L Kahn-Lyotard, Greek and Egyptian Mythologies (edited by Y
Bonnefoy), University of Chicago Press, 1992, ISBN 0226064549.
^ Meletinsky, Introduzione (1993), p. 131.
^ N. O. Brown,
Hermes the Thief: The Evolution of a Myth
^ NW Slater, Spectator Politics: Metatheatre and Performance in
Aristophanes, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002,
^ "[T]he thief praying...": W Kingdon Clifford, L Stephen, F Pollock
^ William Stearns Davis - A Victor of Salamis: A Tale of the Days of
Xerxes, Leonidas, and Themistocles, Wildside Press LLC, 2007,
^ A Brown, A New Companion to Greek Tragedy, Taylor & Francis,
1983, ISBN 0389203963.
^ F Santi Russell, Information Gathering in Classical Greece,
University of Michigan Press, 1999.
^ JJ Ignaz von Döllinger, The Gentile and the Jew in the courts of
the Temple of Christ: an introduction to the history of Christianity,
Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, 1862.
^ EL Wheeler, Stratagem and the Vocabulary of Military Trickery,
BRILL, 1988, ISBN 9004088318.
^ R Parker,
Polytheism and Society at Athens, Oxford University Press,
2007, ISBN 0199216118.
^ Athenaeus, The learned banqueters, Harvard University Press, 2008.
^ I Ember, Music in painting: music as symbol in Renaissance and
baroque painting , Corvina, 1984.
^ Pausanias, 7.27.1
^ Plutarch (trans. William Reginald Halliday), The Greek questions of
^ S Montiglio, Silence in the Land of Logos, Princeton University
Press, 2010, ISBN 0691146586.
^ J Pòrtulas, C Miralles, Archilochus and the Iambic Poetry (page
^ JH Riker, Human Excellence and an Ecological Conception of the
Psyche, SUNY Press, 1991, ISBN 0791405192.
^ Ben-Ami Scharfstein, Amoral Politics: The Persistent Truth of
Machiavellism (p. 102), SUNY Press, 1995, ISBN 0791422798.
^ "Three Homeric Hymns".
^ L Hyde,
Trickster Makes this World: Mischief, Myth and Art,
Canongate Books, 2008.
^ Andrew Lang, THE HOMERIC HYMNS A NEW PROSE TRANSLATION AND ESSAYS,
LITERARY AND MYTHOLOGICAL. Transcribed from the 1899 George Allen
^ a b R López-Pedraza,
Hermes and His Children, Daimon, 2003, p. 25,
Homeric Hymns (pp. 76–77), edited by AN Athanassakis, JHU
Press, 2004, ISBN 0801879833.
^ Aristophanes, The Frogs of Aristophanes, with Notes and Critical and
Explanatory, Adapted to the Use of Schools and Universities, by T.
Mitchell, John Murray, 1839.
^ GS Shrimpton, Theopompus The Historian, McGill-Queens, 1991.
^ RA Bauslaugh, The Concept of Neutrality in Classical Greece,
University of California Press, 1991, ISBN 0520066871.
^ MA De La Torre, A Hernández, The Quest for the Historical Satan,
Fortress Press, 2011, ISBN 0800663241.
^ Fiske 1865.
^ CO Edwardson (2011), Women and Philanthropy, tricksters and soul:
re-storying otherness into crossroads of change, Pacifica Graduate
Institute, 2010, p. 60.
^ The Jungian Society for Scholarly Studies: Ithaca August 2009,
Conference Paper, page 12 .
^ The Jungian Society for Scholarly Studies: Ithaca August 2009, p.
^ Luke Roman; Monica Roman (2010). Encyclopedia of Greek and Roman
Mythology. Infobase Publishing. pp. 232ff.
^ Sourced originally in R Davis-Floyd, P Sven Arvidson (1997).
^ R Pettazzoni, The All-Knowing God Taylor & Francis, 1956,
^ CS Wright, J Bolton Holloway, RJ Schoeck - Tales within tales:
Apuleius through time, AMS Press, 2000, p. 23.
^ J Fiske, Myths and Myth-makers: Old Tales and Superstitions
Interpreted by Comparative Mythology, Houghton, Mifflin, 1865.
^ A. L. Frothingham, "Babylonian Origin of
Hermes the Snake-God, and
^ P Clarkson, Counselling Psychology: Integrating Theory, Research,
and Supervised Practice, Routledge, 1998, ISBN 0415145236.
^ WJ Friedlander, The Golden Wand of Medicine: A History of the
Caduceus Symbol in Medicine, ABC-CLIO, 1992, ISBN 0313280231.
^ J Derrida, Dissemination, Continuum International Publishing Group,
2004, ISBN 0826476961.
^ Danubian Historical Studies, 2, Akadémiai Kiadó, 1988, p. 32.
^ Jacobi, M. (1907). Catholic Encyclopedia: "Astrology", New York:
Robert Appleton Company.
^ a b c d e f g Smith, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman
Biography and Mythology. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1867. pp.
^ Neville, Bernie. Taking Care of Business in the Age of Hermes.
Trinity University, 2003. pp. 2–5.
^ Padel, Ruth. In and Out of the Mind: Greek Images of the Tragic
Self. Princeton University Press, 1994. pp. 6–9.
^ Lucian of Samosata. The Works of Lucian of Samosata. BiblioBazaar,
LLC, 2008. Volume 1, p. 107.
^ Johnston, Sarah Iles.
Initiation in Myth,
Initiation in Practice. IN
Dodd, David Brooks & Faraone, Christopher A.
Initiation in ancient
Greek rituals and narratives: new critical perspectives. Routledge,
2003. pp. 162, 169.
^ FG Moore, The Roman's World, Biblo & Tannen Publishers, 1936,
^ "Aventine" in V Neskow, The Little Black Book of Rome: The Timeless
Guide to the Eternal City, Peter Pauper Press, Inc., 2012,
^ Austin, M. The Hellenistic world from Alexander to the Roman
conquest: a selection of ancient sources in translation. Cambridge
University Press, 2006. p. 137.
^ Scanlon, Thomas Francis.
Eros and Greek athletics. Oxford University
Press, 2002. pp. 92–93.
^ "Circular Pyxis". The Walters Art Museum.
^ Walter Burkert, 1985. Greek Religion (Harvard University Press)
^ Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, 6.27.
^ Hyginus, Fabula 160, makes
Hermes the father of Pan.
^ "Hymn 19 to Pan, To Pan". www.perseus.tufts.edu. Retrieved 18
^ Karl Kerényi, Gods of the Greeks, 1951, p. 175, citing G. Kaibel,
Epigrammata graeca ex lapidibus collecta, 817, where the other god's
name, both father and son of Hermes, is obscured; according to other
Priapus was a son of
Dionysus and Aphrodite.
^ Bibliotheca 1.9.16.
^ As presumed by
Philostratus the Elder in his Imagines, 1.10.
^ Eustathius on Homer, 804.
^ Pausanias, 10.17.5.
Tzetzes on Lycophron, 680.
^ This Gigas was the father of Ischenus, who was said to have been
sacrificed during an outbreak of famine in Olympia;
^ Hyginus, Fabulae, 160.
^ Clement of Rome, Homilia, 5.16.
Scholia on Euripides, Rhesus, 36.
De Astronomica 2.12.
^ Ptolemy Hephaestion, 6 in Photius, 190.
^ Saon could also have been the son of
Zeus and a local nymph; both
versions in Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5.48.2.
^ Clement of Rome, Homilia, 5.16; otherwise unknown.
^ According to Hesiod's
Theogony 507–509, Atlas' mother was the
Oceanid Clymene, later accounts have the
Oceanid Asia as his mother,
see Apollodorus, 1.2.3.
^ According to Homer,
Iliad 1.570–579, 14.338,
Hephaestus was apparently the son of
Hera and Zeus, see Gantz, p. 74.
^ According to Hesiod,
Hephaestus was produced by
Hera alone, with no father, see Gantz, p. 74.
^ According to Hesiod's
Theogony 886–890, of Zeus' children by his
Athena was the first to be conceived, but the last to be
Zeus impregnated Metis then swallowed her, later
gave birth to
Athena "from his head", see Gantz, pp. 51–52, 83–84.
^ According to Hesiod,
Aphrodite was born from
Uranus' severed genitals, see Gantz, pp. 99–100.
^ According to Homer,
Aphrodite was the daughter of
Odyssey 8.308, 320) and Dione (
Iliad 5.370–71), see Gantz,
^ Müller, Karl Otfried. Ancient art and its remains: or, A manual of
the archæology of art. B. Quaritch, 1852. pp. 483–488.
Hermes the Thief.
^ Hyginus. Astronomica, 2.7. Cited in "God of Heralds and Bringer of
Peace". The Theoi Project: Greek Mythology.
^ "Acts 14:11-13". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
^ A Stevens, On Jung, Taylor & Francis, 1990.
^ a b Merritt, Dennis L. (1996–1997). "Jung and the Greening of
Psychology and Education". Oregon Friends of C.G. Jung Newsletter. 6
(1): 9, 12, 13. (Online.)
^ JC Miller, The Transcendent Function: Jung's Model of Psychological
Growth Through Dialogue With the Unconscious, SUNY Press, 2004,
^ a b c DA McNeely, Mercury Rising: Women, Evil, and the Trickster
Gods, Fisher King Press, 2011, p. 86, ISBN 1926715543.
^ H Yoshida, Joyce and Jung: The "Four Stages of Eroticism" In a
Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man, Peter Lang, 2006,
^ CG Jung, R Main, Jung on
Synchronicity and the Paranormal,
Routledge, 1997. ISBN 0415155096.
^ HJ Hannan,
Initiation Through Trauma: A Comparative Study of the
Descents of Inanna and Persephone: Dreaming
ProQuest, 2005, ISBN 0549474803.
^ R Main, Revelations of Chance: Synhronicity as Spiritual Experience,
SUNY Press, 2007, ISBN 0791470237.
^ Gisela Labouvie-Viefn, Psyche and Eros: Mind and Gender in the Life
Course Psyche and Eros: Mind and Gender in the Life Course, Cambridge
University Press, 1994, ISBN 0521468248.
^ A Samuels (1986). Jung and the Post-Jungians. Taylor & Francis,
1986. ISBN 0710208642.
^ López-Pedraza 2003, p. 19.
^ Allan Beveridge, Portrait of the Psychiatrist as a Young Man: The
Early Writing and Work of R.D. Laing, 1927-1960 (p. 88), International
Perspectives in Philosophy and Psychiatry, OUP, ISBN 0199583579.
^ Christopher Booker, The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories,
Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004, ISBN 0826452094.
^ LD Kritzman, The Columbia History of Twentieth-Century French
Thought (p. 658), edited by LD Kritzman, BJ Reilly, Columbia
University Press, 2007, ISBN 0231107900.
Burkert, Walter, Greek Religion, Harvard University Press, 1985.
Gantz, Timothy, Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic
Sources, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996, Two volumes:
ISBN 978-0-8018-5360-9 (Vol. 1), ISBN 978-0-8018-5362-3
Hesiod, Theogony, in The
Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English
Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, Cambridge, MA., Harvard
University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1914. Online version
Perseus Digital Library.
Iliad with an English Translation by A.T. Murray, Ph.D. in
two volumes. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William
Heinemann, Ltd. 1924. Online version at the
Perseus Digital Library.
Odyssey with an English Translation by A.T. Murray, PH.D.
in two volumes. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London,
William Heinemann, Ltd. 1919. Online version at the
Lay, M. G., James E. Vance Jr.; Ways of the World: A History of the
World's Roads and of the Vehicles That Used Them, Rutgers University
Press, 1992, ISBN 0813526914.
Pausanias, Pausanias Description of Greece with an English Translation
by W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., and H.A. Ormerod, M.A., in 4 Volumes.
Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann
Ltd. 1918. Online version at the
Perseus Digital Library.
Library resources about
Resources in your library
Resources in other libraries
Baudy, Gerhard, and Anne Ley. 2006. "Hermes." In Der Neue Pauly. Vol
5. Edited by Hubert Cancik and Helmuth Schneider. Stuttgart, and
Weimar, Germany: Verlag J. B. Metzler.
Bungard, Christopher. 2011. "Lies, Lyres, and Laughter: Surplus
Potential in the
Homeric Hymn to Hermes." Arethusa 44.2: 143-165.
Bungard, Christopher. 2012. "Reconsidering Zeus' Order: The
Apollo and Hermes." The Classical World 105.4:
Fowden, Garth. 1993. The Egyptian Hermes. A Historical Approach to the
Late Pagan Mind. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.
Johnston, Sarah Iles. 2002. "Myth, Festival, and Poet: The Homeric
Hermes and its Performative Context." Classical Philology
Kessler-Dimini, Elizabeth. 2008. "Tradition and Transmission: Hermes
Kourotrophos in Nea Paphos, Cyprus." In Antiquity in Antiquity: Jewish
and Christian Pasts in the Greco-Roman World. Edited by Gregg Gardner
and K. L. Osterloh, 255–285. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck.
Russo, Joseph. 2000. "
Hermes in Early Greek Poetry:
Doubling and Complementarity." In Poesia e religione in Grecia. Studi
in onore di G. Aurelio Privitera. Vol. 2. Edited by Maria Cannatà
Ferra and S. Grandolini, 595–603. Perugia, Italy: Edizioni
Schachter, Albert. 1986. Cults of Boiotia. Vol. 2,
Poseidon. London: Institute of Classical Studies.
Thomas, Oliver. 2010. “Ancient Greek Awareness of Child Language
Acquisition.” Glotta 86: 185–223.
van Bladel, Kevin. 2009. The Arabic Hermes: From Pagan Sage to Prophet
of Science. Oxford Studies in Late Antiquity. Oxford/New York: Oxford
Media related to
Hermes at Wikimedia Commons
Hermes stories from original sources & images from
Cult of Hermes
The Myths of Hermes
Ventris and Chadwick: Gods found in Mycenaean Greece: a table drawn up
from Michael Ventris and John Chadwick, Documents in Mycenaean Greek
second edition (Cambridge 1973)
Greek deities series
Ancient Greek religion
Ancient Greek religion and mythology
Classical religious forms
Ancient Greek religion
and sacred mysteries
Greek Heroic Age
Texts/ Epic poems/ Ode
Greek Magical Papyri
Papyrus Graecus Holmiensis
The golden verses of Pythagoras
Works and Days
Rites and practices
Funeral and burial practices
Athenian sacred ships
Cave of Zeus
Dragons in Greek mythology
Greek mythological creatures
Greek mythological figures
List of minor Greek mythological figures
Hades / Pluto
Other major deities
Ajax the Great
Ajax the Lesser
Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux)
Greek Magical Papyri
Entrances to the underworld
Cave at Cape Matapan
Cave at Lake Avernus
Cave at Heraclea Pontica
Fields of Asphodel
Fields of Punishment
Isles of the Blessed
Judges of the underworld
Cap of invisibility
Apple of Discord
Greek terracotta figurines
Necklace of Harmonia
Petasos (Winged helmet)
Ring of Gyges
Rod of Asclepius
Shield of Achilles
Shirt of Nessus
Sword of Damocles
Wheel of Fortune
Wheel of fire
Owl of Athena
Language of the birds
Storage containers/ Cups
Modern offshoot religions
Decline of Greco-Roman polytheism
Modern popular culture
Greek mythology in popular culture
Greek mythology portal