Boundaries, roads and travelers, thieves, athletes, shepherds, commerce, speed, cunning, wit and sleep. Psychopomp and divine messenger.
|Symbol||Talaria, caduceus, tortoise, lyre, rooster, Petasos (Winged helmet)|
|Parents|| Zeus and Maia |
Uranus and Hemera (Cicero and Hyginus)
|Siblings||Aeacus, Angelos, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Athena, Dionysus, Eileithyia, Enyo, Eris, Ersa, Hebe, Helen of Troy, Hephaestus, Heracles, Minos, Pandia, Persephone, Perseus, Rhadamanthus, the Charites, the Horae, the Litae, the Muses, the Moirai|
|Consort||Merope, Aphrodite, Dryope, Peitho|
|Children||Evander, Pan, Hermaphroditus, Abderus, Autolycus, Eudoros, Angelia, Myrtilus|
|Egyptian equivalent||Thoth, Anubis|
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|Ancient Greek religion|
Hermes ( // ; Greek : Ἑρμῆς) is an Olympian deity in ancient Greek religion and mythology. Hermes is considered the herald of the gods. He is also considered the protector of human heralds, travellers, thieves, merchants, and orators. He is able to move quickly and freely between the worlds of the mortal and the divine, aided by his winged sandals. Hermes plays the role of the psychopomp or "soul guide" — a conductor of souls into the afterlife.
In myth, Hermes functioned as the emissary and messenger of the gods,and was often presented as the son of Zeus and Maia, the Pleiad. He is regarded as "the divine trickster," for which Homer offers the most popular account in his Hymn to Hermes.
His attributes and symbols include the herma, the rooster, the tortoise, satchel or pouch, talaria (winged sandals), and winged helmet or simple petasos, as well as the palm tree, goat, the number four, several kinds of fish, and incense.However, his main symbol is the caduceus , a winged staff intertwined with two snakes copulating and carvings of the other gods. His attributes had previously influenced the earlier Etruscan god Turms, a name borrowed from the Greek "herma".
In Roman mythology, Hermes was known as Mercury,a name derived from the Latin merx , meaning "merchandise," and the origin of the words "merchant" and "commerce."
The earliest form of the name Hermes is the Mycenaean Greek *hermāhās, 𐀁𐀔𐁀e-ma-a2 (e-ma-ha) in the Linear B syllabic script. Most scholars derive "Hermes" from Greek ἕρμα herma , "stone heap."written
The etymology of ἕρμα itself is unknown, but is probably not a Proto-Indo-European word.R. S. P. Beekes rejects the connection with herma and suggests a Pre-Greek origin. 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. Other scholars have suggested that Hermes may be a cognate of the Vedic Sarama.
It is likely that Hermes is a pre-Hellenic god, though the exact origins of his worship, and its original nature, remain unclear. Frothingham thought the god to have existed as a Mesopotamian snake-god, similar or identical to Ningishzida, a god who served as mediator between humans and the divine, especially Ishtar, and who was depicted in art as a Caduceus.Angelo (1997) thinks Hermes to be based on the Thoth archetype. The absorbing ("combining") of the attributes of Hermes to Thoth developed after the time of Homer amongst Greeks and Romans; 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 1992).
His cult was established in Greece in remote regions, likely making him originally 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.According to a theory that has received considerable scholarly acceptance, Hermes originated as a form of the god Pan, who has been identified as a reflex of the Proto-Indo-European pastoral god *Péh2usōn, in his aspect as the god of boundary markers. Later, the epithet supplanted the original name itself and Hermes took 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.
The image of Hermes evolved and varied along with Greek art and culture. In Archaic Greece he was usually depicted as a mature man, bearded, and dressed as a traveler, herald, or pastor. This image remained common on the Hermai, which served as boundary markers, roadside markers, and grave markers, as well as votive offerings.
In Classical and Hellenistic Greece, Hermes was usually depicted as a young, athletic man lacking a beard. 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 this hat is not present, and may have been replaced with wings rising from the hair.
Another object is the caduceus, a staff with two intertwined snakes, sometimes crowned with a pair of wings and a sphere.The caduceus, historically, appeared with Hermes, and is documented among the Babylonians from about 3500 BC. Two snakes coiled around a staff was also a symbol of the god Ningishzida, who, like Hermes, served as a mediator between humans and the divine (specifically, the goddess Ishtar or the supreme Ningirsu). In Greece, 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. 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.
Hermes' 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.
Hermes began as a god with strong chthonic, or underworld, associations. He was worshipped in ancient times "the god of the road between the Under and the Upper world", and this function gradually expanded to encompass roads in general, and from there boundaries, travelers, sailors, and commerce.
Beginning with the earliest records of his worship, Hermes has been understood as a chthonic deity (heavily associated with the earth and/or underworld).As a chthonic deity, the worship of Hermes also included an aspect relating to fertility, with the phallus being included among his major symbols. The inclusion of phallic imagery associated with Hermes and placed, in the form of herma , at the entrances to households may reflect a belief in ancient times that Hermes was a symbol of the household's fertility, specifically the potency of the male head of the household in producing children.
The association between Hermes and the underworld is related to his function as a god of boundaries (the boundary between life and death), but he is considered a psychopomp, a deity who helps guide souls of the deceased to the afterlife, and his image was commonly depicted on gravestones in classical Greece.
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 and 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. "That a monument of this kind could be transformed into an Olympian god is astounding," Walter Burkert remarked.In Athens, herms were placed outside houses, both as a form of protection for the home, a symbol of male fertility, and as a link between the household and its gods with the gods of the wider community.
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 within Athens itself. Socrates' pupil Alcibiades was suspected of involvement, and Socrates indirectly paid for the impiety with his life.
In association with his role as a psychopomp and god who is able to easily cross boundaries, Hermes is prominently worshiped as a messenger, often described as the messenger of the gods (since he can convey messages between the divine realms, the underworld, and the world of mortals).As a messenger and divine herald, he wears winged sandals (or, in Roman art influenced by Etruscan depictions of Turms, a winged cap).
Hermes was known as the patron god of flocks, herds, and shepherds, an attribute possibly tied to his early origin as an aspect of Pan. In Boeotia, Hermes was worshiped for having saved the town from a plague by carrying a ram or calf around the city walls. A yearly festival commemorated this event, during which a lamb would be carried around the city by "the most handsome boy" and then sacrificed, in order to purify and protect the city from disease, drought, and famine. Numerous depictions of Hermes as a shepherd god carrying a lamb on his shoulders (Hermes kriophoros) have been found throughout the Mediterranean world, and it is possible that the iconography of Hermes as "The Good Shepherd" had an influence on early Christianity, specifically in the description of Christ as "the Good Shepherd" in the Gospel of John.
The earliest written record of Hermes comes from Linear B inscriptions from Pylos, Thebes, and Knossos dating to the Bronze Age Mycenaean period. Here, Hermes' name is rendered as e‐ma‐a (Ἑρμάhας). This name is always recorded alongside those of several goddesses, including Potnija, Posidaeja, Diwja, Hera, Pere, and Ipemedeja, indicating that his worship was strongly connected to theirs. This is a pattern that would continue in later periods, as worship of Hermes almost always took place within temples and sanctuaries primarily dedicated to goddesses, including Hera, Demeter, Hecate, and Despoina.
In literary works of Archaic Greece, Hermes is depicted both as a protector and a trickster. In Homer's Iliad , Hermes is called "the bringer of good luck", "guide and guardian", and "excellent in all the tricks".In Hesiod's The Works and Days , Hermes' is depicted giving Pandora the gifts of lies, seductive words, and a dubious character.
The earliest known theological or spiritual documents concerning Hermes are found in the c. 7th century BC Homeric Hymns. In Homeric Hymn 4 to Hermes describes the god's birth and his theft of Apollo's sacred cattle. In this hymn, Hermes is invoked as a god "of many shifts" (polytropos), associated with cunning and thievery, but also a bringer of dreams and a night guardian.He is said to have invented the chelys lyre, as well as racing and the sport of wrestling.
The cult of Hermes flourished in Attica, and many scholars writing before the discovery of the Linear B evidence considered Hermes to be a uniquely Athenian god. This region had numerous Hermai, or pillar-like icons, dedicated to the god marking boundaries, crossroads, and entryways. These were initially stone piles, later pillars made of wood, stone, or bronze, with carved images of Hermes, a phallus, or both.In the context of these herms, by the Classical period Hermes had come to be worshiped as the patron god of travelers and sailors. By the 5th century BC, Hermai were also in common use as grave monuments, emphasizing Hermes' role as a cthonic deity and psychopomp. This was probably his original function, and he may have been a late inclusion in the Olympic pantheon; Hermes is described as the "youngest" Olympian, and some myths, including his theft of Apollo's cows, describe his initial coming into contact with celestial deities. Hermes therefore came to be worshiped as a mediator between celestial and cthonic realms, as well as the one who facilitates interactions between mortals and the divine, often being depicted on libation vessels.
Due to his mobility and his liminal nature, mediating between opposites (such as merchant/customer), 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 Athens, Hermes Eion came to represent the Athenian naval superiority in their defeat of the Persians, under the command of Cimon, in 475 BC. In this context, Hermes became a god associated with the Athenian empire and its expansion, and of democracy itself, as well as all of those closely associated with it, from the sailors in the navy, to the merchants who drove the economy.A section of the agora in Athens became known as the Hermai, because it was filled with a large number of herms, placed there as votive offerings by merchants and others who wished to commemorate a personal success in commerce or other public affair. The Hermai was probably destroyed in the Siege of Athens and Piraeus (87–86 BC).
As Greek culture and influence spread following the conquests of Alexander the Great, a period of syncretism or interpretatio graeca saw many traditional Greek deities identified with foreign counterparts. In Ptolemaic Egypt, for example, the Egyptian god Thoth was identified by Greek speakers as the Egyptian form of Hermes. The two gods were worshiped as one at the Temple of Thoth in Khemenu, a city which became known in Greek as Hermopolis.This led to Hermes gaining the attributes of a god of translation and interpretation, or more generally, a god of knowledge and learning. This is illustrated by a 3rd-century BC example of a letter sent by the priest Petosiris to King Nechopso, probably written in Alexandria c. 150 BC, stating that Hermes is the teacher of all secret wisdoms, which are accessible by the experience of religious ecstasy.
An epithet of Thoth found in the temple at Esna, "Thoth the great, the great, the great",became applied to Hermes beginning in at least 172 BC. This lent Hermes one of his most famous later titles, Hermes Trismegistus (Ἑρμῆς ὁ Τρισμέγιστος), "thrice-greatest Hermes". The figure of Hermes Trismegistus would later absorb a variety of other esoteric wisdom traditions and become a major component of Hermeticism, alchemy, and related traditions.
As early as the 4th century BC, Romans had adopted Hermes into their own religion, combining his attributes and worship with the earlier Etruscan god Turms under the name Mercury. According to St. Augustin, the Latin name "Mercury" may be a title derived from "medio currens", in reference to Hermes' role as a mediator and messenger who moves between worlds.Mercury became one of the most popular Roman gods, as attested by the numerous shrines and depictions in artwork found in Pompeii. In art, the Roman Mercury continued the style of depictions found in earlier representations of both Hermes and Turms, a young, beardless god with winged shoes and/or hat, carrying the caduceus. His role as a god of boundaries, a messenger, and a psychopomp also remained unchanged following his adoption into the Roman religion (these attributes were also similar to those in the Etruscan's worship of Turms).
The Romans identified the Germanic god Odin with Mercury, and there is evidence that Germanic peoples who had contact with Roman culture also accepted this identification. Odin and Mercury/Hermes share several attributes in common. For example, both are depicted carrying a staff and wearing a wide-brimmed hat, and both are travelers or wanderers. However, the reasons for this interpretation appear to go beyond superficial similarities: Both gods are connected to the dead (Mercury as psychopomp and Odin as lord of the dead in Valhalla), both were connected to eloquent speech, and both were associated with secret knowledge. The identification of Odin as Mercury was probably also influenced by a previous association of a more Odin-like Celtic god as the "Celtic Mercurius".
A further Roman Imperial-era syncretism came in the form of Hermanubis, the result of the identification of Hermes with the Egyptian god of the dead, Anubis. Hermes and Anubis were both psychopomps the primary attribute leading to their conflation as the same god. Hermanubis depicted with a human body and a jackal head, holding the caduceus. In addition to his function of guiding souls to the afterlife, Hermanubis represented the Egyptian priesthood the investigation of truth.
Beginning around the turn of the 1st century AD, a process began by which, in certain traditions Hermes became euhemerised – that is, interpreted as a historical, mortal figure who had become divine or elevated to godlike status in legend. Numerous books of wisdom and magic (including astrology, theosophy, and alchemy) were attributed to this "historical" Hermes, usually identified in his Alexandrian form of Hermes Trismegistus. As a collection, these works are referred to as the Hermetica .
Though worship of Hermes had been almost fully suppressed in the Roman Empire following the Christian persecution of paganism under Theodosius I in the 4th century AD, Hermes continued to be recognized as a mystical or prophetic figure, though a mortal one, by Christian scholars. Early medieval Christians such as Augustine believed that a euhemerised Hermes Trismegistus had been an ancient pagan prophet who predicted the emergence of Christianity in his writings.Some Christian philosophers in the medieval and Renaissance periods believed in the existence of a " prisca theologia ", a single thread of true theology that could be found uniting all religions. Christian philosophers used Hermetic writings and other ancient philosophical literature to support their belief in the prisca theologia, arguing that Hermes Trismegistus was a contemporary of Moses, or that he was the third in a line of important prophets after Enoch and Noah.
The 10th-century Suda attempted to further Christianize the figure of Hermes, claiming that "He was called Trismegistus on account of his praise of the trinity, saying there is one divine nature in the trinity."
There are only three temples known to have been specifically dedicated to Hermes during the Classical Greek period, all of them in Arcadia. Though there are a few references in ancient literature to "numerous" temples of Hermes,this may be poetic license describing the ubiquitous herms, or other, smaller shrines to Hermes located in the temples of other deities. One of the oldest places of worship for Hermes was Mount Cyllene in Arcadia, where some myths say he was born. Tradition holds that his first temple was built by Lycaon. From there, the Hermes cult would have been taken to Athens, from which it radiated to the whole of Greece. In the Roman period, additional temples to Hermes (Mercury) were constructed across the Empire, including several in modern-day Tunisia. Mercury's temple in Rome was situated in the Circus Maximus, between the Aventine and Palatine hills, and was built in 495 BC.
In most places, temples were consecrated to Hermes 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 495 BC.
Pausanias wrote that during his time, at Megalopolis people could see the ruins of the temple of Hermes Acacesius.In addition, the Tricrena (Τρίκρηνα, meaning Three Springs) mountains at Pheneus were sacred to Hermes, because three springs were there and according to the legend, Hermes was washed in them, after birth, by the nymphs of the mountain. Furthermore, at Pharae there was a water sacred to Hermes. The name of the spring was Hermes' stream and the fish in it were not caught, being considered sacred to the god.
Sacrifices to Hermes 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 birth.
Hermes's feast was the 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 that 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.
Hermes was also called Atlantiades (Greek : Ατλαντιάδης), because his mother, Maia was the daughter of Atlas.
Hermes' epithet Argeïphontes (Ancient Greek : Ἀργειφόντης; Latin : Argicida), meaning "slayer of Argus", recalls the slaying of the hundred-eyed giant Argus Panoptes by the messenger god. Argus was watching over the heifer-nymph Io in the sanctuary of Queen Hera, herself in Argos. Hermes placed a charm on Argus' eyes with the caduceus to cause the giant to sleep, after which he slew the giant. The eyes were then put into the tail of the peacock, a symbol of the goddess Hera.
Hermes was called Cyllenian (Greek : Κυλλήνιος), because according to some myths he was born at the Mount Cyllene.
In ancient Greek culture, 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.
The chief office of the god was as messenger.Explicitly, at least in sources of classical writings, of Euripides' Electra and Iphigenia in Aulis and in Epictetus' Discourses. Hermes (Diactoros, Angelos) the messenger, is in fact only seen in this role, for Zeus, from within the pages of the Odyssey. The messenger divine and herald of the Gods, he wears the gifts from his father, the petasos and talaria.
Oh mighty messenger of the gods of the upper and lower worlds... (Aeschylus).
Hermes is sometimes depicted in art works holding a purse.
No cult to Hermes Dolios existed in Attica, and so this form of Hermes seems to have existed in speech only.
Hermes Dolio 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. He is also known as the friendliest to man, cunning, treacherous, and a schemer.
Hermes Dolios was worshipped at Pelleneand invoked through Odysseus.
(As the ways of gain are not always the ways of honesty and straightforwardness, Hermes obtains a bad character and an in-moral (amoral [ed.]) cult as Dolios)
Hermes is amorallike a baby. Zeus sent Hermes as a teacher to humanity to teach them knowledge of and value of justice and to improve inter-personal relationships ("bonding between mortals").
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 definition.
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 the gates.
According to the late Jungian psychotherapist López-Pedraza, everything Hermes thieves, he later sacrifices to the gods.
Autolycus received his skills as the greatest of thieves due to sacrificing to Hermes as his patron.
Other epithets included:
Homer and Hesiod portrayed 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 instructed 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 Zeus ordered 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 Epimetheus.
The Homeric Hymn 4 to Hermes,which tells the story of the god's birth and his subsequent theft of Apollo's sacred cattle, 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." 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 addition to the chelys lyre, Hermes was believed to have invented many types of racing and the sport of wrestling, and therefore was a patron of athletes.
Aeschylus wrote in The Eumenides that Hermes helped Orestes kill 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 , Sophocles invokes 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 Greek navy.
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.
Several writers of the Hellenistic period expanded the list of Hermes's achievements. Callimachus said that Hermes disguised himself as a Cyclops to scare the Oceanids and was disobedient to his mother.[ citation needed ] One of the Orphic Hymns Khthonios is dedicated to Hermes, indicating that he was also a god of the underworld. Aeschylus had called him by this epithet several times. Another is the Orphic Hymn to Hermes, where his association with the athletic games held is mystic in tone.
Phlegon of Tralles said he was invoked to ward off ghosts,and the Bibliotheca 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, Athena and 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 his ancestor.
Anyte of Tegea of the 3rd century BC,in the translation by Richard Aldington, wrote, I 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.
According to Hyginus' Fabula, Pan, the Greek god of nature, shepherds and flocks, is the son of Hermes through the nymph Dryope.It is likely that the worship of Hermes himself actually originated as an aspect of Pan as the god of boundaries, which could explain their association as parent and child in Hygenus. In other sources, the god Priapus is understood as a son of Hermes.
According to Pseudo-Apollodorus' Bibliotheca, Autolycus, the Prince of Thieves, was a son of Hermes and Chione, making Hermes a grandfather of Odysseus.
Photius wrote that Polydeuces, one of the Dioscuri, was a lover of Hermes.
|Acacallis||• Cydon||Chthonophyle||• Polybus||Penelope||• Nomios|
|Aglaurus||• Eumolpus||Daeira||• Eleusis||• Pan (possibly)|
|Alcidameia of Corinth||• Bounos||Dryope, Arcadian nymph||• Pan (possibly)||Phylodameia||• Pharis|
|Antianeira or Laothoe||• Echion, Argonaut||Erytheia||• Norax||Polymele||• Eudorus|
|• Eurytus, Argonaut||Eupolemeia||• Aethalides||Rhene||• Saon|
|Apemosyne||no known offspring||Hecate||three daughters||Sicilian nymph||• Daphnis (relation ambiguous)|
|Aphrodite||• Hermaphroditus||Herse||• Cephalus||Sose, nymph||• Agreus|
|• Tyche (possibly)||• Ceryx (possibly)||Tanagra||no known offspring|
|Astabe||• Astacus||Hiereia||• Gigas||Thronia||• Arabus|
|Carmentis or a local nymph of the Arcadians, called Themis.||• Evander||Iphthime||• Lycus||Urania||• Linus (possibly)|
|Chione or||• Autolycus||• Pherespondus||Unknown mother||• Abderus|
|Stilbe or||• Pronomus||Unknown mother||• Angelia|
|Telauge||Libye||• Libys||Unknown mother||• Dolops|
|Cleobule or||• Myrtilus||Ocyrhoe||• Caicus||Unknown mother||• Palaestra|
|Clymene or||Orsinoe, nymph||• Pan (possibly)||Male Lovers|
|Clytie or||Palaestra||no known offspring||• Amphion||• Perseus|
|Myrto or||Pandrosus||• Ceryx (possibly)||• Chryses, priest of Apollo||• Polydeuces|
|Phaethusa or||Peitho||no known offspring||• Daphnis (relation ambiguous)||• Therses|
|Theobula||Persephone||unsuccessfully wooed her||• Crocus||• Odrysus|
|Hermes's family tree|
For 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 and Hermes to be counterparts. In Jungian psychology especially, 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 ...
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 considers Hermes the archetype for narcissistic disorder; however, he lends the disorder a "positive" (beneficious) aspect, and represents both the good and bad of narcissism.
For López-Pedraza, Hermes is the protector of psychotherapy.For McNeely, 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 of transition.
For Jung, Hermes's role as trickster made him a guide through the psychotherapeutic process.
Aphrodite is an ancient Greek goddess associated with love, beauty, pleasure, passion and procreation. She was syncretized with the Roman goddess Venus. Aphrodite's major symbols include myrtles, roses, doves, sparrows, and swans. The cult of Aphrodite was largely derived from that of the Phoenician goddess Astarte, a cognate of the East Semitic goddess Ishtar, whose cult was based on the Sumerian cult of Inanna. Aphrodite's main cult centers were Cythera, Cyprus, Corinth, and Athens. Her main festival was the Aphrodisia, which was celebrated annually in midsummer. In Laconia, Aphrodite was worshipped as a warrior goddess. She was also the patron goddess of prostitutes, an association which led early scholars to propose the concept of "sacred prostitution" in Greco-Roman culture, an idea which is now generally seen as erroneous.
Ares is the Greek god of courage and war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians, and the son of Zeus and Hera. In Greek literature, he often represents the physical or violent and untamed aspect of war and is the personification of sheer brutality and bloodlust, in contrast to his sister, the armored Athena, whose functions as a goddess of intelligence include military strategy and generalship.
In ancient Greek religion and mythology, Demeter is the Olympian goddess of the harvest and agriculture, presiding over grains and the fertility of the earth. Her cult titles include Sito (Σιτώ), "she of the Grain", as the giver of food or grain, and Thesmophoros, "Law-Bringer", as a mark of the civilized existence of agricultural society.
Hera is the goddess of women, marriage, family and childbirth in ancient Greek religion and mythology, one of the Twelve Olympians and the sister and wife of Zeus. She is the daughter of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. Hera rules over Mount Olympus as queen of the gods. A matronly figure, Hera served as both the patroness and protectress of married women, presiding over weddings and blessing marital unions. One of Hera's defining characteristics is her jealous and vengeful nature against Zeus' numerous lovers and illegitimate offspring, as well as the mortals who cross her.
Hades, in the ancient Greek religion and myth, is the god of the dead and the king of the underworld, with which his name became synonymous. Hades was the eldest son of Cronus and Rhea, although the last son regurgitated by his father. He and his brothers, Zeus and Poseidon, defeated their father's generation of gods, the Titans, and claimed rulership over the cosmos. Hades received the underworld, Zeus the sky, and Poseidon the sea, with the solid earth, long the province of Gaia, available to all three concurrently. Hades was often portrayed with his three-headed guard dog Cerberus.
Hephaestus is the Greek god of blacksmiths, metalworking, carpenters, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metallurgy, fire, and volcanoes. Hephaestus' Roman counterpart is Vulcan. In Greek mythology, Hephaestus was either the son of Zeus and Hera or he was Hera's parthenogenous child. He was cast off Mount Olympus by his mother because of his deformity or, in another account, by Zeus for protecting Hera from his advances.
In Greek mythology, Persephone, also called Kore or Kora, is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. She became the queen of the underworld through her abduction by Hades, the god of the underworld, with the approval of her father, Zeus. The myth of her abduction represents her function as the personification of vegetation, which shoots forth in spring and withdraws into the earth after harvest; hence, she is also associated with spring as well as the fertility of vegetation. Similar myths appear in the cults of male gods like Attis, Adonis, and Osiris, and in Minoan Crete.
Zeus is the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religion, who rules as king of the gods of Mount Olympus. His name is cognate with the first element of his Roman equivalent Jupiter. His mythology and powers are similar, though not identical, to those of Indo-European deities such as Jupiter, Perkūnas, Perun, Indra, Dyaus and Thor.
In the Ancient Greek religion, Hestia is the virgin goddess of the hearth, the right ordering of domesticity, the family, the home, and the state. In Greek mythology, she is the firstborn child of the Titans Cronus and Rhea.
Mnemosyne is the goddess of memory in Greek mythology. "Mnemosyne" is derived from the same source as the word mnemonic, that being the Greek word mnēmē, which means "remembrance, memory".
Rhea or Rheia is a character in Greek mythology, the Titaness daughter of the earth goddess Gaia and the sky god Uranus, Gaia's son. She is also the older sister of Cronus who was also her consort. In early traditions, she is known as "the mother of gods" and therefore is strongly associated with Gaia and Cybele, who have similar functions. The classical Greeks saw her as the mother of the Olympian gods and goddesses, but not as an Olympian goddess in her own right. The Romans identified her with Magna Mater, and the Goddess Ops.
Helios, also Helius, in ancient Greek religion and myth, is the god and personification of the Sun, often depicted in art with a radiant crown and driving a horse-drawn chariot through the sky. He was a guardian of oaths and also the god of sight.
Agdistis was a deity of Greek, Roman and Anatolian mythology, possessing both male and female sexual organs. She is closely associated with the Phrygian goddess Cybele. Her androgyny was seen as symbolic of a wild and uncontrollable nature. It was this trait which was threatening to the gods and ultimately led to her destruction.
In Greek mythology, Ceryx was a son of Hermes and either Pandrosus or Agraulus. He was, like his father, a messenger. But the kêryx career began as a humble cook for the tribe, a skill Hermes demonstrates in his cooked meat offerings on the Twelve Gods Altar set in place 522BC by Peisistratos III in Athens. The Homeric Hymn to Hermes 128 recalls the young god cutting out and laying up twelve steaks on a flat rock or platamoni," the 12 Gods altar.
In Greek mythology the Horae or Horai or Hours were the goddesses of the seasons and the natural portions of time.
In Greek mythology, Selene is the goddess of the Moon. She is the daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia and sister of the sun god Helios and Eos, goddess of the dawn. She drives her moon chariot across the heavens. Several lovers are attributed to her in various myths, including Zeus, Pan, and the mortal Endymion. In classical times, Selene was often identified with Artemis, much as her brother, Helios, was identified with Apollo. Selene and Artemis were also associated with Hecate and all three were regarded as lunar goddesses, but only Selene was regarded as the personification of the Moon itself. Her Roman equivalent is Luna.
In Greek mythology, Peitho is the goddess who personifies persuasion and seduction. Her Roman equivalent is Suada or Suadela. She is typically presented as an important companion of Aphrodite. Her opposite is Bia, the personification of force. As a personification, she was sometimes imagined as a goddess and sometimes an abstract force with her name used both as a common and proper noun. There is evidence that Peitho was referred to as a goddess before she was referred to as an abstract concept, which is rare for a personification. Peitho represents both sexual and political persuasion.
In Greek mythology, Iris is the personification and goddess of the rainbow and messenger of the gods.
In ancient Greek religion and mythology, the twelve Olympians are the major deities of the Greek pantheon, commonly considered to be Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Hermes, and either Hestia or Dionysus. They were called Olympians because, according to tradition, they resided on Mount Olympus.
Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the ancient Greeks, and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the origin and nature of the world, the lives and activities of deities, heroes, and mythological creatures, and the origins and significance of the ancient Greeks' own cult and ritual practices. Modern scholars study the myths to shed light on the religious and political institutions of ancient Greece, and to better understand the nature of myth-making itself.
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