Here are some facts and pieces of information about Hermes, the Ancient Greek messenger god:
- Hermes was the son of Zeus, the King of the Gods, and Maia (a titaness).
- When he was very young Hermes was very mishievious. He stole a herd of cattle belonging to the god Apollo and he used the gut from one of the cows, along with a tortoise shell, to make a musical instrument called a lyre.
- Apollo wasn’t very pleased to find his cattle missing. He asked Silenus and the satyrs to help him find the thief. They eventually tracked down Hermes. After a a heated discussion, Hermes managed to convince Apollo to take the lyre in payment for the stolen cows.
- Zeus was amused by the mischief caused by Hermes, but he didn’t want him causing more problems in the future. He decided that Hermes needed a job, so he made him the messenger of the gods. Zeus gave Hermes a pair of winged sandals and a winged helmet so that he could move quickly when delivering his messages.
- Hermes was the patron of travellers and the god of trade and treaties (due to the fact that he had managed to persaude Apollo to exchange the cattle for the lyre).
- It is said that thieves and liars often prayed to Hermes, hoping to receive his sympathy.
- It is also said that many Ancient Greeks believed that Hermes was responsible for the invention of the alphabet, boxing and gymnastics.
Find out more about the Greek gods and goddesses – click here.