Hermes or Mercury - God of Greek and Latin mythology

Hermes or Mercury - God of Greek and Latin mythology

Hermes or Hermes


Resting Hermes, bronze sculpture of Herculaneum

Hermes or Hermes in the Greek mythology was the son of Zeus and the nymph Maia and is one of the most famous deities of antiquity.He was born in a cave on Mount Cillene, in Arcadia (hence his famous name Cillenio).

Over time Hermes became the protector of travelers, merchants and commerce (as the traders had to travel) honest and dishonest and hence his famadi protector of thieves. Since the merchants have to talk a lot, hence Hermeshe was also called the god of eloquence and messenger of the gods. Since he was a god who had to travel a lot to accomplish his duties, that's it he also becomes the protector of athletes.

But his tasks did not end here, the night in fact when men and gods did not need his services, he also became the god who escorted the shadows of the dead to the new home (hence the appellation of Psychopomp).

So many were the deeds performed by Hermes that we find a little in all the myths: he helped Perseus to kill Medusa (see Myth of Perseus); helped Io free himself from Argos (see Myth of Io); he interceded with Hades to free Persephone (see Myth of Demeter) and many others.


Hermes with little Dionysus in his arms
Praxiteles sculpture


Hermes
Roman marble copy of a Greek original
Vatican Museums, Rome

Among his creations we remember the lira which was created for Apollo (who in turn gave it to Orpheus - see Myth of Orpheus and Euridice) by emptying the shell of a turtle and applying in the hollow part of the well-stretched ox guts. He received as a gift from Apollo the famous golden virgin (il caduceus) which later became in the hands of Hermes the shame of eloquence.

Hermes received the famous gift from Zeus winged cap (the petasus) e a pair of shoes also equipped with wings (the cassocks) so that he could carry out Zeus's orders more quickly.

As Zeus's messenger he was also tasked with bringing dreams to men as it was believed that they were sent by Zeus.

Despite the great work, Hermes also found time to love: from Aphrodite he had Hermaphrodite, he loved Penelope before she became the wife of Ulysses and from her he had the god Bread and many others.

In honor of Hermes, the said feasts were celebrated Hermes.

There Latin mythologyHermes is identified with Mercury, divinity of commerce and secondarily protector of travelers, god of health and happiness.


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