Hermes, protector of travelers

God of travelers, merchants and commerce, Hermes, is also called Hermes or Hermes, and is a Greek deity. He is often depicted, literally and figuratively, as the messenger of the gods. IS' son of Zeus and the Pleiade Maia, he is therefore one of the twelve Olympians. The figure of Hermes is easy to distinguish due to the purse he often carries, but not only. Also typical of him are the sandals and the hat, all winged, and the messenger's staff, called caduceus. Other symbols of this god are two rather different animals, the rooster and the turtle.

Hermes: birth

We have said that he is the son of Zeus and a nymph named Maia, but much more can be said about the birth of Hermes. He came into the world inside the cave of Mount Cillene, in Arcadia, which is why it is sometimes also called Cillenio. In this cave his mother Maia, daughter among other things of the titan Atlas, secretly from the goddess Hera, joined up with Zeus.

From the first hours of life, the baby Zeus has shown himself to be particularly talented. Killed a turtle to build a lyre, and this animal became one of his best known symbols. Also in his first days of life he went out during the night and stole a herd of Apollo's cows from his brother and in order not to be discovered he hid it in a cave, cunningly erasing even the traces left by the hooves. It is not surprising if we talk about Hermes as well as the protector of thieves, assuming it's okay for someone to protect them.

Stolen the cows, he sacrificed two of them to the gods, but this did not save him from the accusations of Apollo who soon noticed the theft, thanks to the flight of birds who suggested it to him. In defense of Hermes, the mother Maia immediately sided, who claimed to have spent the night in the company of her son, providing him with an alibi. Zeus, more correct, intervened and admitted that in all respects the son had been incorrect but made it very clear that Apollo had no right to be angry with his little brother and made sure that Hermes was not punished.

In the end the two brothers made peace, but not so much for the words of Zeus, it was all thanks to the music. In the midst of their discussion, in fact, Hermes took out the lyre and began to play it, enchanting his brother who suddenly became meek, forgiving him and leaving the stolen herd to Hermes.

Skilled in building musical instruments, Hermes created a flute or exchanged it for his brother Apollo's shepherd's cane, later we can see another exchange of the kind. A mouth accordion in exchange for the ability to interpret the flight of birds. After these two episodes, or rather three, if we also think of the lyre, built with the turtle, it is inevitable to think of Hermes as the protector of musicians, if not of all the shepherds and herds.

Hermes: characteristics

To sum up the role of Hermes we can say that during his adventurous life he became the protector of thieves, but also of travelers, of merchants, musicians and commerce. In a sense, travel is connected with commerce, as being a merchant once meant traveling the world constantly. There is also a link between being the protector of traders and those of being a messenger. Traders normally need to have one enviable gab, perfect feature for those who must be a messenger of the gods if not the god of eloquence. The concept of travel, over time, expanded to that of moving quickly, so Ermes also found himself the protector of athletes,

As if he didn't already have enough to do at night Hermes he performed other more or less pleasant tasks, such as escorting the shadows of the dead to their new home. In this case we can find it also called with the name of Psychopomp.

Hermes: myths and legends

There are many myths and stories in which Hermes has a significant role, let's see the best known. We find this god in the myth of Perseus, while he helps the protagonist to kill Medusa, in the myth of Io, on the other hand, Hermes helps Io to get rid of Argos. In myth of Demeter he intercedes with Hades to ensure that Persephone could return free.
In addition to helping all these characters, Hermes also had a private life animated by various loves. He joined Aphrodite and had Hermaphroditus, he loved Penelope before she became the wife of Ulysses and from her he had the god Bread, just to name a few.

Hermes and Mercury

The correspondent of Hermes in Roman mythology it is Mercury, god of Etruscan derivation but considered god of commerce therefore similar to the figure of Hermes even if not identical.

Hermes: Iliad and Odyssey

Such a character could not be missing in works such as the Iliad and the Odyssey. In the first of these volumes, the god of commerce comes into play when Zeus forces the gods to participate directly in the Trojan War, siding with Achaeans but at the same time protecting the king of Troy Priam when he enters the Achaean camp to ask for the return of the body of his son Ettore to be able to give him the funeral.

Moving on toOdyssey, Hermes goes into action after the council of the gods where it is decided that Odysseus can return home. In this case he asks Calypso to let the king of Ithaca go from the island of Ogygia. In the same book other interventions of his are narrated, such as the one in which he avoids being mocked by the sorceress Circe, together with Odysseus, remaining the only ones not to become swine due to his witchcraft.

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