Hermes

God of Thieves, Liars, Travel, Communication, Hospitality, Athletics, Eloquence, and Astronomy.  Herald of the Gods.

 

As a toddler, Hermes is already a trickster and theif.  He escapes his swaddling clothes and steals his brother Apollo's sacred cattle.  While tending the herd, he crafts a pipe from reeds and a lyre from a tortoise shell.  When Apollo arrives to demand his cattle back, Hermes offers him the musical instruments in return for the herd.  Apollo agrees, and the lyre becomes his attribute.  

 

Roman name: Mercury

 

Parents: Zeus and Maia, a nymph.

 

Epithets: Psychopompos (Conductor of Souls to the Underworld), Messenger, Luck-Bringing, Trickster, Many-Turning, Busy One

 

Attributes: caduceus (winged staff twined with snakes), winged sandals, winged cap

Hermes Ludovisi, Palazzo Altemps, Rome

1st century AD Roman copy of a 5th century BC Greek original

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