Hermes is the messenger of Zeus and the God of Boundaries, transitions, travelers, roads, speed, commerce, trade, thieves, sports, invention, literature and poetry, messenger of the Gods and guide to the underworld.[1] He is the son of Zeus and Maia.[2] He is also a psychopomp, meaning he leads the souls of the dead to the Underworld, ruled by his uncle.

Giant statues of Hermes Phallus were erected all around Athens

It is said that when Hermes was a newborn babe, he stole some of Apollo's cattle. For punishment of this crime, Hermes gave Apollo his lyre (which Hermes had invented).

His Roman counterpart is the god Mercury.

In Stories

The Odyssey

In Homer's Odyssey, Hermes intervenes at certain times, and the words he says always are in the form of a poem.


Immortal Offspring

With Aphrodite

  • Hermaphroditus

With Penelopeia

  • Pan
  • Autolycus (m. Amphithea)
    • Anticleia (m. Laertes) (Mortal)
      • Odysseus (m. Penelope) (Mortal)
        • Telemachus (m. Circe ) (Mortal)
          • Italus (Mortal)
  • Cephalus (m. Procris) (Mortal)
  • Arcesius (Mortal)
    • Laertes (m. Anticleia) (Mortal)
      • Odysseus (m. Penelope) (Mortal)
        • Telemachus (m. Circe ) (Mortal)
          • Italus (Mortal)


See Also


  1. (Hamilton 1998, p. 34)
  2. (Hamilton 1998, p. 34)