Who is Hermes The Greek God? Fun Facts & Mythology About Hermes the Messenger of Gods and God of the Wind
Zoom! This handsome Greek god, who is faster than the speed of wind, is the legendary Hermes. Also known as the messenger of the gods and God of Wind, he delivered important messages and participated in the most number of Greeks myths, such as the Odyssey and Hercules.
Hermes was born already revealing his cunning and creative personality -he picked up the empty shell of a tortoise and stringed it to make the first lyre after perceiving its use as a sounding equipment. Hermes was a popular god, made friends with almost all of the gods of Olympus, and had unique strengths and weaknesses that defined his exciting life.
The Origins of Hermes: Messenger God
When was Hermes the Greek God born?
- Born in a cave to Zeus and Maia (Pleiades) – Sources vary on when Hermes the Greek God was born. His birthday is known for being the fourth day of the month, and his sacred number is four.
- Traveled to Thessaly
- Stole Apollo’s precious cattle
- Charged as guilty for that deed
- Bribed Apollo with his lyre
- Kept cattle and became friends with Apollo
Here’s the story of Hermes’ birth by mythographer Apollodorus in Homeric Hymn to Hermes, describing the birth of Hermes and his theft of the god Apollo’s cattle.
“Maia, after her intercourse with Zeus, bore Hermes in a cave on Kyllene.
Though he was laid out in swaddling-clothes with her winnowing-basket for a cradle, he escaped and made his way to Pieria, where he stole some cattle that Apollon was tending. To keep from being discovered by the tracks, he put boots on their feet and led them to Pylos. He hid them in a grotto, except for two which he sacrificed, pinning up their hides on rocks, boiling some of the meat for his meal and burning the rest.
Outside the cave he found a tortoise feeding. He cleaned it out, and stretched across the shell strings made from the cattle he had sacrificed, and when he had thus devised a lyre he also invented a plectrum.
Meanwhile Apollon reached Pylos in his search for the cattle, and asked the locals about them. They told him that they had indeed seen a boy driving some cattle, but they could not say where they had been driven because there were no tracks to be found. So Apollon learned who the thief was by divine science, and made his way to Maia on Kyllene to charge Hermes. Maia, however, showed Apollon the baby in his swaddling-clothes, whereupon Apollon took him to Zeus and demanded his cattle. When Zeus told Hermes to return them, he denied everything, but since his father would not believe him, he led Apollon to Pylos and gave him back his cattle. Then, when Apollon heard the lyre, he exchanged the cattle for that.
And as Hermes was tending the cattle, this time he fashioned a shepherd’s pipe which he proceeded to play. Covetous also of this, Apollon offered him the golden staff which he held when he herded cattle. But Hermes wanted both the staff and proficiency in the art of prophecy in return for the pipe. So he was taught how to prophesy by means of pebbles, and gave Apollon the pipe.
And Zeus made Hermes his personal herald and messenger of the gods beneath the earth.”
Hermes Also Known As God of:
- Messenger God, Divine Herald, God of the Wind
- Patron of Poetry and Literature
- Also God of thieves, commerce, and eloquence
- God of Dreams, Sports, Travel, Trade
- Became friends with many gods, especially Apollo
- Enemies were Titans
Stories About Hermes The Greek God of Wind:
- Helped with numerous situations
- Odysseus and Calypso
- Argus and Io
- Ares and jar
Power of Hermes:
- Guile, trick others
- Eloquently persuade others
- Calmed snakes on his wand of caduceus
- Fast as mercury and the speed of the wind
- Shoes and hat with wings
Relationships of Hermes:
- Had many affairs
- Aphrodite was his lover
- Son = Pan, god of nature
- Daughter/ Son = Hermaphrodites
- Son = Antolycus (grandfather of Odysseus)
Here’s the story of Hermes and his lover Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love:
At first, Aphrodite rejected Hermes’ advances, but Zeus felt sorry for Hermes so he decided to help him out! 😉 When Aphrodite bathed in the river called Achelous, Zeus commissioned an eagle to take her sandal to to the Egyptians and gave it to Hermes. When she went to find her sandal and came to Hermes, he took the chance to seduce her in return of her sandal. Then, Hermes rewarded the eagle by placing a constellation in the sky to represent him. The love between Hermes and Aphrodite bore fruit to the birth of Hermaphrodite, their child.
As the son of Zeus, Hermes represented the essential communication line among the gods as the fastest Greek God and God of the Wind. From birth to the rest of his immortal life, Hermes enjoyed helping others with messages and occasionally had some fun with trickery and women. Hermes was friendly with most gods and goddesses and serves as the true messenger of gods.