Messenger of the gods
Wings on his feet
god of travel, business, thieves
Created from a pile of rocks
Leads your soul to the underworld – Hermes Psychopompus (leader of souls)
(not Asclepius – god/symbol of doctors, staff with a snake)
on the road “directing traffic”
He wards off evil – herms
Parodied the mysteries and ran around breaking herms – scandal before a war
[Recall that Hermes gave Pandora the character of a thief and the mind of a bitch; but he is more
Hermes is the god of
and the god of
businessmen and thieves
luck from out of the blue, and god of those professions because they rely to a degree on such
uncontrolled good luck.
After World War II, auto company did huge market research, spent millions on analysis,
engineering, production, teaser campaign.
Hit showrooms, it was ugly, lost a fortune –
the Ford Edsel.
Hermes had not blessed the venture, so no good luck.
Late 50’s university students frequent a store selling meat pies in aluminum pans, which
the students would throw back in forth.
Two young men saw their popularity, borrowed
$200 from their fathers and, with no knowledge and no experience, invented the Frisbee.
According to the Greeks, their venture had been blessed by Hermes.
Hermes is also the god of the
This is a form of power the Greeks didn’t
understand – when something happened over which they could not stop laughing.
You have no
control, humor takes you over.
So, there is a god of the practical joke since they had no control
and figured it must be supernatural.]
Hermes is also the only god with stories about him as an infant.
He is the son of
mother a goddess named
(whom the month of May is named after).
She gave birth to
Hermes in her cave (after 10 months), put him in his crib, and as soon as she turned around, he
hopped out and went to the door of the cave. God of
. He found a turtle,
killed it and cleaned out the shell, and used the guts to make strings, creating the first musical
instrument – the
He was so pleased that he left the cave to see what else he could find.
went to the place where the gods kept their cattle.
He came to the pen of the cattle of
So he stole 50 of Apollo’s cattle and took them up the road – but
he made the cattle
walk backwards so that it would look like they had been walking into the pen. He puts branches
on his own feet so his footsteps don’t exist. He ran into the farmer,
Hermes says you are not seeing this. Battus says I can go with that.
He started with fire – then
takes the cattle and burns them in sacrifice to the 12 Titans. Only time a god in Greek mythology