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Hermes is the messenger god, as well as the god of trade and thieves. He is represented by his winged sandals and his Caduceus staff.

Hermes was one of Zeus’ children with Maia, a daughter of the Titan Atlas. Hermes had many responsibilities in the gods’ kingdom, in addition to being the god of trade and thieves. From the time he was born he was out playing tricks on others, starting with stealing Apollo’s cattle and creating a lyre from one of their innards and a tortoise shell. Hermes gives Apollo the lyre in exchange for his Caduceus staff, putting himself in charge of livestock. Hermes was also in charge of bringing the dead to Charon, the ferryman who brings souls across the river Styx to the Underworld.

Hermes was a messenger for his father, bringing tidings and commands back and forth from Olympus to Earth to the Underworld. He wears winged sandals and a cap with wings made by Hephaestus, and he lends these sandals to Perseus in his quest. Hermes is credited with inventing the alphabet, and he was considered to be the god of travelers. His most well-known child is Pan, a goat-like being that came from his fling with the nymph Dryope.

Hermes Quick Reference

Parents

Zeus and Maia


Power / Domain

  • Messenger God
  • Trade
  • Thieves

Symbols

  • Talaria - winged sandals
  • Caduceus staff
  • Petasus - winged cap

Notable Myths

  • Invention of the lyre
  • Perseus
  • Odysseus and Circe

Be sure to look at our lesson plans on the 12 Olympian Gods!

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