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Hermes
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{{short description|ancient Greek god of roads, travelers, and thieves}}{{other uses}}{{pp-pc1}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{Use dmy dates|date=January 2016}}{{Use American English|date=January 2016}}







factoids
{{Special characters}}{{Ancient Greek religion}}Hermes ({{IPAc-en|ˈ|h|ɜːr|m|iː|z}}; ) is the god of trade, heralds, merchants, commerce, roads, thieves, trickery, sports, travelers, and athletes in Ancient Greek religion and mythology; the son of Zeus and the Pleiad Maia, he was the second youngest of the Olympian gods (Dionysus being the youngest).Hermes was the emissary and messenger of the gods.Burkert, p. 158. Iris has a similar role as divine messenger. Hermes was also "the divine trickster"Burkert, p. 156. and "the god of boundaries and the transgression of boundaries, ... the patron of herdsmen, thieves, graves, and heralds."Burkert, p. 158. He is described as moving freely between the worlds of the mortal and divine, and was the conductor of souls into the afterlife.Burkert, pp. 157–158. He was also viewed as the protector and patron of roads and travelers.Lay, p. 3.In some myths, he is a trickster and outwits other gods for his own satisfaction or for the sake of humankind. His attributes and symbols include the herma, the rooster, the tortoise, satchel or pouch, winged sandals, and winged cap. His main symbol is the Greek kerykeion or Latin caduceus, which appears in a form of two snakes wrapped around a winged staff with carvings of the other gods.The Latin word ' is an adaptation of the Greek ', meaning "herald's wand (or staff)", deriving from ', meaning "messenger, herald, envoy". Liddell and Scott, Greek-English Lexicon; Stuart L. Tyson, "The Caduceus", The Scientific Monthly, 34'''.6 (1932:492–98), p. 493.In the Roman adaptation of the Greek pantheon (see interpretatio romana), Hermes is identified with the Roman god Mercury,Bullfinch's Mythology (1978), Crown Publishers, p. 926. who, though inherited from the Etruscans, developed many similar characteristics such as being the patron of commerce.{{TOC limit|3}}

Etymology and origins

The earliest form of the name Hermes is the Mycenaean Greek *hermāhās,BOOK, R.S.P., Beekes, With the assistance of Lucien van Beek, Etymological Dictionary of Greek, Brill, 2010, Leiden, Boston, 461–2, 9789004174184, written e-ma-a2 (e-ma-ha) in the Linear B syllabic script.{{citation|author=Joann Gulizio|url=http://www.utexas.edu/research/pasp/publications/pdf/hermes.pdf| title = Hermes and e-m-a2|publisher=University of Texas|accessdate= 26 November 2011 | archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20131005042939weblink |archive-date=5 October 2013}} Most scholars derive "Hermes" from Greek ἕρμα herma, "prop,{{LSJ|e(/rma|ἕρμα|ref}}. heap of stones, boundary marker", from which the word hermai ("boundary markers dedicated to Hermes as a god of travelers") also derives.{{LSJ|*(ermh{{=}}s|ἑρμαί|shortref}}. The etymology of ἕρμα itself is unknown, but it is probably not a Proto-Indo-European word. However, the stone etymology is also linked to Indo-European *ser- (“to bind, put together”). Scholarly speculation that "Hermes" derives from a more primitive form meaning "one cairn" is disputed.Davies, Anna Morpurgo & Duhoux, Yves. Linear B: a 1984 survey. Peeters Publishers, 1985, p. 136. In Greek, a lucky find is a ἕρμαιον hermaion.According to a theory that has received considerable scholarly acceptance, Hermes himself originated as a form of the god Pan, who has been identified as a reflex of the Proto-Indo-European pastoral god *Péh2usōn,H. Collitz, "Wodan, Hermes und Pushan," Festskrift tillägnad Hugo Pipping pȧ Hans sextioȧrsdag den 5 November 1924 1924, pp 574–587.BOOK, Mallory, J. P., Adams, D.Q., The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World, 2006, Oxford University Press, Oxford, England, 978-0-19-929668-2, 411 and 434, in his aspect as the god of boundary markers. Later, the epithet supplanted the original name itself and Hermes took over the roles as god of messengers, travelers, and boundaries, which had originally belonged to Pan, while Pan himself continued to be venerated by his original name in his more rustic aspect as the god of the wild in the relatively isolated mountainous region of Arcadia. In later myths, after the cult of Pan was reintroduced to Attica, Pan was said to be Hermes's son.BOOK, West, Martin Litchfield, Martin Litchfield West, Indo-European Poetry and Myth, 2007, Oxford University Press, Oxford, England, 978-0-19-928075-9,weblink 281–283, 23 April 2017, harvard, Other origins have also been proposed. R. S. P. Beekes rejects the connection with herma and suggests a Pre-Greek origin. Other scholars have suggested that Hermes may be a cognate of the Vedic Sarama.Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, ed. Félix Guirand & Robert Graves, Hamlyn, 1968, p. 123.BOOK, Debroy, Bibek, Sarama and her Children: The Dog in the Indian Myth, Penguin Books India, 2008, 0143064703, 77,

Mythology

Early Greek sources

(File:Hermes Maia Staatliche Antikensammlungen 2304.jpg|right|thumb|200px|Hermes with his mother Maia. Detail of the side B of an Attic red-figure belly-amphora, c. 500 BC.)File:Hermes crioforo.jpg|right|thumb|200px|Kriophoros Hermes (which takes the lamb), late-Roman copy of Greek original from the 5th century BC. Barracco MuseumBarracco Museum

Homer and Hesiod

Homer and Hesiod portrayed Hermes as the author of skilled or deceptive acts and also as a benefactor of mortals. In the Iliad, he is called "the bringer of good luck", "guide and guardian", and "excellent in all the tricks". He was a divine ally of the Greeks against the Trojans. However, he did protect Priam when he went to the Greek camp to retrieve the body of his son Hector and accompanied them back to Troy.Homer. The Iliad. The Project Gutenberg Etext. Trans. Samuel Butler.He also rescued Ares from a brazen vessel where he had been imprisoned by Otus and Ephialtes. In the Odyssey, Hermes helps his great-grand son, the protagonist Odysseus, by informing him about the fate of his companions, who were turned into animals by the power of Circe. Hermes instructed Odysseus to protect himself by chewing a magic herb; he also told Calypso of Zeus' order to free Odysseus from her island to allow him to continue his journey back home. When Odysseus killed the suitors of his wife, Hermes led their souls to Hades.Homer. The Odyssey. Plain Label Books, 1990. Trans. Samuel Butler. pp. 40, 81–82, 192–195. In The Works and Days, when Zeus ordered Hephaestus to create Pandora to disgrace humanity by punishing Prometheus's act of giving fire to man, every god gave her a gift, and Hermes' gifts were lies, seductive words, and a dubious character. Hermes was then instructed to take her as wife to Epimetheus.Hesiod. Works And Days. ll. 60–68. Trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White, 1914.The Homeric Hymn 4 to Hermes"The conventional attribution of the Hymns to Homer, in spite of linguistic objections, and of many allusions to things unknown or unfamiliar in the Epics, is merely the result of the tendency to set down "masterless" compositions to a well-known name...": Andrew Lang, THE HOMERIC HYMNS A NEW PROSE TRANSLATION AND ESSAYS, LITERARY AND MYTHOLOGICAL. Transcribed from the 1899 George Allen edition. Project Gutenberg., which tells the story of the god's birth and his subsequent theft of Apollo's sacred cattle, invokes him as the one "of many shifts (polytropos), blandly cunning, a robber, a cattle driver, a bringer of dreams, a watcher by night, a thief at the gates, one who was soon to show forth wonderful deeds among the deathless gods." Hymn to Hermes 13. The word polutropos ("of many shifts, turning many ways, of many devices, ingenious, or much wandering") is also used to describe Odysseus in the first line of the Odyssey. In addition to the chelys lyre, Homeric hymn to Hermes Hermes was believed to have invented many types of racing and the sport of wrestling, and therefore was a patron of athletes."First Inventors... Mercurius [Hermes] first taught wrestling to mortals." – Hyginus, Fabulae 277.

Athenian tragic playwrights

Aeschylus wrote in The Eumenides that Hermes helped Orestes kill Clytemnestra under a false identity and other stratagems, and also said that he was the god of searches, and those who seek things lost or stolen.Aeschylus, Suppliant Women 919. Quoted in God of Searchers. The Theoi Project: Greek Mythology. In Philoctetes, Sophocles invokes Hermes when Odysseus needs to convince Philoctetes to join the Trojan War on the side of the Greeks, and in Euripides' Rhesus Hermes helps Dolon spy on the Greek navy.BOOK, Norman Oliver Brown, Hermes the Thief: The Evolution of a Myth,weblink 1990, Steiner Books, 978-0-940262-26-3, 3–10,

Aesop

Aesop featured him in several of his fables, as ruler of the gate of prophetic dreams, as the god of athletes, of edible roots, and of hospitality. He also said that Hermes had assigned each person his share of intelligence.Aesop. Fables 474, 479, 520, 522, 563, 564. Quoted in God of Dreams of Omen; God of Contests, Athletics, Gymnasiums, The Games, Theoi Project: Greek Mythology.

Hermes' lovers

File:Lekythos Hermes Herse MAN.jpg|right|thumb|200px|Hermes pursuing a woman, probably HerseHerse
  • Peitho, the goddess of seduction and persuasion, was said by Nonnus to be the wife of Hermes.BOOK,weblink Dionysiaca, Nonnus, 8. 220 ff,
  • Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, was wooed by Hermes. After she had rejected him, Hermes sought the help of Zeus to seduce her. Zeus, out of pity, sent his eagle to take away Aphrodite's sandal when she was bathing, and gave it to Hermes. When Aphrodite came looking for the sandal, Hermes made love to her. She bore him a son, Hermaphroditus.Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 16
  • Apemosyne, a princess of Crete. One day while travelling, Hermes saw her and fell in love with her. He chased her, but was unable to catch her since she was swifter than him. So he strewed some newly stripped hides along the road, on which she slipped when she was returning after a while. He then made love to her. When she disclosed to her brother, Althaimenes, what had happened, he took her story about the god to be an excuse, and killed her with a kick of his foot.Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 14
  • Chione, a princess of Phokis, attracted the attention of Hermes. He used his wand to put her to sleep and slept with her. To Hermes she bore a son, Autolycus.Ovid, Metamorphoses 11. 301; Pausanias, Description of Greece 4. 8. 6
  • Penelopeia, an Arcadian nymph, was loved by Hermes. Their son is said to be the god Pan. She has been confused or conflated with Penelope, the wife of Odysseus.
  • The Oreads, the nymphs of the mountains were said to mate with Hermes in the highlands, breeding more of their kind.Homeric Hymn 5 to Aphrodite 256
  • Iphthime, a princess of Doros was loved by Hermes and bore him three Satyroi - named Pherespondos, Lykos and Pronomos.
  • Tanagra was a nymph of for whom the gods Ares and Hermes competed in a boxing match. Hermes won and carried her off to Tanagra in Boeotia.

Hellenistic Greek sources

File:Cameo Ptolemaic prince Bab111 CdM Paris.jpg|thumb|Sardonyx cameo of a Ptolemaic prince as Hermes, Cabinet des médaillesCabinet des médaillesSeveral writers of the Hellenistic period expanded the list of Hermes's achievements. Callimachus said that Hermes disguised himself as a cyclops to scare the Oceanides and was disobedient to his mother.Callimachus. Iambi, Frag. 12. Quoted in "God of Memory and Learning". The Theoi Project: Greek Mythology. One of the Orphic Hymns Khthonios is dedicated to Hermes, indicating that he was also a god of the underworld. Aeschylus had called him by this epithet several times.Orphic Hymn 57 to Chthonian Hermes Aeschylus. Libation Bearers. Cited in Guide of the Dead. The Theoi Project: Greek Mythology. Another is the Orphic Hymn to Hermes, where his association with the athletic games held is mystic in tone.Orphic Hymn 28 to Hermes. Quoted in God of Contests, Athletics, Gymnasiums, The Games. The Theoi Project: Greek Mythology.Phlegon of Tralles said he was invoked to ward off ghosts,Phlegon of Tralles. Book of Marvels, 2.1. Quoted in Guide of the Dead. The Theoi Project: Greek Mythology. and Pseudo-Apollodorus reported several events involving Hermes. He participated in the Gigantomachy in defense of Olympus; was given the task of bringing baby Dionysus to be cared for by Ino and Athamas and later by nymphs of Asia, followed Hera, Athena and Aphrodite in a beauty contest; favored the young Hercules by giving him a sword when he finished his education and lent his sandals to Perseus.Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library. Quoted in Hermes Myths 2, Hermes Myths 3, Hermes Favour. The Theoi Project: Greek Mythology. The Thracian princes identified him with their god Zalmoxis, considering his ancestor.Herodotus. Histories, 5.7. Quoted in "Identified with Foreign Gods". The Theoi Project: Greek Mythology.Anyte of Tegea of the 3rd century BC,SG Yao, Translation and the Languages of Modernism: Gender, Politics, Language, Palgrave Macmillan, 2002, {{ISBN|0312295197}}. in translation by Richard Aldington, wrote:S Benstock, Women of the Left Bank: Paris, 1900-1940, University of Texas Press, 2010, p. 323.

Epithets of Hermes

File:Man wearing Petasos Coinage of Kapsa Macedon circa 400 BCE.jpg|thumb|Hermes wearing the Petasos hat. Coinage of Kapsa, Macedon, circa 400 BC.]]

Atlantiades

Hermes was also called Atlantiades (), because his mother, Maia was the daughter of Atlas.Ovid, MetamorphosesBOOK, Mike Dixon-Kennedy, Encyclopedia of Greco-Roman Mythology,weblink 1998, ABC-CLIO, 978-1-57607-094-9, 160,

Kriophoros

In ancient Greek culture, kriophoros () or criophorus, the "ram-bearer",MA De La Torre, A Hernández, The Quest for the Historical Satan, Fortress Press, 2011, {{ISBN|0800663241}}. is a figure that commemorates the solemn sacrifice of a ram. It becomes an epithet of Hermes.

Argeiphontes

Hermes's epithet Argeiphontes (; ), meaning "Argus-slayer",BOOK, The Facts on File: Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Homeric Hymn 29 to Hestia. recalls his slaying of the hundred-eyed giant Argus Panoptes, who was watching over the heifer-nymph Io in the sanctuary of Queen Hera herself in Argos. Hermes placed a charm on Argus's eyes with the caduceus to cause the giant to sleep; after this he slew the giant.BOOK,weblink Greek History and the Gods, Grand Valley State University (Michigan), Argus' eyes were then put into the tail of the peacock, a symbol of the goddess Hera.

Messenger and guide

File:Euphronios krater side A MET L.2006.10.jpg|thumb|Sarpedon's body carried by Hypnos and ThanatosThanatosThe chief office of the god was as messenger.BOOK, W. Blackwood Ltd. (Edinburgh), Blackwood's Edinburgh magazine, Volume 22; Volume 28, Leonard Scott & Co. 1849, Explicitly, at least in sources of classical writings, of Euripides Electra and Iphigenia in AulisPerseus – Tufts University and in Epictetus Discourses.Perseus – Tufts University Hermes (Diactoros, Angelos)R Davis-Floyd, P Sven Arvidson, Intuition: The Inside Story: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Routledge, 1997, {{ISBN|0415915945}}. the messenger,BOOK, New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, New (fifth impression), 1972, 1968, 123, 0-600-02351-6, is in fact only seen in this role, for Zeus, from within the pages of the Odyssey. The messenger divine and herald of the Gods, he wears the gifts from his father, the Petasus and Talaria.WEB,weblink Rochester Institute of Technology, Greek Gods, Rochester Institute of Technology,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130525090414weblink">weblink 25 May 2013, {{cquote|Oh mighty messenger of the gods of the upper and lower worlds... (Aeschylus).BOOK,weblink Jacques Duchesne-Guillemin, Études mithriaques: actes du 2e Congrès International, Téhéran, du 1er au 8 september 1975, BRILL, 1978, }}
  • Hodios, patron of travelers and wayfarers.
  • Oneiropompus, conductor of dreams.
  • Poimandres, shepherd of men.BOOK, M-L von Franz, Marie-Louise von Franz, Projection and Re-Collection in Jungian Psychology: Reflections of the Soul, Open Court Publishing, 1985, 0875484174,
  • Psychopompos, conveyor or conductor of souls,MAGAZINE, Crisolenguas, Jonathan F., Krell,weblink Mythical patterns in the art of Gustave Moreau: The primacy of Dionysus, 2, 2, and psychogogue, conductor or leader of souls in (or through) the underworld.BOOK,weblink The Chambers Dictionary, Allied Publishers, 1998,

Trade

(File:Hermes Logios Altemps 33.jpg|thumb|220px|So-called "Logios Hermes" (Hermes Orator). Marble, Roman copy from the late 1st century BC - early 2nd century AD after a Greek original of the 5th century BC.)
  • Agoraeus, of the agora;BOOK, Mabel, Lang, Mabel Lang, Graffiti in the Athenian Agora,weblink PDF, 14 April 2007, rev., Excavations of the Athenian Agora, 1988, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Princeton, NJ, 0-87661-633-3, 7,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20040609002142weblink">weblink 9 June 2004, belonging to the market (Aristophanes)BOOK, Ehrenberg, Victor, The People of Aristophanes: A Sociology of Old Attic Comedy, 1951, B. Blackwell,weblink
  • Empolaios, "engaged in traffic and commerce"
Hermes is sometimes depicted in art works holding a purse.BOOK, S. Hornblower, A. Spawforth, The Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization, 370, Oxford Reference, Oxford University Press, 2014, 0198706774,

Dolios

No cult to Hermes Dolios existed in Attica, of this Athens being the capital, and so this form of Hermes seems to have existed in speech only.I Polinskaya, citing Robert Parker (2003): I Polinskaya, A Local History of Greek Polytheism: Gods, People and the Land of Aigina, 800-400 BCE (p. 103), BRILL, 2013, {{ISBN|9004262083}}.An universal history, from the earliest accounts to the present time - Volume 5 (p. 34), 1779.The god is ambiguous.L Kahn-Lyotard, Greek and Egyptian Mythologies (edited by Y Bonnefoy), University of Chicago Press, 1992, {{ISBN|0226064549}}.According to prominent folklorist Yeleazar Meletinsky, Hermes is a deified tricksterMeletinsky, Introduzione (1993), p. 131. and master of thieves ("a plunderer, a cattle-raider, a night-watching" in Homers' Hymns)N. O. Brown, Hermes the Thief: The Evolution of a Myth and deception (Euripides)NW Slater, Spectator Politics: Metatheatre and Performance in Aristophanes, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002, {{ISBN|0812236521}}. and (possibly evil) tricks and trickeries,Aristophanes{{clarify|date=April 2016}}"[T]he thief praying...": W Kingdon Clifford, L Stephen, F PollockWilliam Stearns Davis - A Victor of Salamis: A Tale of the Days of Xerxes, Leonidas, and Themistocles, Wildside Press LLC, 2007, {{ISBN|1434483347}}.A Brown, A New Companion to Greek Tragedy, Taylor & Francis, 1983, {{ISBN|0389203963}}. crafty (from lit. god of craft),F Santi Russell, Information Gathering in Classical Greece, University of Michigan Press, 1999. the cheat,JJ Ignaz von Döllinger, The Gentile and the Jew in the courts of the Temple of Christ: an introduction to the history of Christianity, Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, 1862. the god of stealth.EL Wheeler, Stratagem and the Vocabulary of Military Trickery, BRILL, 1988, {{ISBN|9004088318}}.and cunning,R Parker, Polytheism and Society at Athens, Oxford University Press, 2007, {{ISBN|0199216118}}. (see also, to act secretively as kleptein, in reference EL Wheeler), of treachery,Athenaeus, The learned banqueters, Harvard University Press, 2008. the schemer.I Ember, Music in painting: music as symbol in Renaissance and baroque painting , Corvina, 1984.Hermes Dolios, was worshipped at PellenePausanias, 7.27.1Plutarch (trans. William Reginald Halliday), The Greek questions of Plutarch. and invoked through Odysseus.S Montiglio, Silence in the Land of Logos, Princeton University Press, 2010, {{ISBN|0691146586}}.Hermes is amoralJH Riker, Human Excellence and an Ecological Conception of the Psyche, SUNY Press, 1991, {{ISBN|0791405192}}. like a baby.weblink. Zeus sent Hermes as a teacher to humanity to teach them knowledge of and value of justice and to improve inter-personal relationships ("bonding between mortals").Ben-Ami Scharfstein, Amoral Politics: The Persistent Truth of Machiavellism (p. 102), SUNY Press, 1995, {{ISBN|0791422798}}.Considered to have a mastery of rhetorical persuasion and special pleading, the god typically has nocturnal (Wikt:modus operandi|modus operandi).WEB,weblink Three Homeric Hymns, Hermes knows the boundaries and crosses the borders of them to confuse their definition.L Hyde, Trickster Makes this World: Mischief, Myth and Art, Canongate Books, 2008.

Thief

File:Hermes Propylaeus Roman copy Alkamens, Glyptothek Munich 159 120280.jpg|left|thumb|160px|Hermes Propylaeus. Roman copy of the Alcamenes statue from the entrance of the Athenian AcropolisAcropolisIn the Lang translation of Homer's Hymn to Hermes, the god after being born is described as a robber, a captain of raiders, and a thief of the gates.Andrew Lang, THE HOMERIC HYMNS A NEW PROSE TRANSLATION AND ESSAYS, LITERARY AND MYTHOLOGICAL. Transcribed from the 1899 George Allen edition.According to the late Jungian psychotherapist López-Pedraza, everything Hermes thieves, he later sacrifices to the gods.

Patron of thieves

Autolycus received his skills as the greatest of thieves due to sacrificing to Hermes as his patron.The Homeric Hymns (pp. 76–77), edited by AN Athanassakis, JHU Press, 2004, {{ISBN|0801879833}}.

Additional

Other epithets included:

Worship and cult

File:Statue Hermes Chiaramonti.jpg|thumb|160px|Statue of Hermes wearing the petasos, a voyager's cloak, the caduceus and a purse. Roman copy after a Greek original (Vatican MuseumsVatican MuseumsFile:Achilles embassy Louvre G264 n3.jpg|thumb|200px|Hermes with a petasus. Attic red-figure cup, ca. 480 BC–470 BC. From VulciVulciPrior to being known as Hermes, Frothingham thought the god to have existed as a snake-god.A. L. Frothingham, "Babylonian Origin of Hermes the Snake-God, and of the Caduceus I". Angelo (1997) thinks Hermes to be based on the Thoth archetype.P Clarkson, Counselling Psychology: Integrating Theory, Research, and Supervised Practice, Routledge, 1998, {{ISBN|0415145236}}. The absorbing ("combining") of the attributes of Hermes to Thoth developed after the time of Homer amongst Greek and Roman; Herodotus was the first to identify the Greek god with the Egyptian (Hermopolis), Plutarch and Diodorus also, although Plato thought the gods to be dis-similar (Friedlander 1992).WJ Friedlander, The Golden Wand of Medicine: A History of the Caduceus Symbol in Medicine, ABC-CLIO, 1992, {{ISBN|0313280231}}.J Derrida, Dissemination, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004, {{ISBN|0826476961}}.A cult was established in Greece in remote regions, likely making him a god of nature, farmers, and shepherds. It is also possible that since the beginning he has been a deity with shamanic attributes linked to divination, reconciliation, magic, sacrifices, and initiation and contact with other planes of existence, a role of mediator between the worlds of the visible and invisible.Danubian Historical Studies, 2, Akadémiai Kiadó, 1988, p. 32.During the 3rd century BC, a communication between Petosiris (a priest) to King Nechopso, probably written in Alexandria c. 150 BC, states Hermes is the teacher of all secret wisdoms available to knowing by the experience of religious ecstasy.Jacobi, M. (1907). Catholic Encyclopedia: "Astrology", New York: Robert Appleton Company.Due to his constant mobility, he was considered the god of commerce and social intercourse, the wealth brought in business, especially sudden or unexpected enrichment, travel, roads and crossroads, borders and boundary conditions or transient, the changes from the threshold, agreements and contracts, friendship, hospitality, sexual intercourse, games, data, the draw, good luck, the sacrifices and the sacrificial animals, flocks and shepherds and the fertility of land and cattle. In addition to serving as messenger to Zeus, Hermes carried the souls of the dead to Hades, and directed the dreams sent by Zeus to mortals.Smith, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1867. pp. 411–413.Neville, Bernie. Taking Care of Business in the Age of Hermes. Trinity University, 2003. pp. 2–5.Padel, Ruth. In and Out of the Mind: Greek Images of the Tragic Self. Princeton University Press, 1994. pp. 6–9.

Temples

One of the oldest places of worship for Hermes was Mount Cyllene in Arcadia, where the myth says that he was born. Tradition says that his first temple was built by Lycaon. From there the cult would have been taken to Athens, and then radiated to the whole of Greece, according to Smith, and his temples and statues became extremely numerous. Lucian of Samosata said he saw the temples of Hermes everywhere.Lucian of Samosata. The Works of Lucian of Samosata. BiblioBazaar, LLC, 2008. Volume 1, p. 107.In many places, temples were consecrated in conjunction with Aphrodite, as in Attica, Arcadia, Crete, Samos and in Magna Graecia. Several ex-votos found in his temples revealed his role as initiator of young adulthood, among them soldiers and hunters, since war and certain forms of hunting were seen as ceremonial initiatory ordeals. This function of Hermes explains why some images in temples and other vessels show him as a teenager.As a patron of the gym and fighting, Hermes had statues in gyms and he was also worshiped in the sanctuary of the Twelve Gods in Olympia where Greeks celebrated the Olympic Games. His statue was held there on an altar dedicated to him and Apollo together.Johnston, Sarah Iles. Initiation in Myth, Initiation in Practice. IN Dodd, David Brooks & Faraone, Christopher A. Initiation in ancient Greek rituals and narratives: new critical perspectives. Routledge, 2003. pp. 162, 169.A temple within the Aventine was consecrated in 495 BC.FG Moore, The Roman's World, Biblo & Tannen Publishers, 1936, {{ISBN|0819601551}}."Aventine" in V Neskow, The Little Black Book of Rome: The Timeless Guide to the Eternal City, Peter Pauper Press, Inc., 2012, {{ISBN|144130665X}}.Symbols of Hermes were the palm tree, turtle, rooster, goat, the number four, several kinds of fish and incense. Sacrifices involved honey, cakes, pigs, goats, and lambs. In the sanctuary of Hermes Promakhos in Tanagra is a strawberry tree under which it was believed he had created,Austin, M. The Hellenistic world from Alexander to the Roman conquest: a selection of ancient sources in translation. Cambridge University Press, 2006. p. 137. and in the hills Phene ran three sources that were sacred to him, because he believed that they had been bathed at birth.

Festival

Hermes's feast was the special Hermaea which was celebrated with sacrifices to the god and with athletics and gymnastics, possibly having been established in the 6th century BC, but no documentation on the festival before the 4th century BC survives. However, Plato said that Socrates attended a Hermaea. Of all the festivals involving Greek games, these were the most like initiations because participation in them was restricted to young boys and excluded adults.Scanlon, Thomas Francis. Eros and Greek athletics. Oxford University Press, 2002. pp. 92–93.

Hermai/Herms

Image:Byzantine - Circular Pyxis - Walters 7164 - View C.jpg|right|thumb|This circular Pyxis or box depicts two scenes. The one shown presents Hermes awarding the golden apple of the Hesperides to Aphrodite, whom Paris has selected as the most beautiful of the goddesses.WEB, The Walters Art Museum The Walters Art Museum
In Ancient Greece, Hermes was a phallic god of boundaries. His name, in the form herma, was applied to a wayside marker pile of stones; each traveler added a stone to the pile. In the 6th century BC, Hipparchos, the son of Pisistratus, replaced the cairns that marked the midway point between each village deme at the central agora of Athens with a square or rectangular pillar of stone or bronze topped by a bust of Hermes with a beard. An erect phallus rose from the base. In the more primitive Mount Kyllini or Cyllenian herms, the standing stone or wooden pillar was simply a carved phallus. In Athens, herms were placed outside houses for good luck. "That a monument of this kind could be transformed into an Olympian god is astounding," Walter Burkert remarked.Walter Burkert, 1985. Greek Religion (Harvard University Press)In 415 BC, when the Athenian fleet was about to set sail for Syracuse during the Peloponnesian War, all of the Athenian hermai were vandalized one night. The Athenians at the time believed it was the work of saboteurs, either from Syracuse or from the anti-war faction within Athens itself. Socrates' pupil Alcibiades was suspected of involvement, and Socrates indirectly paid for the impiety with his life.Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, 6.27.

Hermes's possible offspring

Pan

The satyr-like Greek god of nature, shepherds and flocks, Pan, could possibly be the son of Hermes through the nymph Dryope.Hyginus, Fabula 160, makes Hermes the father of Pan. In the Homeric Hymn to Pan, Pan's mother fled in fright from her newborn son's goat-like appearance.WEB, Hymn 19 to Pan, To Pan,weblink www.perseus.tufts.edu, 18 January 2016,

Priapus

Depending on the sources consulted, the god Priapus could be understood as a son of Hermes.Karl Kerényi, Gods of the Greeks, 1951, p. 175, citing G. Kaibel, Epigrammata graeca ex lapidibus collecta, 817, where the other god's name, both father and son of Hermes, is obscured; according to other sources, Priapus was a son of Dionysus and Aphrodite.

Autolycus

Autolycus, the Prince of Thieves, was a son of Hermes and Chione (mortal) and grandfather of Odysseus.Bibliotheca 1.9.16.

List of lovers and other children{| class"wikitable"

!Consort!Offspring!Consort!Offspring!Consort!OffspringAcacallis (mythology)>Acacallis|• Cydon|ChthonophylePolybus of Sicyon>PolybusPenelopeAgreus>Nomios|Aglaurus|• EumolpusList of Oceanids>DaeiraEleusis (mythology)>EleusisPausanias, 1.38.7|• Pan (possibly)|Alcidameia of Corinth|• Bounos|Dryope, Arcadian nymphPan (god)>Pan (possibly)|PhylodameiaPharis (mythology)>PharisAntianeira or LaothoeEchion (Argonaut)>Echion, ArgonautErytheia (mythology)>ErytheiaPausanias (geographer)>Pausanias, 10.17.5.|Polymele|• Eudorus|• Eurytus, Argonaut|Eupolemeia|• AethalidesRhene (mythology)>RheneSaon (mythology)>SaonSaon could also have been the son of Zeus and a local nymph; both versions in Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5.48.2.|Apemosyne|no known offspring|Hecate|three daughtersTzetzes on Lycophron, 680.Sicily>Sicilian nymph|• DaphnisAphrodite|• HermaphroditusHerse|• Cephalus|Sose, nymph|• Agreus|• Tyche (possibly)|• Ceryx (possibly)|Tanagra|no known offspring|Astabedaughter of PeneusAstacus (mythology)>Astacus|HiereiaOlympia, Greece>Olympia; Tzetzes on Lycophron 42.|Thronia|• ArabusCarmentis or a local nymph of the Arcadia (ancient region)>Arcadians, called Themis.Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, 2.1Evander of Pallene>EvanderIphthime|• Lycus|UraniaLinus (mythology)>Linus (possibly)Chione (daughter of Daedalion)>Chione or• Autolycus|• Pherespondus|Unknown mother|• Abderus|StilbeScholia on Homer, Iliad, 10. 266 or|• Pronomus|Unknown mother|• AngeliaEustathius of Thessalonica>Eustathius on Homer, 804.Libya (mythology)>Libyecalled the daughter of Palamedes but corrected by later sources as Epaphus|• LibysHyginus, Fabulae, 160.|Unknown mother|• Dolops|Cleobule or• Myrtilus|Ocyrhoe|• Caicus|Unknown motherPalaestra (mythology)#Palaestra, daughter of Hermes>PalaestraClymene (mythology)>Clymene orScholia on Euripides, Rhesus (play)>Rhesus, 36.Pan (god)>Pan (possibly)! colspan="2" |Male Lovers|Clytie orPalaestra (mythology)>Palaestra|no known offspring|• AmphionAs presumed by Philostratus the Elder in his Imagines, 1.10.|• PerseusPseudo-Hyginus, De Astronomica 2.12.Myrto (Amazon)>Myrto or|Pandrosus|• Ceryx (possibly)|• Chryses, priest of ApolloCastor and Pollux>PolydeucesPtolemy Hephaestion, 6 in Photius, 190.Danaïdes>Phaethusa or|Peitho|no known offspringKrokus (mythology)>Crocus|• ThersesClement of Rome, Homilia, 5.16; otherwise unknown.Theobule>Theobula|Persephone|unsuccessfully wooed her|• OdrysusClement of Rome, Homilia, 5.16.|

Genealogy

{{chart top|Hermes's family tree|collapsed=no}}{{chart/start}}{{chart|}}{{chart| | | | | | | | | | | | | | |URA |y|GAI |URA=Uranus|GAI=Gaia}}{{chart| | | | | |,|-|-|-|v|-|-|-|v|-|-|-|^|-|-|-|-|-|v|-|-|-|.}}{{chart|URA|F|IAP | |OCE |y|TET | | | | | | | |CRO |y|RHE |IAP=Iapetus|OCE=Oceanus |TET=Tethys|URA=Uranus' genitals|CRO=Cronus|RHE=Rhea}}{{chart| |!| |:| | | |,|-|-|-|(| | | |,|-|-|-|v|-|-|-|v|-|^|-|v|-|-|-|v|-|-|-|.}}{{chart| |!| |L|~|y|CLY |F|PLE |F|ZEU |y|HER | |POS | |HAD | |DEM | |HES |CLY=Clymene According to Hesiod's Theogony 507–509, Atlas' mother was the Oceanid Clymene, later accounts have the Oceanid Asia as his mother, see Apollodorus, 1.2.3.|PLE=Pleione|HES=Hestia|DEM=Demeter|ZEU=Zeus|HER=Hera|HAD=Hades|POS=Poseidon}}{{chart| |!| | | |!| | | |:| | | |:| |,|-|^|.| |!}}{{chart| |!| | |ATL |y|~|J| | | |:| |!| |AAA |!|ATL=Atlas|AAA=     a According to Homer, Iliad 1.570–579, 14.338, Odyssey 8.312, Hephaestus was apparently the son of Hera and Zeus, see Gantz, p. 74.|border_AAA=0}}{{chart|border=0| |!| | | | | |!| | | | | |:| |!| | |!|BBB |BBB=     b According to Hesiod, Theogony 927–929, Hephaestus was produced by Hera alone, with no father, see Gantz, p. 74.}}{{chart| |!| | | | |MAI |~|y|~|~|C| |!| | |!| |!|MAI=Maia}}{{chart| |!| | | | | | | | |!| | |:|ARE | |HEP |ARE=Ares|HEP=Hephaestus}}{{chart| |!| | | | | | | |HER | |D|~|~|~|y|~|~|~|~|MET |HER=Hermes|MET=Metis}}{{chart| |!| | | | | | | | | | | |:| | |ATH |ATH=Athena According to Hesiod's Theogony 886–890, of Zeus' children by his seven wives, Athena was the first to be conceived, but the last to be born; Zeus impregnated Metis then swallowed her, later Zeus himself gave birth to Athena "from his head", see Gantz, pp. 51–52, 83–84.}}{{chart| |!| | | | | | | | | | | |D|~|~|~|y|~|~|~|~|LET |LET=Leto}}{{chart| |!| | | | | | | | | | | |:| |,|-|^|-|.}}{{chart| |!| | | | | | | | | | | |:|APO | |ART |APO=Apollo|ART=Artemis}}{{chart| |!| | | | | | | | | | | |D|~|~|~|y|~|~|~|~|SEM |SEM=Semele}}{{chart| |!| | | | | | | | | | | |:| | |DIO |DIO=Dionysus}}{{chart| |!| | | | | | | | | | | |L|~|~|~|~|y|~|~|~|DIO |DIO=Dione}}{{chart|border=0|AAA | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |BBB|AAA=    a According to Hesiod, Theogony 183–200, Aphrodite was born from Uranus' severed genitals, see Gantz, pp. 99–100.|BBB=     b According to Homer, Aphrodite was the daughter of Zeus (Iliad 3.374, 20.105; Odyssey 8.308, 320) and Dione (Iliad 5.370–71), see Gantz, pp. 99–100.}}{{chart| |`|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|.| |!}}{{chart| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |APH |APH=Aphrodite}}{{chart/end}}{{chart bottom}}

Art and iconography

missing image!
- AGMA Tête d'Hermès.jpg -
Archaic bearded Hermes from a herm, early 5th century BC.
missing image!
- Hermes-louvre3.jpg -
Hermes Fastening his Sandal, early Imperial Roman marble copy of a Lysippan bronze (Louvre Museum)
The image of Hermes evolved and varied according to Greek art and culture. During Archaic Greece he was usually depicted as a mature man, bearded, dressed as a traveler, herald, or pastor. During Classical and Hellenistic Greece he is usually depicted young and nude, with athleticism, as befits the god of speech and of the gymnastics, or a robe, a formula is set predominantly through the centuries. When represented as Logios (Greek: Λόγιος, speaker), his attitude is consistent with the attribute. Phidias left a statue of a famous Hermes Logios and Praxiteles another, also well known, showing him with the baby Dionysus in his arms. At all times, however, through the Hellenistic periods, Roman, and throughout Western history into the present day, several of his characteristic objects are present as identification, but not always all together.Müller, Karl Otfried. Ancient art and its remains: or, A manual of the archæology of art. B. Quaritch, 1852. pp. 483–488.Among these objects is a wide-brimmed hat, the petasos, widely used by rural people of antiquity to protect themselves from the sun, and that in later times was adorned with a pair of small wings; sometimes the hat is not present, and may have been replaced with wings rising from the hair. Another object is the Porta: a stick, called a skeptron (scepter), which is referred to{{by whom|date=July 2014}} as a magic wand. Some early sources{{who|date=July 2014}} say that this was the bat he received from Apollo, but others{{who|date=July 2014}} question the merits of this claim. It seems that there may have been two canes, one of a shepherd's staff, as stated in the Homeric Hymn, and the other a magic wand, according to some authors.{{who|date=July 2014}} His bat also came to be called kerykeion, the caduceus, in later times. Early depictions of the staff show it as a baton stick topped by a golden way{{clarify|date=July 2014}} that resembled the number eight, though sometimes with its top truncated and open. Later the staff had two intertwined snakes and sometimes it was crowned with a pair of wings and a ball, but the old form remained in use even when Hermes was associated with Mercury by the Romans.BOOK,weblink Hermes the Thief, Hyginus explained the presence of snakes, saying that Hermes was traveling in Arcadia when he saw two snakes intertwined in battle. He put the caduceus between them and parted, and so said his staff would bring peace.Hyginus. Astronomica, 2.7. Cited in "God of Heralds and Bringer of Peace". The Theoi Project: Greek Mythology. The caduceus, historically, appeared with Hermes, and is documented among the Babylonians from about 3500 BC. The two snakes coiled around a stick was a symbol of the god Ningishzida, which served as a mediator between humans and the goddess Ishtar or the supreme Ningirsu. In Greece itself the other gods have been depicted holding a caduceus, but it was mainly associated with Hermes. It was said to have the power to make people fall asleep or wake up, and also made peace between litigants, and is a visible sign of his authority, being used as a sceptre.He was represented in doorways, possibly as an amulet of good fortune, or as a symbol of purification. The caduceus is not to be confused with the Rod of Asclepius, the patron of medicine and son of Apollo, which bears only one snake. The rod of Asclepius was adopted by most Western doctors as a badge of their profession, but in several medical organizations of the United States, the caduceus took its place since the 18th century, although this use is declining. After the Renaissance the caduceus also appeared in the heraldic crests of several, and currently is a symbol of commerce.His sandals, called pédila by the Greeks and talaria by the Romans, were made of palm and myrtle branches but were described as beautiful, golden and immortal, made a sublime art, able to take the roads with the speed of wind. Originally, they had no wings, but late in the artistic representations, they are depicted. In certain images, the wings spring directly from the ankles. Hermes has also been depicted with a purse or a bag in his hands, wearing a robe or cloak, which had the power to confer invisibility. His weapon was a sword of gold, which killed Argos; lent to Perseus to kill Medusa.

In other religions

Christianity

According to Acts 14, when Paul the Apostle visited the city of Lystra, the people there mistook him for Hermes and his companion Barnabas for Zeus.WEB,weblink Acts 14:11-13, Bible Gateway, 27 January 2016,

Modern interpretation

File:Hermes-Figur an der Alten Post (Flensburg).jpg|thumb|upright|Hermes as a Postman on the Old-Mail-Office-Building in FlensburgFlensburg

Psychology

For Carl Jung Hermes's role as messenger between realms and as guide to the underworld,A Stevens, On Jung, Taylor & Francis, 1990. made him the god of the unconscious,JOURNAL, Merritt, Dennis L., 1996–1997, Jung and the Greening of Psychology and Education, Oregon Friends of C.G. Jung Newsletter, 6, 1, 9, 12, 13, (Online.) the mediator between the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind, and the guide for inner journeys.JC Miller, The Transcendent Function: Jung's Model of Psychological Growth Through Dialogue With the Unconscious, SUNY Press, 2004, {{ISBN|0791459772}}.Jung considered the gods Thoth and Hermes to be counterparts.H Yoshida, Joyce and Jung: The "Four Stages of Eroticism" In a Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man, Peter Lang, 2006, {{ISBN|0820469130}}. In Jungian psychology especially,CG Jung, R Main, Jung on Synchronicity and the Paranormal, Routledge, 1997. {{ISBN|0415155096}}. Hermes is seen as relevant to study of the phenomenon of synchronicityHJ Hannan, Initiation Through Trauma: A Comparative Study of the Descents of Inanna and Persephone: Dreaming Persephone Forward, ProQuest, 2005, {{ISBN|0549474803}}. (together with Pan and Dionysus):R Main, Revelations of Chance: Synhronicity as Spiritual Experience, SUNY Press, 2007, {{ISBN|0791470237}}.Gisela Labouvie-Viefn, Psyche and Eros: Mind and Gender in the Life Course Psyche and Eros: Mind and Gender in the Life Course, Cambridge University Press, 1994, {{ISBN|0521468248}}.He is identified by some with the archetype of healer,R López-Pedraza, Hermes and His Children, Daimon, 2003, p. 25, {{ISBN|3856306307}}. as the ancient Greeks ascribed healing magic to him.DA McNeely, Mercury Rising: Women, Evil, and the Trickster Gods, Fisher King Press, 2011, p. 86, {{ISBN|1926715543}}.In the context of abnormal psychology Samuels (1986) states that Jung considers Hermes the archetype for narcissistic disorder; however, he lends the disorder a "positive" (beneficious) aspect, and represents both the good and bad of narcissism.BOOK,weblink A Samuels, Jung and the Post-Jungians, Taylor & Francis, 1986, 0710208642, 1986, For López-Pedraza, Hermes is the protector of psychotherapy.López-Pedraza 2003, p. 19. For McNeely, Hermes is a god of the healing arts.Allan Beveridge, Portrait of the Psychiatrist as a Young Man: The Early Writing and Work of R.D. Laing, 1927-1960 (p. 88), International Perspectives in Philosophy and Psychiatry, OUP, {{ISBN|0199583579}}.According to Christopher Booker, all the roles Hermes held in ancient Greek thought all considered reveals Hermes to be a guide or observer of (wikt:transition|transition).Christopher Booker, (The Seven Basic Plots|The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories), Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004, {{ISBN|0826452094}}.For Jung, Hermes's role as trickster made him a guide through the psychotherapeutic process.

Hermes series essays

French philosopher Michel Serres wrote a set of essays called the Hermes series.LD Kritzman, The Columbia History of Twentieth-Century French Thought (p. 658), edited by LD Kritzman, BJ Reilly, Columbia University Press, 2007, {{ISBN|0231107900}}.

Hermes in popular culture

See (Greek mythology in popular culture#Hermes|Greek mythology in popular culture: Hermes)

See also

Notes

{{reflist|30em}}

References

  • Burkert, Walter, Greek Religion, Harvard University Press, 1985. {{ISBN|0-674-36281-0}}.
  • Gantz, Timothy, Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996, Two volumes: {{ISBN|978-0-8018-5360-9}} (Vol. 1), {{ISBN|978-0-8018-5362-3}} (Vol. 2).
  • Hesiod, Theogony, in The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1914. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
  • Homer, The Iliad with an English Translation by A.T. Murray, Ph.D. in two volumes. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1924. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
  • Homer; The Odyssey with an English Translation by A.T. Murray, PH.D. in two volumes. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1919. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
  • Lay, M. G., James E. Vance Jr.; Ways of the World: A History of the World's Roads and of the Vehicles That Used Them, Rutgers University Press, 1992, {{ISBN|0813526914}}.
  • Pausanias, Pausanias Description of Greece with an English Translation by W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., and H.A. Ormerod, M.A., in 4 Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1918. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.

Further reading

  • Allan, Arlene. 2018. Hermes. Gods and Heroes of the Ancient World.  London; New York:  Routledge.
  • Baudy, Gerhard, and Anne Ley. 2006. "Hermes." In Der Neue Pauly. Vol 5. Edited by Hubert Cancik and Helmuth Schneider. Stuttgart, and Weimar, Germany: Verlag J. B. Metzler.
  • Bungard, Christopher. 2011. "Lies, Lyres, and Laughter: Surplus Potential in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes." Arethusa 44.2: 143-165.
  • Bungard, Christopher. 2012. "Reconsidering Zeus' Order: The Reconciliation of Apollo and Hermes." The Classical World 105.4: 433-469.
  • Fowden, Garth. 1993. The Egyptian Hermes. A Historical Approach to the Late Pagan Mind. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.
  • Johnston, Sarah Iles. 2002. "Myth, Festival, and Poet: The Homeric Hymn to Hermes and its Performative Context." Classical Philology 97:109–132.
  • Kessler-Dimini, Elizabeth. 2008. "Tradition and Transmission: Hermes Kourotrophos in Nea Paphos, Cyprus." In Antiquity in Antiquity: Jewish and Christian Pasts in the Greco-Roman World. Edited by Gregg Gardner and K. L. Osterloh, 255–285. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck.
  • Russo, Joseph. 2000. "Athena and Hermes in Early Greek Poetry: Doubling and Complementarity." In Poesia e religione in Grecia. Studi in onore di G. Aurelio Privitera. Vol. 2. Edited by Maria Cannatà Ferra and S. Grandolini, 595–603. Perugia, Italy: Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane.
  • Schachter, Albert. 1986. Cults of Boiotia. Vol. 2, Heracles to Poseidon. London: Institute of Classical Studies.
  • Thomas, Oliver. 2010. “Ancient Greek Awareness of Child Language Acquisition.” Glotta 86: 185–223.
  • van Bladel, Kevin. 2009. The Arabic Hermes: From Pagan Sage to Prophet of Science. Oxford Studies in Late Antiquity. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.

External links

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