Was Hermes a Bad Guy?

Hermes is a well-known figure in Greek mythology. He is often depicted as the messenger of the gods, the god of commerce, and the patron of travelers and thieves. But was Hermes a bad guy?

The Origins of Hermes

Hermes was born to Zeus and Maia, one of the Pleiades. He was born in a cave on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia, Greece. As a baby, he displayed remarkable intelligence and cunning, which made him a favorite among the gods.

The Role of Hermes in Greek Mythology

As mentioned earlier, Hermes was known for his various roles. He was the messenger of the gods, carrying important messages between them and humans. He was also considered the god of commerce because he protected merchants and their trade routes.

However, Hermes also had a reputation for being mischievous and deceitful. He was known for his pranks, which often involved stealing or tricking others. For example, he once stole Apollo’s cattle and tricked him into accepting a lyre as compensation.

The Judgment of Paris

One of Hermes’ most controversial actions was his involvement in the Judgment of Paris. According to Greek mythology, Eris, the goddess of discord, threw a golden apple inscribed with “To The Fairest” among the goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite.

Zeus ordered Hermes to escort Paris to Mount Ida in order to judge which goddess should receive the golden apple. In exchange for his help, Hermes promised Paris that he would be successful with women.

Paris ultimately chose Aphrodite as the fairest goddess because she promised him Helen of Troy as his wife. This decision led to the Trojan War.

The Legacy of Hermes

Despite his reputation for mischief and deceitfulness, Hermes has remained an important figure throughout history. He is often depicted in art and literature as a symbol of communication, commerce, and travel.

In modern times, the logo of the luxury fashion brand Hermes features the god’s head. The brand also produces a line of fragrances named after him.


So was Hermes a bad guy? It’s difficult to say for certain. While he certainly had a reputation for being mischievous and deceitful, he also played an important role in Greek mythology and continues to be celebrated today.

Ultimately, whether or not you believe Hermes was a bad guy may depend on your personal interpretation of his actions and legacy.