What Is the Most Famous Myth About Hermes?

Hermes, the Greek god of commerce, thieves, travelers, and athletes, is a well-known figure in Greek mythology. He is often depicted as a youthful and athletic figure with winged sandals and a winged cap. However, there is one myth about Hermes that has become particularly famous over the years.

The most famous myth about Hermes revolves around his birth. According to the myth, Hermes was born in a cave on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia.

His mother was Maia, one of the Pleiades and daughter of Atlas. His father was Zeus, king of the gods.

Legend has it that on the day of his birth, Hermes showed remarkable intelligence and cunning. He immediately crawled out of his cradle and set off to explore the world outside his cave. Along the way, he came across a herd of cattle belonging to Apollo, his half-brother.

Hermes was fascinated by the cattle and decided to steal some of them for himself. He cleverly created sandals with branches from a nearby tree to disguise his tracks and drove the cattle back to his cave.

When Apollo discovered that his cattle were missing, he was furious. He searched high and low for them but couldn’t find any trace of them. Eventually, he came across Hermes’ cave.

Apollo accused Hermes of stealing his cattle but Hermes denied it. To prove his innocence, he led Apollo back to where he had hidden them. When they arrived at the cave, Hermes pulled out a lyre that he had also stolen from Apollo and began playing it beautifully.

Apollo was so enchanted by the music that he offered to trade his remaining cattle for the lyre. And so began their relationship as friends and rivals.

This myth has become famous for several reasons. Firstly, it showcases Hermes’ intelligence and cunning – traits that are often associated with him in Greek mythology. Secondly, it highlights his mischievous nature – something that is also typical of him in many myths.

Finally, the myth is famous for its depiction of the relationship between Hermes and Apollo. They are often portrayed as friends and rivals in Greek mythology, with Hermes being the more mischievous of the two.

In conclusion, while there are many myths about Hermes, his birth and theft of Apollo’s cattle is perhaps the most famous. It showcases his intelligence, cunning, and mischievous nature while also highlighting his relationship with Apollo. It is a story that has captivated people for centuries and continues to be retold to this day.