Who Was Hermes in Greek Mythology?

In Greek mythology, Hermes was the messenger of the gods and the patron of travelers, thieves, and merchants. He was the son of Zeus and Maia, a nymph and one of the Pleiades.

Hermes was known for his wit, cunning, and ability to move quickly. Here’s everything you need to know about this fascinating god.

Early Life

Hermes was born in a cave on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia. According to the legend, he was born at dawn and by midday he had already invented the lyre using a turtle shell.

As a child, Hermes was known for his mischief. He stole Apollo’s cattle on his first day of life! However, he appeased Apollo by gifting him with his lyre.

Role in Greek Mythology

As mentioned earlier, Hermes was known as the messenger of the gods and had winged sandals that allowed him to move swiftly between worlds. He also had a special wand called caduceus which could bring sleep or wakefulness to mortals.

Apart from being a messenger god, Hermes also played an important role in guiding souls to the underworld after they died. This made him an important figure in funerary rites.

Symbols Associated with Hermes

Hermes is often depicted wearing a winged hat or petasos and winged sandals or talaria. These symbols represent his speed and agility as well as his role as a messenger. The caduceus is another symbol associated with Hermes which represents commerce.


Hermes has been one of the most enduring figures from Greek mythology throughout history. He has inspired countless works of art including paintings, sculptures, literature, music and more.

In addition to this legacy in art and culture, many modern businesses have taken inspiration from Hermes’ role as patron of commerce and merchants. The luxury brand Hermes, which is famous for its high-quality leather goods, was named after the god.


Hermes was a fascinating figure in Greek mythology, known for his wit, cunning, and ability to move quickly. He played an important role as the messenger of the gods and had a significant influence on the world of commerce. His symbols continue to be used today, making him an enduring figure in popular culture.