Gods of Olympus

Hermes

In Greek mythology, Hermes is the messenger of the gods. Among other things, he is the protector of the roads and pilgrims, but also of thieves. He also embodies the god of trade, deceit and trickery. He was born on Mount Kyllene in Arcadia to the gods Zeus and Maia.

He began to show his cunning and cleverness immediately after his birth. Secretly, so that his mother would not know, he sneaked out of his diapers and went to Pieria, where Apollo was tending his herd of cows. From this herd Hermes stole 15 cows and tied reeds and branches to their legs to cover their tracks as they walked. At Boi├│tii he met an old man and promised him a cow on condition that he would not reveal what he had seen to anyone. The old man agreed. But Hermes needed to test him, so he changed his appearance. He then came to the old man and offered him a bull and a cow if the old man would tell him everything he had seen. After a moment's hesitation, the old man agreed. This angered Hermes so much that he turned the old man into a mute rock to keep him silent forever.

Once Hermes had led the cows to Pylos, he sacrificed two of them to the gods and led the rest backwards into the cave. Backwards because the footprints went out of the cave instead of in. Then he went back to the swaddling clothes. At that time, Apollo began to look for his missing cows. The oracle bird told him to look for them in the Pylos. But Apollo didn't look in the cave because the tracks went out of the cave. So he went to Hermes, whom he began to rebuke for the theft, and demanded the return of all the cows. But Hermes was so clever that Apollo failed to catch Hermes. All he could do was bring Hermes before Zeus to judge them. Zeus ordered Hermes to return the cows. In returning the cows, Hermes began to play the lyre so beautifully that he made a deal with Apollo to keep the cows and give Apollo the lyre.

But Hermes got bored while herding the cows, so he made a shepherd's pipe. Apollo reappeared and gave him his golden shepherd's staff for the pipe, plus sent him to his nannies who taught him to divine from pebbles. Thus Hermes became the god of all cowherds and sheepherders.

As soon as Zeus found out, he made his son a messenger of the gods.

Hermes is also said to have invented fisticuffs, astronomy, the tonal scale and many other things.