We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Who is Hermes?

Mary Elizabeth
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Language & Humanities is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Language & Humanities, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

In Greek mythology, Hermes is one of the Olympian gods, usually numbered at 12, and like many of the Olympians — Athena, Ares, Apollo, Hephaestus, and Artemis — he is a child of Zeus. Hermes is the messenger god, as well as the god of travelers, roads, livestock, merchants, young men, and thieves. He is the leader of souls, or psychopompus, who conducts the dead to the realm of Hades in the underworld, and he is also known as the god of dreams. His symbol is his wand, the kerykeion or caduceus, and his winged sandals. His counterpart in Roman mythology is Mercury.

Maia, a daughter of Atlas, was Hermes’ mother, but little is known about her other than a brief mention in Hesiod. Hermes began to make a name for himself very shortly after his birth, killing a tortoise in order to use its shell to make the very first lyre. Needing strings for his lyre, he stole his brother Apollo’s cattle, so he could use their intestines to complete his instrument. Knowing full well that this would not please Apollo, he attempted to cover the theft by making the cows walk backward and following them wearing shoes made of twigs worn backward.

All of Hermes’ ploys were wasted, because he was seen in the act by an old man who told Apollo. When Apollo went to confront the thief, he found the infant sleeping innocently in his cradle. Apollo hauled him off to an audience with Zeus, and Hermes finally confessed, offering Apollo the lyre in payment. Apollo was so pleased that he bestowed the rest of the herd on his brother in exchange. Apollo also gave Hermes his herald’s staff or wand, the caduceus, which bore the design of two serpents twining around it. It was also Hermes who liberated Io from Hera after Zeus turned Io into a cow to hide his extramarital doings from Hera and then ended up having to give Hera the heifer as a gift.

Hermes had several sons. Daphnis, his son with a nymph, was the inventor of pastoral music. Pan, another son, does not have a clearly identified mother; he is half man and half goat, and associated with the Roman deity Faunus. Abderus, too, is a son of Hermes who lacks a known mother. He was a companion of Hercules or Heracles in the capture of the mares of Diomedes. The mares were left in Abderus’s care while Hercules was away, and they devoured him, and act for which Hercules sought vengeance. Hermaphroditus was the son of Hermes and the goddess Aphrodite, and Autolycus, the great thief, was his son with Chione, the daughter of Daedalion. Autolycus is also the grandfather of Odysseus.

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, and named for the God. Hermes was the name of a French mini-shuttle, designed to carry three astronauts and service a small space station. Although the program was begun in 1987, it was eventually terminated, prior to any of the shuttles being built. Mercury is also an element, named after the god for his renowned speed, and the Mercury program was the US series of flights that put astronaut John Glenn in orbit in 1962.

Language & Humanities is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary Elizabeth
By Mary Elizabeth
Passionate about reading, writing, and research, Mary Elizabeth is dedicated to correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to writing articles on art, literature, and music for Language & Humanities, Mary works as a teacher, composer, and author who has written books, study guides, and teaching materials. Mary has also created music composition content for Sibelius Software. She earned her B.A. from University of Chicago's writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont.
Discussion Comments
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Passionate about reading, writing, and research, Mary Elizabeth is dedicated to correcting misinformation on the...
Learn more
Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.