Hermes is the God of eloquence, commerce, and travellers. He overlooks transitions and boundaries, and as a divine intermediary acts as the messenger of the Gods. He is also a tutelary deity of gymnastics and athletics, with his image frequently depicted in gymnasiums.

Early on Hermes was worshipped in rural Greek regions as a nature deity until He begun to be understood as a teacher to mankind. It was through the agency of Hermes and Prometheus that Zeus-Helios bestowed humanity with reason, mind, and eloquence. While Prometheus blessed mankind with practical wisdom, Hermes blessed mankind with civic wisdom; giving humanity both Justice and a sense of Shame.



Souls on the Banks of the Acheron, 1898

As divine messenger, Hermes has a mediating role between the divine and the profane. This role extends to that of psychopomp, where He is said to escort the souls of the dead to the next life. He is invoked as Hermes Khthonios.


He is typically depicted as young and beardless. He is often depicted near naked, but might have a travellers cloak draped over his shoulder or on his back, a talaria (winged sandals), and typically wears a winged helmet, but sometimes it is a Petasos (a type of ancient hat).

Animals He is associated with are tortoises and roosters. He is associated with the lyre as well.

Hermes is frequently depicted with the Caduceus, a winged staff with two snakes wrapped around it, which represents wisdom and His trade & intermediary status between mortal and divine realms.


Flavius Claudius Iulianus Augustus, and Wilmer Cave. Wright. The works of emperor Julian. London: Heinemann etc., 1962.