Hermes Presented by: Sam Rivera Group Members: Savannah Walters (Artemis) and Leah Mathews (Hercules)
Background on Hermes His mother Maia, a mountain nymph, wrapped him in cloth the night he was born, but when she went to sleep he took them off and went to steal Apollo’s cattle. He stole the cattle, found a tortoise, killed it, and used the shell to make the first lyre (harp), all before he was even a day old. The next morning Apollo accused Hermes of stealing the cattle, but Maia stood up for him because he had wrapped himself back into the cloth. Zeus, having seen all this, sided with Apollo and told Hermes to give the livestock back. Hermes then gave Apollo the lyre, along with the cattle, as a way of asking for forgiveness. Apollo accepted the gift, and was known from then on for his lyre.
Most prominent qualities • He was known as very cunning and shrewd • Known for his winged sandals and winged hat which he wore because Zeus wanted his messenger to be fast so he was portrayed this way by the Greeks. • He carries a magic wand (caduceus/medical symbol) • He created the lyre, pipes, musical scale, astronomy, weights and measures, boxing, and gymnastics • He is the god of thievery, commerce, shepherds, land travel, merchants, literature, and athletics • He is the guide of the dead to the Underworld • The most well known of all the gods • He had many loves
Hermes role on Olympus • He was Zeus’ personal messenger • He carried Zeus’ lightning bolts • He was known for playing tricks on the other gods and stealing from them • In some stories he was deemed as annoying and a nuisance • Not really loved by Zeus, but very needed by him
effect on Greek culture • Before people traveled they often offered a human sacrifice to Hermes so he would protect them on their journey • There weren’t many temples for him, but there were square statues of him called Herms that were placed in many places • The capital of the Greek island Syros is named Ermoupolis which means city of Hermes • He was greatly loved by the Greeks because they used and loved many of the things he created
Effect on modern culture • His winged sandals feature on the logo for Good Year, a tire company • The planet Mercury was named after his Roman name because it has the fastest revolution of all the planets and Hermes (Mercury) was the fastest of all the gods • The medical symbol is also the logo for the Medical Corps, a military organization that uses physicians to help injured military personnel
The caduceus/medical symbol • The rod in the middle represents Hermes initial magic wand given to him by Apollo and the wand represents the spine, the supporter of human life; this makes sense because Apollo is the god of medicine. • The wings represent Hermes’ shoes and hat
…continued • The two serpents represent the two halves of the nervous system: sympathetic and parasympathetic • Sympathetic: the nerves in the thoratic (the heart, lungs, and protective ribs) part of the body; the part of the body that cannot be controlled • Parasympathetic: relates to the nerves in the brain and eyes; the part of the body that can be controlled
bibliography • Osborne, David K. "Hermes and His Magic Wand." Greek Mythology: Hermes. N.p., 2010. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. <http://www.greekmedicine.net/mythology/hermes.html • "Definition of Sympathetic in English:." Sympathetic: Definition of Sympathetic in Oxford Dictionary (American English) (US). 2014 Oxford University Press, 2014. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. <http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/American _english/sympathetic?q=sympathetic>. • "Ganglia." Dictionary.com. 2014 Dictionary.com, 2014. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ganglia?s=t>. • "Hermes." Hermes. Greekmythology.com, 2005. Web. 9 Apr. 2014. <http://greekmythology.com/Olympians/Hermes/hermes.html>.