In Greek mythology, Hermes, referred to as Mercury by the Romans, was the trickster and messenger of the Olympian gods.

Hermes was the son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. Apollo was Hermes’s older brother. As a new child, Hermes stole a herd of Apollo’s cattle, protecting his tracks by strolling backward. When confronted by his understandably indignant brother, Hermes defused the scenario by giving Apollo a harp that he had crafted out of a turtle shell in trade for the cattle.

As the messenger of the gods, Hermes acted as a psychopomp, or soul information, transporting the spirits of the newly lifeless to the underworld. Hermes is often portrayed as a slender, athletic youth. His hat and sandals had wings, and he carried a shepherd’s employees with two serpents twined round it (the caduceus, now a logo of the medical career). Hermes was the patron god of shepherds, vacationers, and thieves. He was honored by pillarlike statues referred to as “herms,” which had been set as highway and boundary markers.

In addition to his duties as a messenger, Hermes was typically referred to as upon to assist the gods and the mortals they protected, utilizing his fast intelligence and allure. He freed Odysseus from the grasp of the sorceress Circe when she turned him and his males into pigs. He helped Odysseus once more by convincing the nymph Calypso to enable Odysseus to go away her island and return house. Hermes additionally helped negotiate Persephone’s return from the underworld and guided Orpheus’s spouse, Eurydice, again after Orpheus failed to rescue her from dying.

Hermes was the cleverest of the Greek gods. He was credited with many innovations, together with cube, astronomy, the lyeare, fire, and the first system of weights and measures.