Hermes (Myths and Legends of the World)
In Greek mythology, Hermes was the fleet-footed messenger of the gods. His parents were Zeus, king of the gods, and Maia, one of the seven sisters known as the Pleiades. The Romans identified Hermes with Mercury, the god of merchants and trade, and they placed his main temple near the merchants' quarter in ancient Rome.
The Greeks looked upon Hermes as a of travelers, merchants, and thieves and as a bringer of good luck. Because of his reputation as a speedy messenger, the god became popular among athletes. Many ancient sports arenas had statues of the god. In later art, Hermes was usually depicted as a young man wearing winged sandals and a wide-brimmed hat with wings. He also carried a staff with two snakes known as a caduceus.
While still an infant, Hermes killed a tortoise and used its shell to make a stringed instrument called a lyre. Soon afterward, he stole some cattle belonging to ApolloGreek god of the sun, the arts, medicine, and herdsmen; son of Zeus and Leto and twin brother of Artemis and then returned to his cradle. When Apollo came looking for the animals, Hermes pretended to know nothing and told a cunning tale to prove his innocence. In the course of telling his tale, he stole Apollo's bow and arrows.
Zeus insisted that the cattle be returned, so Hermes brought Apollo to the place where they were...
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