What can Hermes do with his wand?

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seesaw81297 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

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With his herald's wand (later known as a caduceus), Hermes guided travelers and led the souls of the dead down to Hades (the underworld). His wand could also provide wealth by turning everything it touched into gold.

In Book V, Homer tells us that, with his wand, Hermes "seals men's eyes in sleep or wakes them just as he pleases" (Samuel Butler translation), or "mazes the eyes of those mortals whose eyes he would maze, or wakes again the sleepers" (Richmond Lattimore translation), or "enchants the eyes of men whenever Hermes wants, or wakes us up from sleep" (Robert Fagles translation).

 

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