The Greek Myth of Hermes


Hermes, born to Zeus & Maia, steals Apollo’s cattle, invents the lyre, and, with wit, becomes the messenger god after a divine reconciliation. Enjoy the story.

In the twilight of the world’s dawn, when gods and mortals walked closer together than now, Hermes, the wily and swift, was born. Son of Zeus, the king of gods, and Maia, a daughter of Atlas, Hermes’s story is interwoven with threads of cunning, invention, and perpetual charm that dance through the annals of myth.

On the very day of his birth, in a cave on Mount Cyllene, Hermes’s extraordinary nature was unveiled. No sooner had the light of his first dawn broken than he crafted the lyre from a tortoise shell, displaying an inventiveness that would become his hallmark.

Yet, his soul yearned for more than mere creation; it sought adventure and mischief.

Venturing beyond the comforting shadows of his mother’s cave, Hermes, with a glint of mischief in his eyes, encountered Apollo’s sacred herd.

The sight of the magnificent cattle, basking under the sun’s benevolent gaze, proved too tempting. With a blend of cunning and audacity, he stole fifty of Apollo’s finest.

To mislead any pursuers, he crafted sandals that reversed his footprints, a trick that ensured his theft remained a mystery. Yet, as he returned to his cradle, a sense of exhilaration filled his heart, not guilt.

Apollo, however, guided by divine intuition and the world’s whispers, traced the theft to Hermes. Enraged yet composed, Apollo confronted Hermes, setting a scene of confrontation and wonder against the backdrop of the majestic Mount Cyllene.

“Little brother,” Apollo began, his voice carrying the warmth of the sun and the firmness of truth, “think not your clever tricks can outwit the sight of Apollo. Return my cattle, for theft ill befits the son of Zeus.”

Hermes, lying in his crib, met Apollo’s gaze, his eyes twinkling with unrepentant glee. “Oh, brother, who values truth above all, where is your proof? For I am but a day old, swaddled and innocent.”

Their dispute, ripe with tension and charged with divine aura, caught the attention of Zeus himself. Intrigued and amused by his youngest son’s audacity, Zeus intervened.

“Enough,” Zeus‘s voice thundered, echoing with authority and a hint of mirth. “Hermes, the art of reconciliation befits a god as well. Make amends with your brother.”

In a gesture of reconciliation, Hermes offered Apollo the lyre. “For you, brother, may its music soothe your fury and bond us forever.”

As Apollo’s fingers strummed the lyre, a melody of unparalleled beauty filled the air, melting his anger and weaving a bond between the brothers. “In exchange for this gift,” Apollo declared, his anger dissolved into admiration, “I grant you the Caduceus. May it guide your words and actions.”

Thus, Hermes was known thereafter as the messenger of the gods, a guide for souls, and the patron of travelers, shepherds, and thieves. He embodied the bridge between the mortal and the divine, the known and the mysterious.

But beyond roles and titles, Hermes’s essence lay in the spaces between – a reminder of the power of wit, the beauty of reconciliation, and the endless dance of change.

Thus unfolds the tale of Hermes, a story that weaves through the fabric of myth like a golden thread, reminding us of the lightness of being and the laughter of gods.

In the echoes of his lyre, in the whisper of his wings, Hermes lives on, ever swift, ever cunning, a light for all who cherish the journey over the destination.

Follow Up Questions

Who are Hermes’s parents?
What did Hermes invent on his first day?
How did Hermes become the messenger of the gods?

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