The Children of Zeus: Hermes (page 107, with art)

Chapter 2: The Olympians

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Homer, Iliad 14.489-92

Howbeit Peneleos thrust and smote Ilioneus, son of Phorbas, rich in herds, whom Hermes loved above all the Trojans and gave him wealth; and to him the mother bare Ilioneus, an only child. Greek Text

Homer, Iliad 16.179-86

And of the next company warlike Eudorus was captain, the son of a girl unwed, and him did Polymele, fair in the dance, daughter of Phylas, bear. Of her the strong Argeiphontes became enamoured, when his eyes had sight of her amid the singing maidens, in the dancing-floor of Artemis, huntress of the golden arrows and the echoing chase. Forthwith then he went up into her upper chamber, and lay with her secretly, even Hermes the helper, and she gave him a goodly son, Eudorus, pre-eminent in speed of foot and as a warrior. Greek Text

Homer, Iliad 2.511-14

And they that dwelt in Aspledon and Orchomenus of the Minyae were led by Ascalaphus and Ialmenus, sons of Ares, whom, in the palace of Actor, son of Azeus, Astyoche, the honoured maiden, conceived of mighty Ares, when she had entered into her upper chamber. Greek Text

Homer, Iliad 5.388-91

and then would Ares, insatiate of war, have perished, had not the stepmother of the sons of Aloeus, the beauteous Eëriboea, brought tidings unto Hermes; and he stole forth Ares, that was now sore distressed, for his grievous bonds were overpowering him. Greek Text

Homer, Iliad 24.23-24

Thus Achilles in his fury did foul despite unto goodly Hector; but the blessed gods had pity on him as they beheld him, and bestirred the keen-sighted Argeiphontes to steal away the corpse. Greek Text

ApB 1.6.3 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

Likewise he put away the sinews there also, hidden in a bearskin, and he set to guard them the she-dragon Delphyne, who was a half-bestial maiden. But Hermes and Aegipan stole the sinews and fitted them unobserved to Zeus. Greek Text

Homer, Iliad 21.497-501

But unto Leto spake the messenger Argeiphontes: “Leto, it is not I that will anywise fight with thee; a hard thing were it to bandy blows with the wives of Zeus, the cloud-gatherer; nay, with a right ready heart boast thou among the immortal gods that thou didst vanquish me with thy great might.” Greek Text

Homer, Iliad 24.399-45

So spake he, and the messenger, Argeiphontes, failed not to hearken. Straightway he bound beneath his feet his beautiful sandals, immortal, golden, which were wont to bear him over the waters of the sea and over the boundless land swift as the blasts of the wind. And he took the wand wherewith he lulls to sleep the eyes of whom he will, while others again he awakens even out of slumber. With this in his hand the strong Argeiphontes flew. Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 5.43-49

So he spoke, and the messenger, Argeiphontes, failed not to hearken. Straightway he bound beneath his feet his beautiful sandals, immortal, golden, which were wont to bear him over the waters of the sea and over the boundless land swift as the blasts of the wind. And he took the wand wherewith he lulls to sleep the eyes of whom he will, while others again he awakens even out of slumber. With this in his hand the strong Argeiphontes flew. Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 1.96-98

So she spoke, and bound beneath her feet her beautiful sandals, immortal, golden, which were wont to bear her both over the waters of the sea and over the boundless land swift as the blasts of the wind. Greek Text

Homeric Hymn to Hermes 4.528-30

Moreover, I will give you a splendid staff of riches and wealth: it is of gold, with three branches, and will keep you scatheless, accomplishing every task, whether of words or deeds that are good, which I claim to know through the utterance of Zeus. Greek text

Bakchylides 19.29-39

Did it then happen that … the swift-footed messenger [of Zeus] then killed [the son of Earth] with mighty offspring … Argus? Or was it that … unutterable cares? Or did the Pierian Muses bring about … rest from troubles … ? Greek Text

Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.583-723

Inachus
alone is absent, hidden in his cave
obscure, deepening his waters with his tears—
most wretchedly bewailing, for he deems
his daughter Io lost. If she may live
or roam a spirit in the nether shades
he dares not even guess but dreads

for Jove not long before had seen her while
returning from her father’s stream, and said;
“O virgin, worthy of immortal Jove,
although some happy mortal’s chosen bride,—
behold these shades of overhanging trees,
and seek their cool recesses while the sun
is glowing in the height of middle skies—”
and as he spoke he pointed out the groves—
“But should the dens of wild beasts frighten you,
with safety you may enter the deep woods,
conducted by a God—not with a God
of small repute, but in the care of him
who holds the heavenly scepter in his hand
and fulminates the trackless thunder bolts.—
forsake me not! ” For while he spoke she fled,
and swiftly left behind the pasture fields
of Lerna, and Lyrcea’s arbours, where
the trees are planted thickly. But the God
called forth a heavy shadow which involved
the wide extended earth, and stopped her flight
and ravished in that cloud her chastity. Continue ReadingLatin Text

Ovid, Metamorphoses 11.307-9

Hermes could not endure delay and with
the magic of his wand, that causes sleep,
he touched the virgin’s face; and instantly,
as if entranced, she lay there fast asleep,
and suffered violence from the ardent god. Latin Text

Homer, Odyssey 5.87

Why, pray, Hermes of the golden wand, hast thou come? Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 10.277

then Hermes, of the golden wand, met me as I went toward the house. Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 10.331

Argeiphontes of the golden wand  Greek Text

Homeric Hymn to Hermes 4.14

For then she bare a son, of many shifts, blandly cunning, a robber, a cattle driver, a bringer of dreams. Greek Text

Rome, Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia 22679: Protocorinthian olpe (the Chigi Vase), Judgement of Paris, with top of Hermes’ wand visible to right of Paris (labeled Alexandros)

Photo from flickr

Paris, Musée du Louvre E874: Attic black-figure dinos by the Gorgon Painter with chariot, Hermes with wand, Athena, Gorgons

Photo by Hervé Lewandowski

Beazley Archive Pottery Database

Sophokles, Philoktetes at Troy fr 701 R – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 4, p. 484, ed. S.L. Radt. Göttingen 1977.

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#Gorgons

Artistic sources edited by R. Ross Holloway, Elisha Benjamin Andrews Professor Emeritus, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown Univ., and Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, June 2019.

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, February 2021

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