The Children of Zeus: Hermes (page 109)

Chapter 2: The Olympians

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♠ Homer, Odyssey 24.1-10

Meanwhile Cyllenian Hermes called forth the spirits of the wooers. He held in his hands his wand, a fair wand of gold, wherewith he lulls to sleep the eyes of whom he will, while others again he wakens even out of slumber; with this he roused and led the spirits, and they followed gibbering. And as in the innermost recess of a wondrous cave bats flit about gibbering, when one has fallen from off the rock from the chain in which they cling to one another, so these went with him gibbering, and Hermes, the Helper, led them down the dank ways. Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 11.625-26

The hound I carried off and led forth from the house of Hades; and Hermes was my guide, and flashing-eyed Athena. Greek Text

Sophokles, Aias 831-32

I call also on Hermes, guide to the underworld, to lay me softly to sleep  Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 15.319-24

By the favour of Hermes, the messenger, who lends grace and glory to all men’s work, in the business of serving no man beside can vie with me, in piling well a fire, in splitting dry faggots, in carving and roasting meat, and in pouring wine —in all things in which meaner men serve the noble. Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 19.394-98

when Odysseus had gone to Parnassus to visit Autolycus and the sons of Autolycus, his mother’s noble father, who excelled all men in thievery and in oaths. It was a god himself that had given him this skill, even Hermes, for to him he was wont to burn acceptable sacrifices of the thighs of lambs and kids; so Hermes befriended him with a ready heart. Greek Text

Hesiod, Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 126 MW – Fragmenta Hesiodea, p. 61, ed. R. Merkelbach and M. L. West. Oxford 1967. 

Aischylos, Hiketides 305

Argus, a son of Earth, whom Hermes slew  Greek Text

Bakchylides 19.19-33

When Argus, who could see all around with untiring eyes, was bidden by golden-robed Hera, the greatest queen, to guard the lovely-horned heifer, unresting and unsleeping; and the son of Maia could not evade him, neither by shining day nor by sacred night. Did it then happen that … the swift-footed messenger [of Zeus] then killed [the son of Earth] with mighty offspring … Argus?  Greek Text

Pherekydes 3F66 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 79, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Homer, Odyssey 8.335

Hermes, son of Zeus, messenger, giver of good things  Greek Text

Homeric Hymn to Hermes 18.12

Hail, Hermes, giver of grace, guide, and giver of good things! Greek Text

Homeric Hymn to Hestia 29.8

And you, Slayer of Argus, Son of Zeus and Maia, messenger of the blessed gods, bearer of the golden rod, giver of good  Greek Text

Homer, Iliad 16.181

Of her the strong Argeiphontes became enamoured  Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 5.49

With this in his hand the strong Argeiphontes flew. Greek Text

Phoronis fr 5 PEG – Poetae Epici Graeci 1, p. 120, ed. A. Bernabé. Leipzig 1987.

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

Diodoros Siculus 4.6.5

A birth like that of Priapus is ascribed by some writers of myths to Hermaphroditus, as he has been called, who was born of Hermes and Aphroditê and received a name which is a combination of those of both his parents. Greek Text

Pherekydes 3F120 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 92, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Scholia at Homer, Odyssey 19. 432: Philonis, daughter of Dion, lived in Parnassos where she lay with Apollo 〈and Hermes〉; for she possessed such a lovely beauty that even the  gods, despite being rivals, wished to lie with her. And so, from Apollo Philammon was begotten, a wise man who seems to have been the first to put together choruses of maidens, and from Hermes Autolykos was begotten. This one living in Parnassos stole and put away a lot. In fact, he possessed this art from his father, that when he stole something he escaped notice of men, and he changed the animals of his plunder into the shape that he wished, so that he became the master of a very large booty. The story is in Pherekydes.  (Transl. E. Bianchelli)

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

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