Talk:Hermes

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Spurious cairns[edit]

From the Oxford Classical Dictionary: "Hermes ('Έρμης'). Already attested among the Mycenaean pantheon (tables from Cnossus in Crete, Pylos, and Thebes), the god has no original connection with ἕρμα or cairn of stones, as was once thought." Therefore, that sentence has been removed. (anon.)

The following cute tale is spurious and modern, based on the same misconception, so I've moved it here: "When Hera found out Hermes had killed her servant, Argus, she called an Olympian trial. Each god or goddess was given a stone with their name on it. If the god/goddess found Hermes guilty, they cast their stone at Hera's feet. If they found Hermes innocent, they cast their stone at Hermes's feet. At the end of the trial, Hermes had stones up to his head. From then on, travelers put large piles of rocks at crossroads as a small shrine to Hermes." --Wetman 03:44, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Hermes is NOT female[edit]

I go to get information on Hermes and find that someone went into the first and made Hermes out to be female. "Hermes, in Greek mythology, is the goddess of commerce, creativity, communication and cleverness. As a translator, she is the messenger from the gods to humans." Not true. Kinda funny since I'm pretty sure the statue in the picture has a penis. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and edit it so that it's correct. It's disapointing that there are idiots out there who do stuff like that.

Number of Offspring[edit]

ŔHermes had 2 many offsprings!kinda scary huh.

I don't think so... Check out Zeus and Poseidon, they have even more. Wiki3857 21:30, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

letter missing[edit]

This is quite obviously just a typo but is seens that editors have missed a letter "ρ" (rho) in god's name in greek. Therefore it must be 'Έρμης'. Thank you. --maqs 23:23, Nov 26, 2004 (UTC)

A god or a demi-god?[edit]

Is Hermes truly a god, or just a demi-god? As his mother was not a goddess, I sould suppose he was actually a demi-god - but then, maybe this was not as distinct line between gods and demi-gods as I think. Habj 08:16, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

An Olympian god. --Wetman 10:00, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Indeed a very detailed answer. However, if the definition of demigod is that one parent is god and the other human, I guess the offspring of a god and a nymph can be a true god as the human part is lacking. I believed I heard him being mentioned as a demigod, but I suppose I was wrong. Habj 12:19, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Wikipedia's article Demigod is the problem. Working on it... --Wetman 22:27, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, I agree, a demi-god must have a human half, but nymphs doesn't have that so I guess you could call him a god Hermes13 (talk) 16:03, 11 April 2010 (UTC) hermes13

Spelling correction[edit]

I corrected the spelling of the word Steal from Steel in part one.


Myth telling: stick to the script folks[edit]

The retelling of Greek myths in general needs to follow and credit Greek sources, so that the Wikipedia reader can pursue the details. Then we won't get interpretations that are inconceivable, such as this concerning the slaying of Argus, that I've just excised: "Some say that is representative of killing the disapproving eyes of the community, always policing good conduct in a shame-based society through their disapproving gaze.". Another case of "some say..." --Wetman 07:29, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Consistency[edit]

Am I crazy, or should all the articles on Greek Gods/Goddesses follow a similar design? Maybe?

Is consistency of greatest concern? Doesn't every highh-school graduate know that each of the Olympian gods has a different pre-history? --Wetman 03:51, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

No, virtually no high school graduate and very few four-year college graduates know much of anything about mythology (or much else). At least in the USA. Also, I corrected the spelling on the above header. BIEB!! 15:16, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

Material that I have now carefully restored to the article may be assessed in this page history comparison. People have been working on this article for nearly four years. This restored material is perfectly mainstream and entirely on-topic, as anyone may check to see. Editors of this article should have good control of tenses: the historical past and the literary eternal present. --Wetman 03:51, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

  • "Hermes is" or "Hermes was"? Myth and literature conventionally takes the present: "Jane Austen's Emma is..." "Julius Caesar was..." "Shiva is one of the Trimurti.." "Jesus was crucified" "Mary is the Star of the Sea".
  • "translator and diplomat" Adding the modern conception "diplomat" blurs the interprtations being built up of boundaries, crossing boundaries, interpreter.
  • " A lucky find was a hermaion. An interpreter who bridges the boundaries with strangers is a hermeneus. Hermes gives us our word "hermeneutics" for the art of interpreting hidden meaning." Shifting these away from the development of what Hermes signified, and listing them under "etymology" (not what etymology means), breaks any development of why the aspects of Hermes are connected. They are just an arbitary list of random attributes for one editor, apparently, but needn't be so for the rest of us.
  • "Hermes as an inventor of fire is a parallel of the Titan, Prometheus." Why would an editor delete this? I've added the source in the Homeric hymn.
  • "Main article: Herma". This is a guidepost to the Wikipedia reader. Why would a responsible editor delete it?
  • "The god Priapus was believed by some to be a son of Hermes and Aphrodite." Why would "believed by some" be interpolated in this sentence?
  • Link Krokus (mythology). Why revise this to Krokus?

I make these points because this is the second time I've had to pick apart these unnecessary tangles. --Wetman 04:39, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I think seven years is long enough to wait in order to make such changes, so I went ahead and adjusted the tense in the lead. The other instances of past-tense usage all refer to specific events ("Hermes was worshiped in X") or paraphrase ancient writers ("Homer said Y"), so they seemed appropriate as-is. In addition to present tense matching the conventions of literature, I looked at several other deity articles (Zeus, Aphrodite, Odin, and God), all of which use the present tense as described.--~TPW 20:05, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Hearsay[edit]

I've just noticed the following, which I've moved here: "Hermes helped the runner in the Battle of Marathon by giving him a pair of his famous winged sandals. This enabled the runner to complete his journey without feeling tired. Even though it is said that he died from exhaution in the end." The contributors of this twaddle are unaware of Pheidippides I suppose; the Wikipedia article in question is very sensible and informed, and should be looked at. Where is there such a tale told? I always suspect television, probably unfairly.--Wetman 11:07, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

What's with this entry?[edit]

Why does this article start with the phrase "blah blah blah"??! Is it just graffiti? This is the kind of thing that really turns me off of Wikipedia. (anonymous)

I have just reverted this entry the last 50 edits to clean up vandalism. In 50 edits there was no contribution, only struggles to keep this article from the vandalism pointed out by the anonymity above. Semi-protection would spare adults a lot of fruitless labor here. --Wetman 00:03, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Featured?[edit]

This article seems very good, but it doesn't seem to have the star to indicate it has been featured- any particular reason? Biscuitman 00:13, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

The sense of the etymology[edit]

See my inquiry under Herma. —Largo Plazo 15:56, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

"of many shifts"[edit]

Someone with some Greek might like to check whether this epithet that's applied to Hermes in the Homeric Hymn is the very same epithet applied to crafty Odysseus, right at the start of the Odyssey. If it is, that would make a really good ref/ref note at the quoted phrase here. --Wetman 03:52, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

etymology[edit]

The name Hermes has been thought to be derived from the Greek word herma (ἕρμα), which denotes a square or rectangular pillar with the head of Hermes (usually with a beard) adorning the top of the pillar, and male genitals below; however, due to the god's attestation in the Mycenaean pantheon, as Hermes Araoia ("Ram Hermes") in Linear B inscriptions at Pylos and Mycenaean Knossos (Ventris and Chadwick), the connection is more likely to have moved the opposite way, from deity to pillar representations.

Is that a universally held view? For one thing, as I understand it, no stories about Hermes explain the erect phallus on the pillars (which is not mentioned in the article). At any rate the passage is a bit misleading in that it suggests first there was a god of boundaries, then a tradition of marking boundaries, which on the face of it seems counter-intuitive.
(edit) see this from britannica: According to some scholars, Hermes' name may be derived from the word herma (Greek: “stone,” or “rock,” such as a boundary or landmark). With the development of artistic taste and the conception of the gods as having human form, these objects tended to be replaced either by statues or by pillars that were generally square and tapering toward the bottom so as to suggest the human figure. These were usually surmounted by the head of Hermes (hence the name) and had a phallus. They were used not only as cult objects but also for a variety of other purposes, for example, as milestones or boundary marks. britannica Hakluyt bean 03:44, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
I added "ithyphallic" so that "genitals" would stand out better. Added Müller 1848 for the classic etymology. --Wetman 05:06, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

What, no staff?[edit]

Something should be mentioned about the staff. I was looking for the (medical) symbol, and all I knew about it was that it had something to do with Hermes. Searching the page yields nothing. Eventually I was reduced to searching for "staff, serpents, wings". I found out it was called a Caduceus, and that page links back to Hermes in the first paragraph. A little reciprocal linking would've made the search easier. That's my two cents, anyway. --Buddy13 21:13, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Round Hat[edit]

Hermes did NOT have a winged helmet, he had a round hat —Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.84.243.23 (talk) 13:30, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

I think that it was Mercury that had the winged helmet. Firio (talk) 18:13, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Vandalism[edit]

Removed the following text from the main article:

"He also known for being gay and having many relations with other gods many,many,many times. This is what lead to the discovery of AIDS/HIV cause he he had later got the disease-"

A thorough review may be necessary to ensure the article's integrity.

Robskin (talk) 19:32, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

I hate it when people do that, I mean what's the use of doing it? Hermes13 (talk) 16:06, 11 April 2010 (UTC) hermes13

Hermes, Thoth and Enoch[edit]

Some have linked Thoth with Hermes, and Hermes with the mysterious Judeo-Christian figure of Enoch. I don't know this works out, but comparisons may be appreciated if they can proven to be relevant. ADM (talk) 20:16, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

re. Hermes, Thoth and Enoch[edit]

To be precise it is Hermes Trismegistus (thrice Great) who is equated with Thoth. Ancient Greek settlers in Egypt recognized their Hermes in Thoth’s attribute of communicator of written divine knowledge. Their identity with Enoch is from ISLAMIC Alchemy, see Idris/Enoch in Aftab Saeed’s “Study of Muslim Alchemy ...” pdf. And also Idris/Enoch. Considering why Alchemists would consider Enoch thrice-great : 1. he begat Methuselah, the oldest person in the Bible (Genesis 5:21) and longevity is one goal of alchemy. 2. he was great-grandfather of Noah, the saviour of the best from the dross: another goal of alchemy. But most of all great because, although the other Patriarchs just "died" at their end: 3. "Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him" (Genesis 5.4). This can be read as mystical death. Not just "I no longer live, but the Lord lives in me” (Galatians 2:20), but a station where any consciousness of “me” is gone altogether! Annihilation of the self in God is Union with The Divine Beloved. (Kildwyke (talk) 20:25, 14 June 2010 (UTC))

Actually there have also been plenty of links in Judeo-Christianity where Enoch is seemingly ascribed with Hermes. However dubious the links and connections, some do believe this. http://www.artipot.com/articles/482403/the-messenger-god-hermes-was-the-biblical-enoch.htm You're also completely overlooking the early contemporary debates of the time between early Christians and the pagan religions that dominated wider society. It was sometimes a common practice to try to see similarities between the two, so as to make Christianity more acceptable amongst the masses, regardless of how dubious or spurious the claims could be. An early form of somewhat syncretism.

Much of the Muslim conception of Hermes may well have come from the Greek books in Alexandria, where much of the Classical Greek knowledge was preserved until modern times. == —Preceding unsigned comment added by 94.192.246.138 (talk) 20:35, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Redundant information[edit]

Some of the information is unnecessary, having nothing to do with Hermes. Also, there's [i]way[/i] too much repeating of facts. Rђαηα (talk) 23:42, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

picture please[edit]

Can someone add a photograph into the bit about Hermes in Classical Art please? I've written about Hermes and Dionysus by Praxiteles, 350BC, but can't work out how to get a photo in there! Thanks :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Woodyjojo (talkcontribs) 17:08, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Haha there's a pic now but it's kinda ... R-rated. Can someone censor it lol! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.13.136.58 (talk) 01:27, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Repetitive statements[edit]

I was skimming over the first few paragraphs, and we really need to remove some of the parts that are repititious. It was stated that Hermes aids travelers etc. about three times already; it only should be mentioned once.~Rhana~{♦} talk page 23:30, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

I think some information is incorrect.[edit]

This article mentions that the tortoise and the cock are symbols of Hermes.

"His symbols include the tortoise, the cock, the winged sandals, and the caduceus. The analogous Roman deity is Mercury."

I think some information is incorrect. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Anteater3535 (talkcontribs) 02:50, 6 October 2009 (UTC)


"Birth" section[edit]

"and begot Hermes upon her"

Maybe we can find a better way to say this? I understand that some traditional translations of Homer read like that, but on a Wikipedia article it sounds like somebody's exerting way too much effort trying to sound archaic.

In fact, the entire birth section should probably be rewritten. I just realized this section doesn't have any citations or reference any real poems. (71.205.124.128 (talk) 21:05, 24 January 2011 (UTC))

Revert date format to BC/AD[edit]

As I cannot find any discussion or concensus what so ever regarding the change from BC/AD to BCE/CE, I believe that there has been a violation of WP:ERA regarding date formats needing a substantial reason for being changed and discussion followed by concensus on the talk page. Therefore, I propose the reversion of date formats to follow soon if there are no objections. 78.146.132.102 (talk) 19:10, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Why? Earliest use of era system is here. It's BCE, so your proposed "reversion"'s impossible. Haploidavey (talk) 19:31, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Newly added material[edit]

There was a tag on the article, informing editors that it might be improved with material from the corresponding Portuguese article. That tag's been removed, and a large amount of material (just over 10,000 bytes worth) has been added, along with some new inline references. There was no edit summary, and no talk-page activity apart from what seems a single IP editor's promotion of the article to B status at all involved projects, almost as soon as the article changes were made.

Just FYI, a click on any blue-link at the new inline references takes the reader to the same google translation of the Portuguese article. But that article isn't credited in this one. Shouldn't it be? And should we not simply accept a google translation without reading and confirming via the sources? I'm not sure how to handle this - or even whether to - but a thorough proof-reading seems advisable. Or am I over-reacting? Any constructive advice or comments would be welcome. Haploidavey (talk) 21:59, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks to LittleJerry for reverting the IP promo and fixing the links. Haploidavey (talk) 11:02, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Questions and comments[edit]

1. "What seems certain is that his cult was established in Greece in remote regions"

"seem" and "certain" don't really go together well. This sentence should be reworked.

2. "He was believed to have invented fire, the lira, the syrinx, the alphabet, the numbers, to astronomy, a special form of music, the arts of fighting, the gym and the cultivation of olive trees, the measures, the weights and various other things."

Is astronomy a form of music? Something is wrong with this sentence.

3. "was the god of game data"

Is a comma missing or is there something wrong here?

4. "However, Zeus entered the argument and said that Hermes did steal the cattle and they should be returned."

It's not just because Zeus said so. He saw it. I read it somewhere on the Wikipedia.

5. "One of the Orphic Hymns Khthonios is dedicated to Hermes, indicating that he was also a god of the underworld."

I think khtonios should be the adjective for Hermes: "One of the Orphic Hymns is dedicated to Hermes Khthonios, indicating that he was also a god of the underworld."

6. "He participated in the Gigantomachy in defense of Olympus; was given the task of bringing baby Dionysius to be cared for by Ino and Athamas and later by nymphs of Asia, followed Hera, Athena and Aphrodite in a beauty contest"

This sentence really needs to be reworked.

7. "Argiphontes, slayer or Argus" is redundant with Argeiphontes and should be eliminated.

8. Why would the number 4 be a symbol of Hermes? Is there any explanation?

9. "In the sanctuary of Hermes Promakhos in Tanagra is a strawberry tree under which it was believed he had created"

What did Hermes create?

10. "Another object is the Porta a stick, called rhabdomyolysis (stick) or skeptron (scepter), which is referred to as a magic wand."

Something is wrong with this sentence.

11. "Some early sources say that this was the bat he received from Apollo, but others question the merits of this claim."

Which early sources are used?

ICE77 (talk) 00:39, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Hermes as a Postman[edit]

Hermes as a Postman on the Alten-Post-Building in Flensburg

Would be this picture something for the article? It shows Hermes as a Postman on an old Building of the Deutsche Post in Flensburg.

I suppose it could be something to enlarge the article. By the way, another Post Company in Germany is named Hermes. --Soenke Rahn (talk) 21:48, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Palm tree[edit]

I note that under the Worship and Cult heading that the first listed common symbol for Hermes is the "Palm tree." I know of no ancient reference to this claim. A citation is needed, if such can be found. I am aware that Apollon has the palm tree as one of his symbols because he was born under one on the isle of Delos. If I'm correct, this won't be the first time that Hermes and Apollon have been confused. Hermes4134 (talk) 04:02, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Hermes means Satan[edit]

in Hermetism. Böri (talk) 09:11, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Hermes in Holy Bible[edit]

Should there be an added "Biblical Narrative" added to this article featuring Acts 14:11-13? Twillisjr (talk) 02:11, 15 July 2013 (UTC)