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Greek Gods
Hermes

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Greek gods and their Jobs
Hermes
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Hephaestus

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Hermes is the messenger of the gods. He is also the son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. He was believed to have been born on Mt. Cyllene in Arcadia. He seems to have originated in Arcadia, where he was a god of fertility depicted in ithyphallic images. His name probably derives from hermion, the Greek word for a pile of stones used to mark boundaries, or as landmarks erected to guide travelers. Hermes was considered a god of travelers and merchants, of roads and of doorways. Oddly enough, he was also a patron of thieves and gamblers, and of good fortune. In his capacity as messenger of the gods he was depicted with a broad-brimmed hat appropriate for travel, winged sandals, and a herald's staff entwined with snakes. Hermes is credited with the invention of the lyre and with the invention of fire. These feats he performed on the day of his birth, in addition to the theft of Apollo's cattle. His personality had much mischief and trickery about it. He also had the typical sexual appetites of a Greek god. He had many aliases, including Epimelios (guardian of flocks), Nomios (also a reference to his role as guardian of flocks), Hodios (patron of travelers). He was also known as Oneiropompos (conductor of dreams) and Psychopompos (leader of souls in the underworld) in his roles as god of dreams and of passage to the afterlife. In earlier Greek art, he was depicted as bearded, wearing a long tunic, and equipped with his cap, winged sandals and staff, later, he came to be portrayed as a beardless youth.