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GREEK NEWS

Hermes, the God of Thieves in Ancient Greece

Hermes in Delos greek mythologyHermes is portrayed as being on the Greek island of Delos on this krater. The god of messengers — and thieves — is an important figure in Greek mythology. Credit: Egisto Sani/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

In Ancient Greek mythology, Hermes is known as the herald of the gods; he is in charge of protecting travelers — as well as thieves and liars — and he also guides souls to the underworld or Hades. For his great cunning and insight, he is also considered the god of thieves.

At first Hermes was a god associated with the underworld. In ancient Greece he was worshiped as “the god of the way between the lower and upper world;” this position gradually expanded to include roads in general, and from there borders, travelers, sailors and commerce as well.

A mischievous god since his childhood

Hermes was born to Zeus and Maya, daughter of the titan Atlas and one of the Pleiades. The legend goes that he was born on Mount Cilene in Arcadia in a cave. However, some traditions say that his birth was on Mount Olympus itself.

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