Humanities › History & Culture Facts About the Olympian God Hermes Patron of Gymnastics, God of Commerce, Inventor of Numbers and More Share Flipboard Email Print Imagno / Getty Images History & Culture Ancient History and Culture Mythology & Religion Figures & Events Ancient Languages Greece Egypt Asia Rome American History African American History African History Asian History European History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By N.S. Gill Ancient History and Latin Expert M.A., Linguistics, University of Minnesota B.A., Latin, University of Minnesota N.S. Gill is a Latinist, writer, and teacher of ancient history and Latin. She has been featured by NPR and National Geographic for her ancient history expertise. our editorial process N.S. Gill Updated January 31, 2019 There are 12 canonical Olympian gods in Greek mythology. Hermes is one of the gods who live on Mount Olympus and ruled over parts of the mortal world. Let's delve into the role of Hermes in Greek mythology regarding his relationships with other gods and what he was a god of. To learn more about the other 11 Greek gods, check out Fast Facts About the Olympians. Name Hermes is the name of a god in Greek mythology. When the Romans adopted aspects of the Ancient Greek belief system, Hermes's was renamed, Mercury. Family Zeus and Maia are the parents of Hermes. All the children of Zeus are his siblings, but Hermes has a special younger-brotherly relationship with Apollo. Greek gods were far from perfect. In fact, they were known to be flawed and to have many sexual affairs with gods, nymphs, and mortals alike. The list of Hermes's mates include Agraulos, Akalle, Antianeira, Alkidameia, Aphrodite, Aptale, Carmentis, Chthonophyle, Creusa, Daeira, Erytheia, Eupolemeia, Khione, Iphthime, Libya, Okyrrhoe, Penelopeia, Phylodameia, Polymele, Rhene, Sose, Theoboula, and Thronia. Hermes fathered many children, who are Angelia, Eleusis, Hermaphroditos, Oreiades, Palaistra, Pan, Agreus, Nomios, Priapos, Pherespondos, Lykos, Pronomos, Abderos, Aithalides, Arabos, Autolycus, Bounos, Daphnis, Ekhion, Eleusis, Euandros, Eudoros, Eurestos, Eurytos, Kaikos, Kephalos, Keryx, Kydon, Libys, Myrtilos, Norax, Orion, Pharis, Phaunos, Polybos, and Saon. Role of Hermes For human mortals, Hermes is the god of eloquence, commerce, cunning, astronomy, music, and the art of fighting. As a god of commerce, Hermes is also known as the inventor of the alphabet, numbers, measures, and weights. As the god of the art of fighting, Hermes is a patron of gymnastics. According to Greek mythology, Hermes also cultivated the olive tree and provides refreshing sleep as well as dreams. Additionally, he is the herdsman of the dead, the protector of travelers, the giver of wealth and luck, and he protector of sacrificial animals, among other things. For gods, Hermes is credited with inventing divine worship and sacrifice. Hermes is the herald of the gods.