Facts About the Olympian God Hermes

Patron of Gymnastics, God of Commerce, Inventor of Numbers and More

Hermes Hermes
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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.


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. 


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.

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Gill, N.S. "Facts About the Olympian God Hermes." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, thoughtco.com/fast-facts-about-hermes-116583. Gill, N.S. (2021, February 16). Facts About the Olympian God Hermes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/fast-facts-about-hermes-116583 Gill, N.S. "Facts About the Olympian God Hermes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/fast-facts-about-hermes-116583 (accessed May 27, 2023).