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Hermes ({{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}}; Greek: Ἑρμῆς{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}) is an Olympian god in Greek religion and mythology, the son of Zeus and the Pleiad Maia. He is the second youngest of the Olympian gods.

Hermes is a god of transitions and boundaries. He is quick and cunning, and moves freely between the worlds of the mortal and divine, as an emissary and messenger of the gods,<ref>Iris had a similar role as divine messenger.</ref> intercessor between mortals and the divine, and conductor of souls into the afterlife. He is the protector and patron of herdsmen, thieves,<ref name=" Brown"/> oratory and wit, literature and poetry, athletics and sports, invention and trade,<ref>Walter Burkert, Greek Religion 1985 section III.2.8.</ref> roads, boundaries and travellers.<ref name="M. G. Lay, James E. Vance, Jr.">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref name="S. K. Bain">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>

In some myths, he is a trickster and outwits other gods for his own satisfaction or for the sake of humankind. His attributes and symbols include the herma, the rooster, the tortoise, purse or pouch, winged sandals, and winged cap. His main symbol is the Greek kerykeion or Latin caduceus which consisted of two snakes wrapped around a winged staff.<ref>The Latin word cādūceus{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} is an adaptation of the Greek κηρύκειον{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} kērukeion{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, meaning "herald's wand (or staff)", deriving from κῆρυξ {{#invoke:Category handler|main}} kērux{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, meaning "messenger, herald, envoy". Liddell and Scott, Greek-English Lexicon; Stuart L. Tyson, "The Caduceus", The Scientific Monthly, 34.6, (1932:492–98) p. 493</ref>

In the Roman adaptation of the Greek pantheon (see interpretatio romana), Hermes is identified with the Roman god Mercury,<ref>Bullfinch's Mythology, (1978), Crown Publishers, p. 926.</ref> who, though inherited from the Etruscans, developed many similar characteristics, such as being the patron of commerce.


Hermes sections
Intro  Etymology  Mythology  Epithets of Hermes  Worship and cult  Hermai/Herms  Hermes's possible offspring  Extended list of Hermes's lovers and children  Genealogy of the Olympians in Greek mythology  Art and iconography  In other religions  Modern interpretation   Hermes in popular culture   See also  References  External links  

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