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Hermes - A Thief, Inventor, and Messenger God


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The Family Tree of Hermes
Table of the Genealogy of Hermes

Table of the Genealogy of Hermes

NS Gill
Before the king of the gods, Zeus, married Hera, the very jealous queen of the Greek pantheon, Maia (a daughter of the world-supporting Titan Atlas) bore him a son, Hermes. Unlike many of the offspring of Zeus, Hermes was not a demi-god, but a full-blooded Greek god.

As you can see from the table, which is one version of the genealogy, Kalypso (Calypso), the goddess who kept Odysseus as a lover on her island, Ogygia, for 7 years, is Hermes' aunt.

From Homeric Hymn to Hermes:

Muse, sing of Hermes, the son of Zeus and Maia, lord of Cyllene and Arcadia rich in flocks, the luck-bringing messenger of the immortals whom Maia bare, the rich-tressed nymph, when she was joined in love with Zeus, -- a shy goddess, for she avoided the company of the blessed gods, and lived within a deep, shady cave. There the son of Cronos used to lie with the rich-tressed nymph, unseen by deathless gods and mortal men, at dead of night while sweet sleep should hold white-armed Hera fast. And when the purpose of great Zeus was fixed in heaven, she was delivered and a notable thing was come to pass. For then she bare a son, of many shifts, blandly cunning, a robber, a cattle driver, a bringer of dreams, a watcher by night, a thief at the gates, one who was soon to show forth wonderful deeds among the deathless gods.

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