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CLAA06H3 (156)
Lecture

Hermes.docx

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Department
Classical Studies
Course
CLAA06H3
Professor
Vichi Ciocani
Semester
Winter

Description
Hermes (Hephaestus, Ares, Pan) - From Greek word herma (“pile of stones”) - God of crossroads and travellers o Also god of thieves and merchants - Was a god of boarders and crossing them o Includes abstract boarders - God of delivering messages o He is the guide of the souls into the underworld - Hermeneutics  god of interpretation - Identified with argeïphontes o “the killer of Argos” - Satyrs usually surround Pan, Dionysus o Usually depicted as ½ goat and ½ male o Represents male sexuality - Caduceus  usually associated with Hermes - Inventor of the lyre Hermes’ birth and deeds: “Maia’s infant was clever –a swindler, a robber, a liar, rustler of cattle, fast talker, burglar and cracker of safes” - Homeric hymn to Hermes - Zeus seduces nymph Maia o Son = Hermes - In Arcadia the birth occurs o Surrounded by mountains  ideal because it was protected from the sea (considered dangerous) - Hermes became the protector of Arcadia o He is protector of shepherds Invention of lyre: “Let me pick you up and take you inside, where I’m sure I can use you. You’ll be treated with all respect, since first you will benefit me. You’d be safer inside the house, for the outdoors is always a danger. While you live, you will be my defense against the perils of magic, and, should you happen to die, you will warble the loveliest music.” - Homeric hymn to Hermes - Hermes is speaking to the tortoise - The shell, reed, goat horns, seven strings of sheep guts (chords) o Produce lyric poetry - Associate music with violence - Hermes convinces the tortoise it is better to be part of a lyre than a tortoise Hermes steals Apollo’s Cattle: - Invents kindling of fire - Sacrifices cattle - Apollo and Hermes sort of overlap o In diff. ways - River Alpheus, mountain Cyllene in Arcadia - Hermes described as “innocent” infant o Usually depicted as sucking milk or sleeping by mother o However he goes and invents the lyre and steals cattle - A theme is that Hermes is powerful and cunning but an infant - Hermes swears by Zeus (protector of Oaths) but he lies o Zeus doesn’t punish because Hermes is his son (Apollo)" at that, in his hands he braided a cord both pliant and tough, Eager to tie up Hermes with powerful willow-strip bonds, But the willow strips did not hold. They fell to earth at a distance, And right where they landed rooted themselves at once in the earth. The willows entwined together and covered the wandering cattle, By design of thieving Hermes, while Apollow watched in surprise" - Homeric hymn to Hermes - Hermes cant be caught or trapped o He is associated with bonds and escaping them o Lyre is a gift to Apollo = become friends - Hermes charms Apollo with the lyre “Zeus, the giver of counsel, rejoiced to have made them such comrades,/ And down to this day Apollo, son of Leto, and Hermes are friendly/ As is shown by the gift of the lyre that Hermes gave the far-darter,/ Which Apollo so skillfully strums, embracing it in his arms./And as for himself, it was Hermes who invented a clever technique,/Producing the sound of the pipe, whose reedy notes echo far.” - Homeric hymn to Hermes - Hermes is believed to be the inventor of the panpipe o 7 or more flutes connected to each other with beeswax - Apollo and Hermes o Exponents of aristo
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