Ricognizione su Hermes = Inquiry on Hermes


What is the secret of Hermes' success in all the ages, even beyond the far away ancient classic season? The essay recalls the extraordinary nature of the gods' messenger evoked in the Homeric Hymn: Hermes is the first god to achieve the Olympic divine condition by agreement (and not through immediate acknowledgement), and he is described as versatile, fast-minded, sly, eloquent, persuasive and swindler. However there are also other features in Hermes, sung by Homer and Hesiod: for instance his activity of accompanying the souls of the deads (Hermes Psychopompos), through which he becomes the messenger of Hades, the underworld's master. All the considered characteristics converge to make Hermes the prototype of the communicator, the god who protects and invents the communication itself – from writing to musical instruments – intended as a chance for human beings to promote innovation and change. Described by Mircea Eliade as the closer god to the human kind (“companion of the man” in Homer's Iliad), Hermes is seen as complementary to all the other divinities, in the same way communication is complementary to all human activities.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22840753v1n1p9

Keywords: Hermes; Ermes; mythology; communication

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