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Greek Mythology >> Greek Gods Cult >> Hermes Cult >> Titles & Epithets

HERMES TITLES

Greek Name

Ἑρμης

Transliteration

Hermês

Latin Spelling

Hermes

Roman Name

Mercury

HERMES was the Olympian god of the herds, trades, athletes and heralds.

This page lists his cult titles and poetic epithets.


CULT TITLES & EPITHETS

The first of Hermes' cult refer to his various divine functions, as god of herds and flocks, markets and trade, craftiness, roads and travel, athletics and the Games:--

Greek Name

Επιμηλιος

Κριοφορος

Αγοραιος

Δολιος

Transliteration

Epimêlios

Kriophoros

Agoraios

Dolios

Latin Spelling

Epimelius

Criophorus

Agoraeus

Dolius

Translation

Keeper of the Flocks

Ram-Bearer

Of the Market-Place

Of Crafts, Of Wiles

Greek Name

Εναγωνιος

Προμαχος

Ἑρμηνευτης

Τρικεφαλος

Transliteration

Enagônios

Promakhos

Hermêneutês

Trikephalos

Latin Spelling

Enagonius

Promachus

Hermeneutes

Tricephalus

Translation

Of the Games

Champion

Interpretor, Translator

Three-Headed (Of Road-Intersections)

Another set of cult titles were derived from the locations of his shrines, founders of his cult, and descriptions of their locale:--

Greek Name

Κυλληνιος

Ακακησιος

Αιπυτος

Προπυλαιος

Προναος

Transliteration

Kyllênios

Akakêsios

Aipytos

Propylaios

Pronaos

Latin Spelling

Cyllenius

Acacesius

Aepytus

Propylaeus

Pronaus

Translation

Of Mt Cyllene (Arcadia)

Of Acacesium (Arcadia)

Of Aepytus (hero Arcadia)

Of the Gateway

Of the Fore-Temple

Some names are more obscure:--

Greek Name

Πολυγιος

Παραμμων

Transliteration

Polygios

Paramnôn

Latin Spelling

Polygius

Paramnon

Translation

--

--


POETIC TITLES & EPITHETS

I. Common Homeric titles of Hermes:--

Greek Name

Αργειφοντης

Κυλλενιος

Μαιαδος Ὑιος

Transliteration

Argeiphontês

Kyllenios

Maiados Huios

Latin Spelling

Argeiphontes

Cyllenius

Maiados Huios

Translation

Slayer of Argos

Of Mt Cyllene

Son of Maia

II. Common Homeric epithets of Hermes:--

Greek Name

Διακτορος

Αθανατος Δαικτορος

Ανγελος Αθανατων

Ανγελος Μακαρων

Χρυσορραπις

Transliteration

Diaktoros

Athanatos Diaktoros

Angelos Athanatôn

Angelos Makarôn

Khrysorrhapis

Latin Spelling

Diactorus

Athanatus Diactorus

Angelus Athanaton

Angelus Macaron

Chrysorrhapis

Translation

Guide, Messenger

Immortal Guide

Messenger of the Gods

Messenger of the Blessed

Of the Golden Wand

Greek Name

Κλεπσιφρων

Μηχανιωτης

Φηλητης

Αρχοσ Φηλητεων

Transliteration

Klepsiphrôn

Mêkhaniôtês

Phêlêtês

Arkhos Phêlêteôn

Latin Spelling

Clepsiphron

Mechaniotes

Pheletes

Archus Pheleteon

Translation

Deceiver, Dissembler

Trickster, Contriver

Thief, Robber, Rustler

Leader of Robbers, Thieves

Greek Name

Ποικιλομητης

Πολυτροπος

Πονεομενος

Βουφονος

Transliteration

Poikilomêtês

Polytropos

Poneomenos

Bouphonos

Latin Spelling

Poecilometes

Polytropus

Poneomenus

Buphonus

Translation

Full of Various Wiles

Wily, Many-Turning

Busy One

Slayer of Oxen

Greek Name

Οιοπολος

Δαις Ἑταιρος

Χαριδωτης

Χαρμοπηρων

Transliteration

Oiopolos

Dais Hetairos

Kharidôtês

Kharmophrôn

Latin Spelling

Oeopolus

Daïs Hetaerus

Charidotes

Charmophron

Translation

Sheep-Tending, Shepherd

Comrade of the Feast

Giver of Joy

Glad-Hearted, Heart-Delighting

Greek Name

Δωτορ Εαων

Ακακητα

Ευσκοπος

Εριουνης

Transliteration

Dôtor Eaôn

Akakêta

Euskopos

Eriounês

Latin Spelling

Dotor Eaon

Acaceta

Euscopus

Eriounes

Translation

Giver of Good Things

Guileless, Gracious

Keen-Sighted, Watchful

Luck-Bringing, Ready-Helper

Greek Name

Κυδιμος

Ερικυδης

Αγλαος

Κρατυς

Κρατερος

Transliteration

Kydimos

Erikydês

Aglaos

Kratus

Krateros

Latin Spelling

Cydimus

Ericydes

Aglaus

Cratus

Craterus

Translation

Glorious

Famous, Glorious, Splendid

Splendid, Bright, Glorious

Strong, Mighty

Strong, Mighty

II. Other poetic epithets, used by the tragedians and others:--

Greek Name

Μαστηριος

Πομπαιος

Transliteration

Mastêrios

Pompaios

Latin Spelling

Masterius

Pompaeus

Translation

Of Searchers

The Guide


CULT TERMS

Some general terms pertaining to the god's cult include:--

Greek Name

Ἑρμαιον

Ἑρμαια

Ἑρμαι

Transliteration

Hermaion

Hermaia

Hermai

Latin Spelling

Hermaeum

Hermaea

Hermae

Translation

Temple of Hermes

Games & Festival of Hermes

Pillar-Statues of Hermes


Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 143 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Mercurius [Hermes] explained [or created] the languages of men (whence he is called ermeneutes, ‘interpreter’, for Mercurius in Greek is called Ermes; he too, divided the nations)."

Suidas s.v. Argeiphontes (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Argeiphontes (Argos-Slayer): Hermes."

Suidas s.v. Deilakrion :
"Deilakrion (Poor fellow) : Hermes was called [this], because he was greedy. For when pieces of meat were shown to him, he dug in right away."

Suidas s.v. Eriounios :
"Eriounios : Very useful. An epithet of Hermes."


ENCYCLOPEDIA HERMES TITLES

ACACE′SIUS (Akakêsios), a surname of Hermes (Callim. Hym. in Dian. 143), for which Homer (Il. xvi. 185; Od. xxiv. 10) uses the form akakêta (akakêtês). Some writers derive it from the Arcadian town of Acacesium, in which he was believed to have been brought up by king Acacus; others from kakos, and assign to it the meaning: the god who cannot be hurt, or who does not hurt. The same attribute is also given to Prometheus (Hes. Theog. 614), whence it may be inferred that its meaning is that of benefactor or deliverer from evil. (Compare Spanh. ad Callim. l. c.; Spitzner, ad Il. xvi. 185.)

AGE′TOR (Agêtôr), a surname given to several gods, for instance, to Zeus at Lacedaemon (Stob. Serm. 42): the name seems to describe Zeus as the leader and ruler of men; but others think, that it is synonymous with Agamemnon :-- to Apollo (Eurip. Med. 426) where however Elmsley and others prefer halêtôr :-- to Hermes, who conducts the souls of men to the lower world. Under this name Hermes had a statue at Megalopolis. (Paus. viii. 3. § 4.)

AGO′NIUS (Agônios), a surname or epithet of several gods. Aeschylus (Agam. 513) and Sophocles (Trach. 26) use it of Apollo and Zeus, and apparently in the sense of helpers in struggles and contests. (Comp. Eustath. ad Il. p. 1335.) But Agonius is more especially used as a surname of Hermes, who presides over all kinds of solemn contests. (Agônes, Paus. v. 14. § 7; Pind. Olymp. vi. 133, with the Schol.)

AGORAEUS and AGORAEA (Agoraia and Agoraios), are epithets given to several divinities who were considered as the protectors of the assemblies of the people in the agora, such as Zeus (Paus. iii. 11. § 8, v. 15. § 3), Athena (iii. 11. § 8), Artemis (v. 15. § 3), and Hermes. (i. 15. § 1, ii. 9. § 7, ix. 17. § 1.) As Hermes was the god of commerce, this surname seems to have reference to the agora as the market-place.

ARCAS (Arkas). A surname of Hermes. (Lucan, Phars. ix. 661; Martial, ix. 34. 6.)

ARGEIPHONTES (Argeiphontês), a surname of Hermes, by which he is designated as the murderer of Argus Panoptes. (Hom. Il. ii 103, and numerous other passages in the Greek and Latin poets.)

CATAE′BATES ( Kataibatês), occurs as a surname of several gods . . . 2. Of Acheron, being the first river to which the shades descended in the lower world . . . 4. Of Hermes, who conducted the shades into Hades. (Schol. ad Aristoph. Pac. 649.)

CTE′SIUS (Ktêsios), the protector of property, occurs as a surname of Zeus at Phlyus, and of Hermes. (Athen. xi. p. 473; Paus. i. 31. § 2.)

CYLLE′NIUS (Kullênios), a surname of Hermes, which he derived from mount Cyllene in Arcadia, where he had a temple (Paus. viii. 17. § 1), or from the circumstance of Maia having given birth to him on that mountain. (Virg. Aen. viii. 139, &c.)

ERIU′NIUS (Eriounios) or ERINNES, the giver of good fortune, occurs as a surname of Hermes, but is also used as a proper name instead of Hermes. (Hom. Il. xxiv. 440, 457, Od. viii. 322 ; Aristoph. Ran. 1143.)

I′MBRAMUS (Imbramos), a surname of Hermes (Eustath. ad Dionys. Per. 524; Steph. Byz. s. v. Imbros), in which Welcker (Trilogie, p. 217) recognises a name of the Pelasgian Hermes, who went from Attica to Lemnos, Imbros and Samothrace, and is said to have been identical with Himerus. He is seen on a coin of Imbros, with a patera and a knotty staff.

I′MBRASUS (Imbrasos) is, according to Eustathius (ad Hom. p. 985), identical with Imbramus, the surname of Hermes.

NO′MIUS (Noumios), a surname of divinities protecting the pastures and shepherds, such as Apollo, Pan. Hermes, and Aristaeus. (Aristoph. Thesmoph. 983; Anthol. Palat. ix. 217; Callim. Hymn. in Apoll. 47.)

PRO′MACHUS (Promakhos). The name Promachus, that is, "the champion," also occurs as a surname of Heracles at Thebes (Paus. ix. 11. § 2), and of Hermes at Tanagra (ix. 22. § 2).

[PRONAUS and] PRONAEA (Pronaia), a surname of Athena, under which she had a chapel at Delphi, in front of the temple of Apollo. (Herod. i. 92; Aeschyl. Eum. 21; Paus. ix. 10. § 2.) Pronaus also occurs as a surname of Hermes. (Paus. l. c.)

THEOXE′NIUS (Theoxenios), a surname of Apollo and Hermes. (Paus. vii. 27. § 2; Schol. ad Pind. Ol. ix. 146, Nem. x. 32.) Respecting the festival of the Theoxenia, see Dict. of Antiq. s. v.

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.


SOURCES

GREEK

BYZANTINE

OTHER SOURCES

See Cult of Hermes page.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.