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The 12 Olympians (last part) Posted by on Feb 16, 2012 in Culture

This is the last post of the series presenting the last two Olympians.

Artemis (Άρτεμις): Virgin goddess of wilderness,fertility (γονιμότητα),hunt(κυνήγι) and wild animals. Daughter of Zeus and Leto and the twin (δίδυμη) sister of Apollo. She is often depicted with the crescent of the moon above her forehead and her symbol is a deer with golden horns. She has the power to send famine and sudden death to mortals, but also to cure them.

Artemis is always presented surrounded by hunting dogs and the companionship of other virgin nymphs, holding a silver bow with gold arrows. She does not seem to care about people and their problems. Nonetheless she is the guardian of roads and ports.

Hermes (Ερμής ): Son of Zeus and Maia and the messenger (αγγελιοφόρος) of the Olympians. God of commerce, shepherds, athletics and thieves. He is well known for his cunning and shrewdness. His symbols are a lyre (λύρα), a rooster (κόκορας), a tortoise (χελώνα), a purse or pouch and a pair of winged sandals (φτερωτά σανδάλια) which carry him quickly everywhere like the wind. He started his career as a thief and trader very early. At a very young age he stole a herd of oxen from Apollo. When he was discovered, in order to cover the fact that he had already slaughtered two oxen, he said that he had offered them as a sacrifice to the Gods. That was the first time when the sacrifice of animals was introduced.

From the bowels of oxen and a tortoise shell, Hermes created a lyre which gifted to Apollo in order to forgive him. Apollo fascinated by the sound of the instrument forgave him, and donated to him his oxen.

Later, Hermes made a flute from a reed. Apollo fascinated again, he exchanged the flute with a golden rod. Thus, the art of trade started for him!

Hermes is considered also the inventor of the alphabet, astronomy, music scale, the arts, gymnastics, the cultivation of olive trees and the fire lighting by rubbing wooden sticks.

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