Hermes is the son of Zeus and Maia. He is Zeus s messenger. He is the fastest of the gods. He wears winged sandals, a winged hat, and carries a magic wand. He is the god of thieves and god of commerce. He is the guide for the dead to go to the underworld. He invented the lyre, the pipes, the musical scale, astronomy, weights and measures, bo, gymnastics, and the care of olive trees.
Maia gave birth to Hermes in a cave in Mount Cyllene in Arcadia. Some say that Acacus, son of the Arcadian king, raised Hermes
Hermes was born at dawn, in the afternoon he played on the lyre, and in the evening he went to Pieria, a region in Mount Olympus in northern Thessaly, and stole the cattle of Apollo, while Apollo was distracted because of his love for Hymenaeus. Battus, who promised not to tell, witnessed the stealing of the cattle. But not being able to keep his promise, he was turned by Hermes into a stone. Also there were others who had their shapes transformed by Hermes. The Athenian Aglaurus was transformed into a stone and for having offended the gods he transformed Agron into a plover, Eumelus into a raven and Alcathoe, Arsippe and Leucippe into birds.
When stealing the cattle, and in order not to be detected, Hermes put shoes on their feet and brought them to Pylos, hiding the rest in a cave. He sacrificed two and returned to Cyllene. There he found a tortoise, and having strung its shell with chords made of the cattle he had sacrificed, he produced a lyre and invented a plectrum too. The golden wand, the Caduceus, is a staff of riches and wealth, which keeps Hermes safe from all harm.