Relative to the other Olympian deities, Hermes had few sanctuaries, festivals, and temples. Instead, he was pre-eminent in private, neighborhood, and domestic contexts, often in connection with other deities worshiped in the countryside. Hermes’ name is derived from an object: herma refers to a pillarlike prop or support, as well as to the cairn or stone-pile that marks a path or border. Essentially a god of travel and boundaries, Hermes came to preside over a host of related domains, such as thievery, lucky finds, and transitions between the lands of the living and the dead. Like Apollo and Pan, Hermes has an important pastoral function, especially in the oldest center of his worship, Arkadia. His cults are most prominent on the Greek mainland, particularly Attica, Boiotia, and the Peloponnese. His mythic function as the herald and messenger of the gods, probably borrowed from Near Eastern epic, is not emphasized in worship, though he is a patron of heralds and ambassadors.