ABSTRACT

This first chapter of seven dealing with key themes related to Hermes provides an initial presentation of the attributes and abilities that help to make him a god unique within the Olympian family. The most significant of these is his mētis, or ‘cunning intelligence’, which is closely related to his stealth as well as to his creativity and wit. Although each could be put to use in ways that would challenge and even undermine the authority of his father, Hermes’ concern with propriety – that is, with proper proportions and distributions – renders his talents serviceable to Zeus.