Homeric Hymn to Hermes
Some Study Questions
Outline of the Hymn
/ Some Images
of the God
- What are the circumstances of Hermesí conception and birth? Where is he born and
how is he conceived?
How is the child described? How do these circumstances suit
Hermesí divine identity? (1-19)
- What is the first thing that Hermes does after his birth? What does this
tell you about the god? (20-56)
- What is the subject of Hermesí song in lines (57-61)? Why do you think
he sings this?
- What reason is suggestion for Hermesí departure in search of his brotherís
cattle? What other reasons might there be? (64-70)
- What does the method Hermes uses to steal the cattle suggest about his
- How does Hermesí sacrifice compare to that established by Prometheus?
Why does Hermes not eat the meat? (105-141)
- What tricks does Hermes use in his return from stealing the cattle? What
does this add to the picture of his divine personality? (138-154)
- How does Maia act towards her son after his return? Why? What does she
call him and why? (155-161)
- How does Hermes respond to his mother? What does he promise? (163-182)
- Why is there a rivalry between Apollo and Hermes? What is your reaction to
the idea of a rivalry such as this between gods? Would the God you know be
capable of such a rivalry?
- Describe Hermesí behavior when Apollo arrives at the cave? What does
this add to the picture of Hermes as a god? (235-245)
- What reasons does Hermes give Apollo to argue that he could not have
stolen the cattle? (261-277)
- What is Apolloís reaction to Hermesí arguments? (282-292)
- Describe the impressions made by Apollo, Hermes, and Zeus in the mediation
- How does Apollo propose to resolve his conflict with brother Hermes?
- What gifts and prerogatives does Apollo give Hermes in his final speech?
This material has been placed on the web by Prof. Tom
Sienkewicz of Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois for the benefit of his
students in ISSI402 Classical Mythology and Religion. If you have any questions,
you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
to Monmouth College Classics
Dept. Home Page