Hermes: A Visual and Literary Interpretation of the Greek God Hermes with New Evidence from Numismatic Iconography
Keijzer, Robin de
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Being the messenger of the gods seems a problematic role when we take into consideration that the Greek gods were used to explain the everyday life of the Greeks. A new role for Hermes is posed here. One that states that he was the chief executive force of Zeus' divine will. According to the Greeks, Zeus decided about the laws of the polis. But he was almost never there to enforce these rules. This is where Hermes comes in. His attributes made him exceptionally suitable to mingle among the humans in order for them to obey Zeus. This image of Hermes is the underlying core of all his other ventures expressed in Greek mythological stories. They are also visible on Greek coins. In this thesis, a database is provided with numerous coins containing an image of Hermes and these are interpreted in a mythological framework.