Hermes leading a satyr chorus, vase by Douris, 5th century BC; in the British Museum—Courtesy of the trustees of the British Museum
Greek god, son of Zeus and Maia. The earliest center of his cult was probably Arcadia, where he was worshiped as a god of fertility. He was also associated with the protection of cattle and sheep. In Homer's Odyssey he appears as the messenger of the gods and the conductor of the dead to Hades. As a messenger he also became the god of roads and doorways and the protector of travelers. He was also the god of dreams. His Roman counterpart was Mercury.