Hermes – The Music-maker

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We are accustomed to associate music with Venus and we ‘are done’. Well, the story doesn’t ends here. Hermes (Mercury) was also associated with Music in Ancient Greece and Rome. Hermes was the father of the musical instruments, the inventor of musical instruments. Hermes stole from his half brother Apollo, part of the cattle, the best one, and thought that Apollo would never know about this. But because Apollo was gifted with a foresight, he knew. Zeus their father found Hermes guilty. Hermes tried to please them both and started to play on his own lyre. When Apollo – the god of music, saw the beautiful instrument, he was amazed by it and by the invention of Hermes and as an apology for what he has done, Hermes gave the lyre to Apollo.

Valens says that Hermes signifies the musicians or composers (musikoi), those skilled in music, those who are professional musicians.

But not only Valens, later in early Medieval, Arabic times, Abū Ma’shar says:

“Virgo signifies dancing, singing harmonies, lyres and other musical instruments” [Liber Mysterium]

So, let us re-examine the significations of Mercury, Hermes – the god and inventor of the musical instruments.

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