ÆRMIS - ΕΡΜΗΣ
(Orphic Hymn To Ærmis XXVIII [XVII in the 1792 edition] trans. by Thomas Taylor 1792; found here in the 1824 version as published in 2003 in Hymns and Initiations, The Prometheus Trust [Somerset UK] on p. 72.
Line 3, in the 1792 edition began: "Studious of contests.")
10. Ærmis (Hermes; Gr. Ἑρμῆς, ΕΡΜΗΣ. Pronounced: AYR'-mees, rolling the r slightly.) [Roman: Mercurius, Anglicized as Mercury. Etruscan: Turms, Turmś]
Dohthækathæon (Dodecatheon = The Twelve Olympian Gods; Gr. Δωδεκάθεον), Ærmis (Hermes) is one of the most important deities of all Hellenismos, a God most high. He is the son of Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς) and Maia (Gr. Μαῖα), the daughter of Atlas (Gr. Ἄτλας). Ærmis the Messenger, is the herald of Zefs. He is the great friend of mankind. His domain includes commerce, travel and roads, language-writing and persuasion, gymnastic games. He is a God of shepherds. Ærmis the protector of slaves as well he who frees from slavery, and more. He is known as Argeiphontis (Argeiphontes; Gr. Ἀργειφόντης), the slayer of the giant Argos Panoptis (Gr. Ἄργος Πανόπτης). Ærmis Psychopompos (Gr. Ἑρμῆς Ψυχοπομπός) guides the souls of the dead.
The Orphic Hymn to Ærmis
The poem refers to Ærmis saying at line 14 "Corucian, blessed, profitable God." Corucian refers to Kohrykos (Corycus or Corycos; Gr. Κώρυκος), an ancient city in Anatoli (Anatolia; Gr. Ἀνατολή), the Southern promontory of the Erythraean peninsula opposite Khios (Chios; Gr. Χίος), with a rich history. It is now the town known as Kizkalesi in Turkey. There is a cave near this place, the Khohrykian (Corycian or Cilician) Cave which was the dwelling-place of Typhohn (Typhon; Gr. Τυφῶν) and Ækhithna (Echidna; Gr. Ἔχιδνα). Pan (Gr. Πᾶν) and Ærmis were worshiped in this cave, and there was also a temple dedicated to Zefs Kohrykios.
Ærmis appears in iconography either as a resplendent beardless youth or as a bearded mature male figure. He holds the Kirykeion (Gr. Κηρύκειον; Roman: Caduceus), the herald's staff which is the sceptre of Phanis and a symbol of Zefs. On his head is often found a winged traveler's cap and he wears winged shoes as well. Ærmis' attire is a simple khlamys (or chlamys; Gr. χλαμύς), a rectangular cloak pinned over the right shoulder; sometimes he is depicted naked. Perhaps the most familiar image of Ærmis is that of the magnificent naked God, running, with his winged cap and sandals, as though he is rushing off with a message from Zefs.
Epithets of Ærmis (under construction)
(Abbreviation can be found at the bottom of this page: Glossary Home)
Ænothios - (Enodius; Gr. Ἐνόδιος, ΕΝΟΔΙΟΣ) epith. of divinities, who had their statues by the way-side or at cross-roads, most freq. of Hecate, εἰνοδίας Ἑκάτης S.Fr.535.2; also of Persephone, ἐνοδία θεός Id.Ant.1199; εἰνοδία θυγάτηρ ΔάματροςE.Ion 1048; δαίμων ἐνοδία IG14.1390; and Ἐνοδία alone, Hp.Morb.Sacr. 1, E.Hel.570, AP6.199 (Antiphil.), IGIl.cc.; ἡ Ἐνόδιος Paus. l. c., v.l. in Hp.l.c.; also of Hermes, Theoc.25.4, etc. (L&S p. 571, left column)
Ærivoas - (Erivoas or Eriboas;Gr. Ἐριβόας, ΕΡΙΒΟΑΣ) loud-shouting, of Bacchus, Pi.Fr.75.10 ; of Ærmis, AP15.27.5 (Besant.). (L&S p.687, right column; within the entry starting with ἐρι-αύχην)
Charidotis - See Kharithohtis.
Enodios - See Ænothios.
Eriboas - See Ærivoas.
Erivoas - See Ærivoas.
Kharithohtis - (Charidotis; Greek: Χᾰρῐδώτης, ΧΑΡΙΔΩΤΗΣ) epithet of Ærmis, joy-giver. (L&S p. 1978, left column  )
Ærmis rules the Tenth Orphic Ikos (Oikos; Gr. οἶκος. English: house
) in the month of Karkinos (Cancer; Gr.Καρκίνος) from June 21 through July 20, and his dominion is the Natural Law of Movement in the Divine World. The Divine Consort of Ærmis is the Goddess Athina (Athena; Gr. Ἀθηνᾶ).
Dohthækathæon (Dodecatheon = the Olympian Gods; Gr. Δωδεκάθεον)
They are called the youngest of the
. Athina and
are the great cultivators of the soul. Metaphorically,
is the plow which Athina is guiding.
"...Apollo (ed. Apollohn; Gr. Ἀπόλλων), son of Leto (ed. Litoh; Gr. Λητώ), swore to be fellow and friend to Hermes (ed. Ærmis), vowing that he would love no other among the immortals, neither God nor man sprung from Zeus (ed. Zefs; Gr. Ζεύς), better than Hermes: and the Father sent forth an eagle in confirmation. And Apollo sware also: 'Verily I will make you only to be an omen for the Immortals and all alike, trusted and honoured by my heart. Moreover, I will give you a splendid staff of riches and wealth: it is of gold, with three branches, and will keep you scatheless, accomplishing every task, whether of words or deeds that are good, which I claim to know through the utterance of Zeus....
...So he spake. And from heaven father Zeus himself gave confirmation to his words, and commanded that glorious Hermes should be lord over all birds of omen and grim-eyed lions, and boars with gleaming tusks, and over dogs and all flocks that the wide earth nourishes, and over all sheep; also that he only should be the appointed messenger to Hades (ed. Aithis; Gr. Ἅιδης), who, though he takes no gift, shall give him no mean prize.
Thus the lord Apollo showed his kindness for the Son of Maia (Gr. Μαῖα) by all manner of friendship: and the Son of Cronos (Kronos or Cronus; Gr. Κρόνος) gave him grace besides. He consorts with all mortals and immortals: a little he profits, but continually throughout the dark night he cozens the tribes of mortal men."
(Homeric Hymn To Ærmis 524-578 [conclusion of the hymn], trans. by Hugh G. Evelyn-White in Hesiod: The Homeric Hymns and Homerica, 1914; found here in the 1936 edition, Harvard [Cambridge, MA]-Heinemann [London, England] pp. 401-405)
A List of Abbreviations appears on this page: Glossary Home Page.
Ærmis Jesting with Ærm of Dionysos
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