Who gave Hermes his winged shoes?

21

1

Many tools and weapons were given to the gods as gifts in order to perform their daily tasks. However there is no mention about how Hermes got his fabled shoes. So were they crafted or given as a gift? How did Hermes get his winged shoes?

Young Guilo

Posted 2015-04-28T19:38:05.800

Reputation: 1 546

Answers

19

Zeus did that. Hermes was the son of Zeus, but he grew up very quickly and one day he decided to seek out adventure. The first thing he thought of was to steal Apollon's oxes and he actually did that. Apollon didn't know who it was at first, but he soon found out that Hermes stole the oxes and took Hermes to Olympus on trial. Hermes confessed the crime and made a deal with Zeus which made him the messenger of the gods. After that, Zeus gave Hermes a wand, a round hat and the Sandals.

When Zeus called Hermes to Olympus to chide him for stealing and lying, Hermes promised he would never again lie if Zeus named him as his messenger and herald. Zeus quickly accepted this offer, and told his son that his duties would also include protecting travelers, promoting trade, and negotiating treaties.

To ensure rapid delivery of his messages, Zeus presented Hermes with golden winged sandals as swift as the wind

The Little Rascal: Hermes

nikaltipar

Posted 2015-04-28T19:38:05.800

Reputation: 3 417

2Is there a text anywhere that this can be pulled from? Having evidence is key in answering these types of questions. – Young Guilo – 2015-04-28T19:45:58.920

1I've added a source which contains exactly the same as my source which was written in Greek. – nikaltipar – 2015-04-28T19:56:12.517

8

It would appear that you are correct in saying that there is no mention—at least not in the ancient mythographers—of the origin of Hermes' shoes. In the Wikipedia article about the shoes, it is claimed that "They were said to be made by the god Hephaestus of imperishable gold and they flew the god as swift as any bird." There is, however, no source indicated for this assertion (hence the 2013 citation needed tag on the statement in the article).

In the Odyssey, Homer does indeed say that the sandals are golden and composed partly of ambrosia, but, as noted both by Wikipedia, and by William Smith's 1870 Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, "Homer no where says or suggests that they were provided with wings." It was later writers and also sculptors who portrayed them this way, whereas they originally were more ordinary, wingless footwear.

With all that being the case, Hephaistos [Hephaestus] would be the natural choice for the origin of the shoes, winged or not, since he was the resident metalworker and craftsman for the Olympian deities. If not him then the original three Cyclopes who were the great-uncles of Hermes and Hephaistos, and together with whom Hephaistos worked on Zeus' lightning bolts, would be the next best candidates.

As the ancient sources stand, however, there seems to be no explicit indication of where the shoes came from, or if, like a few of the treasured items of Hermes, he stole them from, say, the Telkhines [Telchines], or made them himself using the wings of the defeated rainbow-goddess Arke, or any other likely alternative.

Adinkra

Posted 2015-04-28T19:38:05.800

Reputation: 4 972