Mine question: Did Hermes ever somehow helped Prometheus, or not? Is he God of thieves, or what?

Did Hermes helped Prometheus:

  • During his feat
  • Or while Prometheus served a life sentence.

1 Answer 1


To answer your first question yes, Hermes was (among other things) a god of thievery.

An excerpt from the Hermes Theoi page

HERMES was the Olympian god of herds and flocks, travellers and hospitality, roads and trade, thievery and cunning, heralds and diplomacy, language and writing, athletic contests and gymnasiums, astronomy and astrology. He was the herald and personal messenger of Zeus, King of the Gods, and also the guide of the dead who led souls down into the underworld.

Did Hermes help Prometheus steal fire (if this is the feat you talk about)?


Hermes was tasked by Zeus to punish Prometheus by using iron spikes and chains to bind him to a a cliff (or rock) on Mount Caucasus, to get his heart eaten out by an eagle in perpetuum. The character(s) who chains Prometheus seems to fluctuate depending on the storyteller, in the Ancient Greek tragedy Prometheus bound Hephaestus, Kratos, and Bia are responsible for chaining him with only Hephaestus feeling remorse

Did Hermes help Prometheus while he was bound?

No although Hermes does try to make it look that way to Prometheus (who doesn't fall for it). By offering Prometheus the option of telling who will be responsible for the overthrowing of Zeus so Prometheus won't be punished even more.

In Prometheus Bound

A chorus of Oceanids appear and attempt to comfort Prometheus by conversing with him. Prometheus cryptically tells them that he knows of a potential marriage that would lead to Zeus's downfall. Oceanus, the Titan father of the Oceanids, commiserates with Prometheus and urges him to make peace with Zeus. Prometheus tells the chorus that the gift of fire to mankind was not his only benefaction; in the so-called Catalogue of the Arts he reveals that he taught men all the civilizing arts, such as writing, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, metallurgy, architecture, and agriculture.

Prometheus is then visited by Io, a human maiden pursued by a lustful Zeus; the Olympian transformed Io into a cow, and a gadfly sent by Zeus's wife Hera has chased Io all the way from Argos. Prometheus forecasts Io's future travels, telling her that Zeus will eventually end her torment in Egypt, where she will bear a son named Epaphus. He says one of her descendants (an unnamed Heracles), thirteen generations hence, will release him from his own torment.

Hermes is sent by Zeus to demand that Prometheus tell him who threatens to overthrow him. Prometheus refuses, and Zeus strikes him with a thunderbolt that plunges Prometheus into Tartarus.

I think the only character who actually helped Prometheus is Hercules.

"Men in early times sought fire from the gods, and did not know how to keep it alive. Later Prometheus brought it to earth in a fennel-stalk, and showed men how to keep it covered over with ashes. Because of this, Mercurius [Hermes], at Jove's [Zeus'] command, bound him with iron spikes to a cliff on Mount Caucasus, and set an eagle to eat out his heart; as much as it devoured in the day, so much grew again at night. After 30,000 years Hercules killed this eagle and freed Prometheus." Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 144 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.)

  • I see, seems that this stealing of fire was not recognized by Greeks like theft, but as I've mentioned - recognized like another kind of act, feat or something. May be not feat, but not theft, that is why Hermes - is not a god of such "robinhoods". However, itself - he stole from Zeus scepter not just for fun or self-interest for the sake of.... strange... Mar 13, 2020 at 15:19
  • 2
    @mythoresearcher Zeus considered it stealing, the Greek people called it a gift, Prometheus called it an act.
    – Tom Sol
    Mar 13, 2020 at 15:47

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