L Hermes Bust
faux marble sculpture is a near match to the Parian,
by Praxiteles, in the Olympia Museum and is a
fine example of the Attic look, a strange blend
of delicate refinement and intellectual consciousness.
The God Hermes, whose name is Greek, also known
as Mercury the messenger, is associated in origin
with the pre-Greek people of the land. Hermes-Mercury
emerges as a pastoral god and a guide to travelers.
Shepherds had gradually put up heaps of stone,
perhaps as landmarks. It was the God Hermes' duty
to make treaties, promote commerce, and maintain
the free rights-of-way for travelers. Some authorities
say Hermes fathered Pan, others believe that Pan
taught Hermes to play the pipes. When the Greek-speaking
people arrived in the peninsula they referred
to these stones as herma, meaning stone heap.
The true name of the god was probably withheld
by those being invaded.