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[希腊神话33]海尔墨斯

2006-02-28 00:00

  Hermes

  Immediately after he was born,Hermes was appointed godof thieves at Olympus.And a thief he became when he was barely a few hours old.Feeling hungry,the infant left his cradle after nightfall to hunt for food.He chanced uponApollo's oxen grazing on a meadow and drove a number ofthese animals away,tying tree branches around the feet of thecattle to make their footsteps dim.He killed two of these oxenand had a magnificent dinner.Then he slipped back into his littlebed in his mother's house.When Apollo came to question himHermes pretended to be innocent.The angry sungod draggedhim up to Olympus,where he was accused of the stealing andmade to return the cattle to their master.In reconciliation little Hermes gave Apollo the lyre he had made out of a tortoise shell,and Apollo was so pleased with the gift that he presented his little brother with a magic stick.The stick could pacify hostileforces.

  In due time Hermes was appointed messenger of Zeus andthe gods.The gods equipped him with a pair of winged sandalsand winged cap to enable him to travel swifter than sight.It was Hermes who took the messages of Zeus to the world below.

  Hermes was a patron of travellers.His busts and statueswere set up as dividing marks at crossroads or street corners toguide passersby.The Hermes,as these statues were called,were regarded as sacred,and their mutilation was sacrilegiousand punishable by death.The destruction of the numerous Hermes within the city of Athens caused a terrible excitement amongits citizens that it might be no exaggeration to state that itchanged the whole course of historic development of Athens .

  海尔墨斯一生下来就被任命为奥林波斯山的贼神。他出生后几个小时的时候就做了贼。黄昏时分,他感到饥饿,于是还是婴孩的海尔墨斯离开了他的摇篮去找食物吃。他碰巧看见阿波罗的牛在草地里吃草,于是他偷走了许多牛,并将树枝绑在牛脚上,让脚印变得模糊不清。他杀了其中两头牛,美餐了一顿。然后悄然地回到他妈妈的房里,爬上床。当阿波罗发现牛少了,来质问他时,海尔墨斯佯作不知。愤怒不已的太阳神把他拖到奥林波斯山上,告他偷窃并责令将牛如数还给主人。为了平息这件事,小海尔墨斯将他用乌龟壳做的琴送给阿波罗。阿波罗得到这件礼物非常高兴,并送给他的小兄弟一支魔棍,这支魔棍可以化解敌对力量。

  到了一定的时候,海尔墨斯被指定为宙斯和众神的传令官。众神赐他一双带翅膀的草鞋和一顶带翅膀的帽子,让他可以行动神速。海尔墨斯成了宙斯和凡世之间传递消息的人。

  海尔墨斯是行人的保护神。十字路口或街角都有他的半身像和雕像。并作为独特的标记,看护着每一个过往的人。这些雕像也用海尔墨斯的名字命名,并被视为神圣不可侵犯的。任何毁坏雕像的行为都被认为是亵渎神灵,要被处以极刑。一次在雅典城,海尔墨斯的像遭到大量破坏。这一捣毁神像的行为在国民中引起了强烈的反响。毫不夸张地说,它改变了雅典历史发展的全部进程。

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