Hermes And Theft Of Apollon's Cattle Analysis

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Religions throughout history have greatly influenced societies cultures. Everything from architecture, to books, war and art. In relatively recent history you can see modern religious influence within the paintings, buildings and artifacts. Ancient mythology was no different. Civilizations during the time built and created many works of art to praise, tell stories or even function in rituals to their gods. One such example is this Caeretan Hydria Vase entitled, "Hermes & The Theft of Apollon's Cattle". (1) This piece of art is classified as a Caeretan Hydria, a type of ancient Greek painted vase, belonging to the black figure style. (2) Hydriai range in size from 40-45 cm tall and are topped by wide necks on broad shoulders. While there…show more content…
On the vase we see (from left to right) cattle behind trees maybe bushes, perhaps they are meant to be "hidden" from Apollo? Then in the cradle Hermes, above him his mother Maia, and on the far right Zeus. In the Homeric Hymn, Hermes, on the very day he was born, was very active. Not only does he invent the lyre (out of a turtle shell), pan pipes, sandals, and fire (or at least how to kindle fire), but probably the most noteworthy of his first day accomplishes was the stealing of a herd of cattle. The cattle he stole came from none other than fellow Olympian Apollo. Hermes cleverly retraced his and the cattle's footprints to throw off any would be follower and drove the majority of the herd to the Alpheios river. With the fire Hermes created, he also invented the first sacrifice to the Olympians. Hermes divided up two cattle into 12 parts, one piece for each of the 11 gods at the time and one for himself. While Hermes's moves and inventions convey his quick wit and cleverness, it was not long that Apollo found his cattle and the thief. Apollo confronts Hermes and eventually takes him before their father Zeus for a sort of

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