Messenger and herald of the Olympians. Being required to do
a great deal of travelling and speaking in public, he became
the god of eloquence, travellers, merchants, and thieves. He
was one of the most energetic of the Greek gods, a
Machiavellian character full of trickery and sexual vigour.
Like other Greek gods, he is endowed with not-inconsiderable
sexual prowess which he directs towards countryside nymphs.
He is a god of boundaries, guardian of graves and patron deity
of shepherds. He is usually depicted as a handsome young
man wearing winged golden sandals and holding a magical
herald's staff consisting of intertwined serpents, the
kerykeion. He is reputedly the only being able to find his way
to the underworld ferry of Charon and back again. He is said
to have invented, among other things, the lyre, Pan's Pipes,
numbers, the alphabet, weights and measures, and sacrificing.