Hermes — God of Fire
Reconstructing the Indo-European Background of an Olympian God
Meeting of the Linacre Italian Society, Linacre College, University of Oxford, 10.03.2023
A “border-crosser between worlds, messenger of the gods and companion of travellers and souls, guide in the world of dreams and god of thieves, beekeeper, friend of humans [...] inventor of fire and music, Enagōnios" Hermes is an evanescent, busy god. With this presentation, I delve into what I consider to be the Indo-European layer of Hermes, namely, his fire-layer. The linguistic analysis of a variety of theonyms and epithets of the god (Argeiphontēs, kratus, euskopos, akakēta), first attested in traditional hexameter poetry, shows that they have perfect or partial match with those of the Vedic fire-god Agni.