Sandals: Talaria – Hermes's winged sandals which allowed him to fly (Greek mythology)


Talaria (Latin: tālāria; Ancient Greek: πτηνοπέδῑλος, ptēnopédilos or πτερόεντα πέδιλα, pteróenta pédila) are winged sandals, a symbol of the Greek messenger god Hermes (Roman equivalent Mercury). They were said to be made by the god Hephaestus of imperishable gold and they flew the god as swift as any bird.[citation needed] The name is from the Latin tālāria, neuter plural of tālāris, “of the ankle”.

Appearances

The talaria are mentioned in Homer, who describes them as ἀμβρόσια χρύσεια (ambrósia khrýseia, “immortal/divine and of gold”). However, he does not mention wings; those first appear in the Shield of Heracles, which speaks of πτερόεντα πέδιλα (pteróenta pédila), literally “winged sandals.” Later authors repeat this characteristic, for instance in the Orphic Hymns XXVIII (to Hermes).

Perseus wears them to help him slay Medusa. According to Aeschylus, Hermes gives them to him directly. In a better-attested version, Perseus must retrieve them from the Graeae, along with the cap of invisibility and the kibisis (sack).

In popular culture

In Rick Riordan’s fantasy-adventure novel The Lightning Thief, the Talaria is in the form of sneakers instead of sandals. To activate them the wearer must say “Maia”. They are used by Grover Underwood.

In God of War III, Kratos forcibly takes the Boots of Hermes off the Messenger God’s feet by cutting his legs off.

This artifact is a part of SwordTemple Library

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