Minor deity of unions, androgyny, marriage, sexuality and fertility
Ermafrodito, affresco Romano di Ercolano (1–50 d.C., Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli) - 02.jpg
AbodeMount Ida
SymbolThyrsus, Kantharos
Personal information
ConsortSilenus, Maenad, Satyrs
ParentsHermes and Aphrodite
SiblingsEros/Cupid, Harmonia/Concordia, Phobos, Deimos, Pan, Priapus, Tyche

In Greek mythology, Hermaphroditus or Hermaphroditos (s/ (About this soundlisten); Ancient Greek: Ἑρμαφρόδιτος) was the son of Aphrodite and Hermes. According to Ovid, he was born a remarkably handsome boy with whom the water nymph Salmacis fell in love and prayed to be united forever. A god, in answer to her prayer, merged their two forms into one and transformed them into an androgynous form.[1] His name is compounded of his parents' names, Hermes and Aphrodite.[2] He was one of the Erotes.

Because Hermaphroditus was a son of Hermes, and consequently a great-grandson of Atlas, sometimes he is called Atlantiades (Greek: Ατλαντιάδης).[3] Hermaphroditus' father, Hermes, was also called Atlantiades because his mother, Maia was the daughter of Atlas.

Hermaphroditus' name is the basis for the word hermaphrodite.


Hermaphroditos, holding a torch and a kantharos, between Silenus (right) and maenad (left); Roman fresco from the triclinium of the procurator in the Casa del Centenario (IX 8,3–6) in Pompeii.

Hermaphroditus, the two-sexed child of Aphrodite and Hermes (Venus and Mercury) had long been a symbol of androgyny or effeminacy, and was portrayed in Greco-Roman art as a female figure with male genitals.[4]

Theophrastus's account also suggests a link between Hermaphroditus and the institution of marriage. The reference to the fourth day of the month is telling: this is the luckiest day to have a wedding. Hermaphroditus's association with marriage seems to have been that, by embodying both masculine and feminine qualities, he symbolized the coming together of men and women in sacred union. Another factor linking Hermaphroditus to weddings was his parents' role in protecting and blessing brides.[5][6]

Hermaphroditus's name is derived from those of his parents Hermes and Aphrodite. All three of these gods figure largely among erotic and fertility figures, and all possess distinctly sexual overtones. Sometimes, Hermaphroditus is referred to as Aphroditus. The phallic god Priapus was the son of Hermes by some accounts and the youthful god of desire Eros of Ares and Aphrodite.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Hermafroditos
asturianu: Hermafrodito
български: Хермафродит
català: Hermafrodit
čeština: Hermaphroditus
Ελληνικά: Ερμαφρόδιτος
español: Hermafrodito
euskara: Hermafrodita
français: Hermaphrodite
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italiano: Ermafrodito
kaszëbsczi: Hermafrodita
Lëtzebuergesch: Hermaphroditos
მარგალური: ჰერმაფროდიტი
Nederlands: Hermaphroditus
norsk nynorsk: Hermafroditos
occitan: Ermafrodita
polski: Hermafrodyta
português: Hermafrodito
Simple English: Hermaphroditus
slovenčina: Hermafroditos
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Hermafrodit (mitologija)
svenska: Hermafroditos