Lyre of Hermes


Lyre of Hermes


The lyre that Hermes created on the day he was born. Made from cow intestines and a tortoise shell.


Though this lyre is typically associated with Apollo, it was created by the great god Hermes. On the day that Hermes was born, he stole and hid Apollo's cattle. As he is a cunning and mischievous god, he was able to do so without anyone but his mother, Maia, noticing. He used the intestines of one of these cows, combined with the shell of a tortoise, to create this lyre.

Of course, Apollo eventually found out that Hermes was responsible for the disappearance of his cattle. With the help of Zeus, he coerced Hermes into showing him where the cows were hidden. When they arrived and Hermes started playing his lyre, Apollo lost interest in his stolen beasts. He was utterly enchanted by the instrument, to the point where he offered to trade his cattle for the lyre.

Hermes is a clever god! I attribute the lyre to him, because it was his invention.




Mary Metzger




Hermes, “Lyre of Hermes,” The Museum of Fictional Literary Artifacts, accessed May 20, 2024,