Maia was prominent as two characters, one Greek, the other Roman. The Greek Maia was the eldest of the Pleiades (the daugh­ters of Atlas and Pleïone) who was the mother of Hermes by Zeus. The Roman Maia was an obscure goddess who gave her name, it is generally believed, to the month of May. The Greek Maia's name has a meaning which ranges from 'mother' and 'dame' to 'nurse' and 'midwife'.