Mercury - Lore, Myths, and Legends

About Mercury, lore, myths, legends, and theories from different cultures.

MERCURY

Lore: To the ancients of all cultures, the planets were wandering stars. All other stars were fixed. Thus, the wanderers were believed to be possessed of dreadful and unlimited powers. To appease the planets' possible wrath, men gave them the names of gods. The planet nearest the sun--elusive, unpredictable, seeming to appear and disappear at will--was named by the Greeks Hermes and by the Romans Mercury. In addition to being the messenger of the gods, Mercury held sway over invention, travel, trade, and thievery, and was the special god of news bearers and merchants. He carried the lighted caduceus (a staff with two snakes entwined around it and two wings at the top) to lead souls to the nether world. The caduceus is still used to represent the planet.

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