In the Roman mythology, Mercury is regarded as the god of merchants and shopkeepers, as well as travellers and tricksters. He is often associated with the Greek messenger god Hermes. A wily trickster, he was also known for being able to communicate effectively. Apart from being the god of commerce, Mercury was also responsible for sending souls to the underworld. He was also the patron of merchants and thieves, and he was able to control the flow of information.
Like the Greek god Hermes, Mercury was known for challenging the physical and moral boundaries of others. In Roman mythology, he was the only god that could freely cross the underworld. Although Mercury didn’t join the Roman Pantheon until the 3rd century BCE, he eventually became a prominent figure in the mythology. Because of his likeness to other gods, such as those depicted in European and Mediterranean cultures, he was easily assimilated into the various cultures that were under the Romans.
The god is often depicted with a caduceus, a wand that can be used to resolve conflicts, and winged sandals that can carry messages for the gods. In Greek mythology, the wand was given to him by Apollo. He was also known for wearing a wide-brimmed hat and carrying a purse, which symbolized his duties as the god of commerce.
Although he was usually depicted in a naked form, Mercury was sometimes seen wearing a cloak and tunic. He wore winged shoes and a winged helm that was made by the god of fire and forge, known as Vulcan. This winged helm eventually became associated with the messenger god.
Mercury was the child of Jupiter, who was the king of gods, and Maia, who was one of the daughters of Atlas. Although he was the only child of this union, he had many half-siblings, such as Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, and the gods of fire and forge, such as the aforementioned Vulcan. The daughter of another planet, Proserpina, was abducted by Pluto and later recovered.
According to Fasti, Mercury and his consort, Larunda, had two children, the Lares, who were named after the gods of crossroads. Like their father, the Lares were entrusted with the crossroads.
Like Hermes, Mercury was known for having other lovers. When he had an affair with Venus, he created an androgynous child called Hermesaphroditos. Later on, he would merge with his lover, resulting in a single entity with both female and male genitalia.
Mercury is known to the Romans as Mercurius and occasionally in earlier writings as Merqurius, Mirqurios or Mircurios, had a number of epithets representing different aspects or roles, or representing syncretisms with non-Roman deities.
Mercury was the Roman god of commerce, who was known for being able to mediate between the gods and the mortal world. He protected both the merchants and the people who were involved in circulation. His winged feet made him incredibly fast, and he was also known for being able to carry messages and goods with him.
Merchants sought the protection of their goods from Mercury, who was known for being a shrewd and cunning god. He was also known for pulling pranks on people, such as Apollo. Some believe that he was of foreign origin, and he is often associated with Hermes.
Compared to other gods, Mercury has a relatively active presence in popular culture. He is known for being the fastest planet in the solar system and for being able to orbit around the sun in less than a second. He also lent his name to NASA’s first manned space program, which involved sending a man into orbit around the Earth.
The chemical element Mercury, which is also known as quicksilver, was named after the messenger god. It can transition into other compounds, and it was commonly used in mining for silver and gold.
In addition to being associated with Mercury cars, the name also resonated in other areas, such as music. In 1938, Ford Motor Company dedicated an entire division to the brand’s Mercury line. The first logo of the company featured a profile image of the god wearing his winged helm. Records also used the name Mercury as its logo. In the DC Comics universe, the character known as the Flash was known for having a connection with Mercury. He wore a red costume, and his helmet featured small wings on his forehead.
Prefer a more visual study of mythology? Head over to our YouTube Channel for more videos, interviews and snippets on all the different mythologies, characters, origin stories and much much more!
Sign up to receive updates, promotions, and sneak peaks of upcoming products. Plus 20% off your next order.