Mercury

Discussion in 'Roman Mythology' started by Allie-Gator, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. Allie-Gator

    Allie-Gator Member

    Mercury wore golden winged sandals and was the God of speed, commerce and thieves. Who were his mother and father? I think I remember that Jupiter was but I can't remember if that's correct. So why was Mercury considered to be fast and why did he carry a caduceus or a magical golden wand?
  2. Rhonda Tharp

    Rhonda Tharp Active Member

    I know the Greek version of this one, but don't know if it holds true for Mercury.
    Hermes was the Greek counterpart to Mercury and he was the God of commerce and thieves. According to "Trickster Makes this World" by Lewis Hyde, Hermes had to "steal" what was rightfully his - a place at the table so to speak or a place with the other gods and goddesses. His mother was Maia a nymph (don't know if she is the same one from the seven sisters of the Pleiades) and his father was Zeus. The day he was born he gutted a giant turtle and made a musical lyre out of its shell. He then stole Apollo's cattle and lied about it. When Zeus confronted the two brothers - like hey you all need to get along - Hermes gave Apollo the lyre and Apollo gave him the Golden Wand. He is considered a trickster because of these deeds and others, and goes in and out of the human and god world, thus uniting them. He'll instigate something with the humans, then it brings the wrath of the gods down on them and etc. He's my favorite kind of archetype.
  3. LegendofJoe

    LegendofJoe Active Member

    Tricksters really do act as catalysts in many stories. They are interesting because they are ambiguous morally; they don't fit neatly into good or evil.
    Hermes was also the god of thieves, because he was the craftiest of the gods.
  4. RLynn

    RLynn Active Member

    I should think that the Messenger of the Gods would need to be fast. There is a legend that Mercury came across two serpents fighting. He stuck his staff between them; they coiled around it and remained thus. Hence Mercury's staff became a Caduceus.

    The use of the Caduceus as an alchemical symbol may account for it's adoption by the medical profession.

    Mercury was the first God I knew about besides Yahveh-Jesus. Long ago, when I was a child, there was a picture of Mercury on the cover of the telephone book, completely naked except for the winged helmet. I asked my dad about it, and he explained to me about the god Mercury.
  5. Isis

    Isis Member

    Oh that is awesome. I didn't know much about Mercury (other than being messenger of the gods and having winged feet) but that is hilarious. I have a soft spot in my heart for instigators (in fiction).
  6. Allie-Gator

    Allie-Gator Member

    Yeah, I have always sort of been drawn to instigators. My husband's sister is famous for going to one brother or sister and getting them to do something the other's don't want done and then siding with the others against the one she tricked. Not a nice thing in practice as it is in theory.
  7. Libros

    Libros Member

    Mercury's speed is also attributed to his role as psychopomp, the guide of the newly dead down to the underworld. A person could find himself very quickly at the gates to the afterlife when Mercury is around, and since people die constantly, Mercury is constantly busy!

    Mercury is also the god of travel, boundaries, and borders. He was prayed to in order to grant swift passage across great distances, to guide wanderers onto the right paths, and to get travellers safely home faster.
    Nadai likes this.

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