Authentic Roman silver coin pendant depicting Mercury; Ulysses and Argos on the back
- • Handmade 100% Made in Italy • Authentic Roman Silver Coin 1st cent. BC • Band material: Sterling Silver 925 • Pendant width: 21 Millimeters / 0,82 Inches
Hermes, Mercury for Romans, was the ancient Greek god of trade, wealth, luck, fertility, animal husbandry, sleep, language, thieves, and travel. One of the cleverest and most mischievous of the Olympian gods, he was the patron of shepherds, invented the lyre, and was, above all, the herald and messenger of Mt. Olympus so that he came to symbolize the crossing of boundaries in his role as a guide between the two realms of gods and humanity. To the Romans, the god was known as Mercury.
Hermes has a very long history, being mentioned in the Linear B tablets of the Mycenaean civilization, at its height from the 15th to 13th century BCE.
Hermes was credited with inventing fire, the alphabet, dice (actually knucklebones) - and so he was worshipped by gamblers in his capacity as god of luck and wealth, and musical instruments, in particular, the lyre - made from a tortoiseshell by the god. Hermes was regarded as the patron of thieves and shepherds thanks to his invention of the pan pipes (syrinx). He was the patron of travelers, and stone pillars (hermae) with a phallus symbol were often to be seen set up along roadsides to act as guides and offer good fortune to those who passed. Hermae were particularly set up at boundaries, reminding of the god's role as a messenger between the gods and humanity and his function as a guide for the dead into the next life. In addition, Hermes was regarded as the patron of the home, and people often built small marble stelai in front of their doors in his honor.
Famous for his diplomatic skills, he was also regarded as the patron of languages and rhetoric. Orators regarded the god who transferred words from sender to receiver as their patron, as did interpreters (another group of boundary-crossers), and, even today, the study and interpretation of texts carry his name: hermeneutics.
Greek literary and artistic history is littered with images and references to the dog, man's best friend: from prehistory to the present day. For the Greeks, dogs had been created by the god Vulcan and their importance is also reflected in the first forms of literature, the famous Argos of Ulysses is proof of this.
As Homer tells us in his famous poem, the Odyssey, Ulysses, after the voyages that kept him away from his homeland for over twenty years, manages to return to his Ithaca, disguised however as a beggar to be unrecognizable and therefore tend trap for the Suitors who, in her absence, had settled in her house undermining Penelope and squandering her assets.
Despite the disguise, Argos the faithful old dog, recognizes Ulysses immediately and, after waiting for him all his life, he can finally close his eyes forever. In the Homeric verses there is the whole story of this faithful animal and his unconditional love for Ulysses.