Genuine Roman bronze coin (3rd century AD) depicting the God Hermes/Mercury with caduceus silver pendant; Emp.Elagabalo on the back
In Greek mythology Mercury was Hermes, son of Jupiter and the nymph Maia, messenger of the Gods, protector of travel and travellers, of communication, of deception, of thieves, of substances, of divination, bearer of dreams and conductor of souls of the dead in the underworld.
Hermes or Hermes was also the god of borders, shepherds and herdsmen, orators and poets, literature, athletics, weights and measures, commerce and cunning. Due to the promptness of his intelligence, many inventions were attributed to Hermes, such as those of music, astronomy, weights and measures. Since he was always on the road to fulfill his various missions, he was considered the protector of travelers and road safety. Therefore, in the most dangerous points, or where a road forks, a herm was erected in honor of him, that is, his bust placed on a pedestal
He wore a pair of winged sandals, the Talari, and carried the messenger stick typical of oriental culture – either the Caduceus around which two snakes are intertwined, or the "Kerykeion" , above which there is a symbol similar to that to that used in astrology for the sign of Taurus. For the Romans it was the symbol of the herald of peace, called caduceator; for the Greeks it was the symbol not only of the herald, but also of the judge of the competition, and whoever wore it was called rábduchos (from rábdos, "rod"). According to the myth, Hermes, one day when he was on Mount Cithaeron, would have separated two snakes that were fighting each other, using a stick around which the two animals clung. Since then, with the addition of two small wings spread out to signify speed, the caduceus became an attribute of Hermes, as a symbol not only of peace but also of commerce, which thrives in it. The god was therefore also called caducous.
As "Hermes Logios", a symbol of divine eloquence, he generally kept one arm raised in quality of orator.
He also possessed a magical cloak that made him invisible.