Genuine Roman Bronze Coin Pendant depicting God Mercury
- • Handmade 100% Made in Italy • Genuine Roman Bronze Coin 3rd cent. AD • Bezel material: Sterling Silver 925
In this 925 silver pendant has been set an authentic Roman coin depicting the god Mercury-Hermes, the messenger of the gods, with a caduceus and a bag containing money. In the back two figures are visible: Eliogabalo and Julia Maesa, the emperor who minted the coin and his grandmother! Hermes 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 a 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, as well as 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.