Mercury features in the first published comic book story of comics legend Jack Kirby Mercury in the 20th Century published in Red Raven Comics 1, 1940. He was worshipped by the humans of Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. The name "Mercury" is possibly related to the Latin word merx ("merchandise"; cf. His cult was introduced also by influence of etruscan religion in which Turms had similar characteristics. The scholiasts of the Iliad (XXIII, 347) and of Lycophron (153) attribute to him the same origin. Mercury, in Roman religion, god of shopkeepers and merchants, travelers and transporters of goods, and thieves and tricksters. Announcing our NEW encyclopedia for Kids! Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Mercury, with winged hat and staff, classical statue; in the Uffizi, Florence.

Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Similar to his Greek equivalent Hermes, he was awarded a magic wand by Apollo, which later turned into the caduceus, the staff with intertwined snakes. Not necessarily the god of speed exactly, but the most aligned as the god of merchants, travelers, thieves and tricksters. He is the god of financial gain, commerce, eloquence, messages, communication (including divination), travelers, boundaries, luck, trickery and thieves; he also serves as the guide of souls to the underworld.[1][2]. For the racehorse, see, "Mercurius" redirects here.

The cult of Mercury is ancient, and tradition has it that his temple on the Aventine Hill in Rome was dedicated in 495 bce.

Corrections? He is commonly identified with the Greek Hermes, the fleet-footed messenger of the gods.

[3] From the beginning, Mercury had essentially the same aspects as Hermes, wearing winged shoes (talaria) and a winged hat (petasos), and carrying the caduceus, a herald's staff with two entwined snakes that was Apollo's gift to Hermes. Mercury did not appear among the numinous di indigetes of early Roman religion. Mercury (/ ˈ m ɜːr k j ʊr i /; Latin: Mercurius [mɛrˈkʊrɪ.ʊs] ()) is a major god in Roman religion and mythology, being one of the 12 Dii Consentes within the ancient Roman pantheon.He is the god of financial gain, commerce, eloquence, messages, communication (including divination), travelers, boundaries, luck, trickery and thieves; he also serves as the guide of souls to the underworld. Updates?

The son of Zeus would have thus ridden upon Arion when he seized Elis.

Mercury was the Roman correlation to Hermes. Arion's siring by Poseidon in stallion form varies by author: according to the Pseudo-Apollodorus, the horse was foaled by Demeter while she was "in the likeness of a Fury";[3] Pausanias reported that, according to Antimachus, the horse was the foal of Gaia, the Earth, herself. Mercury's temple in Rome was situated in the Circus Maximus, between the Aventine and Palatine hills, and was built in 495 BC.

According to Quintus Smyrnaeus, Arion was begotten by loud-piping Zephyrus on a harpy (probably Podarge).[4]. Like Hermes, he was also a god of messages, eloquence and of trade, particularly of the grain trade. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students.

Larunda thereby becomes mother to two children, referred to as the Lares, invisible household gods. Thereafter, Heracles gave Arion to Adrastus; this is why Antimachus said of Arion: "Adrastus was the third lord who tamed him. Reply Delete Statius also made mention of the horse in his 1st-century Latin epic poem the Thebaid (Book VI, 301).

[15], That year saw disturbances at Rome between the patrician senators and the plebeians, which led to a secession of the plebs in the following year. In Ovid's Fasti, Mercury is assigned to escort the nymph Larunda to the underworld. "[9], This article is about the mythological horse. The earliest literary mention of Arion is in Homer's Iliad (Book XXIII, ln. [6], Archeological evidence from Pompeii suggests that Mercury was among the most popular of Roman gods. This article was most recently revised and updated by,, Hermes - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Mercury - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Also known as Winged Goddess, Nike is most often pictured as having wings. Old English "mearc", Old Norse "mark" and Latin "margō") and Greek οὖρος (by analogy of Arctūrus/Ἀρκτοῦρος), as the "keeper of boundaries," referring to his role as bridge between the upper and lower worlds. Although Lugus may originally have been a deity of light or the sun (though this is disputed), similar to the Roman Apollo, his importance as a god of trade made him more comparable to Mercury, and Apollo was instead equated with the Celtic deity Belenus. [19], {subject bar |commons=y |commons-search= Mercurius (deus) |q=y |portal1=Mythology |portal2=Ancient Rome }}, "Alipes" redirects here. Additionally, Ovid wrote that Mercury carried Morpheus' dreams from the valley of Somnus to sleeping humans. Nike is the Greek god of speed (Hermes was that of messengers, roads, trickery, etc not technically speed).

Because Mercury was not one of the early deities surviving from the Roman Kingdom, he was not assigned a flamen ("priest"), but he did have his own major festival, on 15 May, the Mercuralia.

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. [7] The god of commerce was depicted on two early bronze coins of the Roman Republic, the Sextans and the Semuncia.

During the Mercuralia, merchants sprinkled water from his sacred well near the Porta Capena on their heads. 8) recounts that in the defeat of the Argives, the same battle in which Eteocles and Polynices slew each other, Adrastus alone among the Argive leaders survived, saved by his horse Arion that Demeter, in the likeness of a Fury, had conceived by Poseidon. He was considered the son of Maia, who was a daughter of the Titan Atlas, and Jupiter in Roman mythology. In the Epic Cycle Arion was mounted most notably by Adrastus, king of Argos. The most common and significant of these epithets included the following: In Virgil's Aeneid, Mercury reminds Aeneas of his mission to found the city of Rome. Mercury, Latin Mercurius, in Roman religion, god of shopkeepers and merchants, travelers and transporters of goods, and thieves and tricksters.

The senate and the consuls, in particular the conservative Appius, were outraged at this decision, and it inflamed the ongoing situation.

She was the child of Pallas (Titan) and Styx In most beliefs, Styx is the name of the river that separates Planet Earth from the Gates of Hell (Hades).

Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The senate referred the decision to the popular assembly, and also decreed that whichever was chosen should also exercise additional duties, including presiding over the markets, establish a merchants' guild, and exercising the functions of the pontifex maximus. On the subject of Arion, Homer said in the Iliad:[5]. [citation needed].

There Mercury was associated with Maia, who became identified as his mother through her association with the Greek Maia, one of the Pleiades, who was the mother of Hermes by Zeus; likewise, because of that Greek connection, Mercury was considered the son of Jupiter. 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.

He was often accompanied by a rooster, herald of the new day,[4] a ram or goat, symbolizing fertility, and a tortoise, referring to Mercury's legendary invention of the lyre from a tortoise shell.

[8], When they described the gods of Celtic and Germanic tribes, rather than considering them separate deities, the Romans interpreted them as local manifestations or aspects of their own gods, a cultural trait called the interpretatio Romana. Pausanias says that "in the Thebaid it is said that Adrastus fled from Thebes: 'Wearing wretched clothes, and with him dark-maned Areion' ".

Legba was a West African god of travelers and messengers. For other uses, see, Ancient Roman god of trade, merchants, and travel, God of financial gain, commerce, eloquence, messages, communication, travelers, boundaries, luck, trickery, merchants, thieves, Glossary to Ovid's Fasti, Penguin edition, by Boyle and Woodard at 343, Beard, Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town at 295–298, Marvel Visionaries, Jack Kirby, Marvel Comics, 2004,, "Review of "Rome and Carthage at Peace" by R.E.A.Palmer",, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles having different image on Wikidata and Wikipedia, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2013, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2013, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with TePapa identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 1 November 2020, at 00:38. Mercury was also considered a god of abundance and commercial success, particularly in Gaul, where he was said to have been particularly revered.

The people, because of the ongoing public discord, and in order to spite the senate and the consuls, instead awarded the honour of dedicating the temple to the senior military officer of one of the legions named Marcus Laetorius. He is often depicted holding the caduceus in his left hand. [17], The temple was regarded as a fitting place to worship a swift god of trade and travel, since it was a major center of commerce as well as a racetrack. [9] This is probably because, in the Roman syncretism, Mercury was equated with the Celtic god Lugus, and in this aspect was commonly accompanied by the Celtic goddess Rosmerta.

), mercari (to trade), and merces (wages); another possible connection is the Proto-Indo-European root merĝ- for "boundary, border" (cf. For other uses, see. [5] He was also, like Hermes, the Romans' psychopomp, leading newly deceased souls to the afterlife. Pseudo-Apollodorus (Book III, Ch.

[citation needed]. [7] Latin scholia assert that these verses indicate that Neptune was Arion's sire. Please reorganize this content to explain the subject's impact on popular culture, Online version at the Perseus Digital Library, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology,, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Articles with trivia sections from March 2017, Commons category link is defined as the pagename, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 4 November 2020, at 15:07. [16], The dedication occurred on 15 May, 495 BC. He was the patron of travelers and the god of thievery as well.

6, sect. Learn more about Mercury in this article. [18], The United States' so-called Mercury dime, issued from 1916 to 1945, actually features a Winged Liberty and not the god Mercury, but is so named because of a misinterpretation of the goddess's Phrygian cap as wings.

Mercury is sometimes represented as holding a purse, symbolic of his business functions. In support of the lineage they advance, Pausanias reports, the Arcadians cite some verses from the Iliad (23.346 quoted above) and the Thebaid (an early Greek epic of uncertain authorship, of which only fragments remain).

Mercury (/ˈmɜːrkjʊri/; Latin: Mercurius [mɛrˈkʊrɪ.ʊs] (listen)) is a major god in Roman religion and mythology, being one of the 12 Dii Consentes within the ancient Roman pantheon.

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