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History of Mercury's Sign and Name

This is the symbol of the planet Mercury. Mercury was named after Mercury, the mythical Roman winged messenger and escort of dead souls to the underworld. It was named for the speedy Mercury because it is the fastest-moving planet.

Mercury is presented in Greek mythology as Hermes, the herald of the Olympian gods. Besides being a god for travel, merchants, weights and measure, he was also a minor patron of poetry, and is credited with the invention of foot-racing and boxing.

In times of the ancient Roman Empire, Mercury was again a messenger god and a god of trade and travel. Son of Jupiter and Maia, Mercury was known to be helpful and lighthearted. His cult was spread among the Celtic and Germanic peoples: the Celts have their Gaulish Mercury, and the Germans identified him with their Wodan.

In Sumeria, a civilization that dates from around 3200 BC, god Enki was identified with Mercury. Mercury is Buddha in Hindu mythology and is a personification of the intellect, a god also known to be proficient in all the sciences.

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