What Do Mercury and Hermes Have in Common?

Mercury, the Roman God of commerce, communication, and travelers, and Hermes, the Greek God of commerce, language, and thieves, are two deities that share many similarities. These two gods have a significant impact on the ancient world and continue to be revered in modern times. In this article, we will explore what Mercury and Hermes have in common.

The Origins of Mercury and Hermes

Mercury was one of the most important gods in ancient Rome. He was believed to be the son of Jupiter and Maia, one of the Pleiades.

According to legend, he was born in a cave on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia, Greece. As for Hermes, he was also known as the son of Zeus and Maia.

The Symbols

Both Mercury and Hermes are recognized by their unique attributes or symbols. For instance, Mercury is often depicted holding a caduceus (a winged staff with two entwined snakes), which has become an emblem for medicine today. The caduceus also represents peace as well as trade since it’s also used by merchants.

On the other hand, Hermes is often shown with winged sandals or a cap that symbolizes his speediness since he’s known as the messenger god who can travel quickly between worlds.

The Roles

Mercury’s role is similar to that of Hermes; they both serve as messengers between gods and humans. They also preside over commerce or trade activities. However, Mercury was more focused on financial gain while Hermes had more diverse responsibilities like guiding souls to the underworld or leading travelers.


In terms of popularity, Mercury‘s cult was widespread throughout Rome since merchants were influential in the empire. They held regular festivals and games in his honor, such as the Mercuralia in May.

Conversely, Hermes was also popular but mostly among Greek cities like Athens or Olympia. His worship was usually tied to athletic events since he was considered the patron of athletes.


Mercury and Hermes, despite being from different mythologies, share many similarities that indicate how much they influenced ancient life. Their symbols and roles have been passed down to modern times, where we still see them referenced today. By understanding these two gods’ similarities, we can gain a deeper appreciation for their cultural significance and legacy.