Epithets of Mercurius

I wanted to quickly share some of my research into epithets of Mercury. Since I began working with Mercury I took it upon myself to seek out correspondences to him that are not at all or are minimally co-owned by him and Hermes. While I respect Hermes, I view Mercury as a separate god who made his home in a different cultural context and so it was important to me to find at least a few epithets and items in the ancient world that were primarily his rather than primarily Hermes’. So, below are the epithets and/or symbols that I found that belong, more or less, to him. Enjoy, because I sure did!

Source: Walter Burkett’s Greek Religion

  • Mercury Terminorum — Mercury, god of boundaries (especially in the sense of violating boundaries)
  • Mercury Mercator — Mercury, god of merchants (primarily a Roman icon, where statues depicted Mercury as carrying bulging bags of money)
  • Mercury Fortunus — Mercury, god of luck (probably in games of chance)

Source: Charles Duke Yonge’s A Dictionary of Epithets

  • The Calamus — an item sacred to Mercury — meaning, a reed, an arrow, a flute, or a pen (as patron of literary men)

Source: Ovid’s Fasti

  • Mercury Atlantiades — grandson of Atlas (his mother’s father)

Source: Charlton Thomas Lewis & Hugh Macmaster Kingery’s An Elementary Latin Dictionary

  • Mercury Alipes — wing-footed, swift, fleet, quick
  • Mercury Caducifer — bearing the herald’s staff
  • Mercury Pacifer — peace-bringing, peaceful, pacific
  • Mercury Interpres — broker, middleman, negotiator, mediator

Source: J. Bert Lott’s The Neighborhoods of Augustan Rome

  • Mercury Sobrius — an aspect of Mercurius honored in a specific vici of ancient Augustan Rome, connected to an older Punic god

Source: Virgil’s Aeneid

  • Interpres Divum — meaning Messenger of Heaven
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