|Major Roman Gods|
Mercury is a god found in Roman antiquity, also known as the god of trade, profit and commerce. His name is apparently derived from the Latin merx or mercator, a merchant. He is very similar to the Greek god Hermes and the Etruscan Turms.
This article treats Mercury in cult practice and in archaic Rome. For later mythological and poetic accounts of Mercury, which were heavily influenced by Greek mythology, see Hermes.
Mercury's temple in the Circus Maximus, between the Aventine and Palatine hills, was built in 495 BC. This was a fitting place to worship a god of trade and swiftness, since it was a major center of commerce as well as a racetrack. Since it stood between the plebeian stronghold on the Aventine and the patrician center on the Palatine, it also emphasized the role of Mercury as a mediator.
On May 15, the Mercuralia was held in his honor; merchants sprinkled water from his sacred well near the Porta Capena on their heads.
He was called Mercurius in Latin and was also known as Alipes ("with the winged feet").
- This page was originally sourced from Thelemapedia. Retrieved May 2009.