Solar System Myths and Lore

Stories About Mercury

Messenger of the gods

The first planet from the sun is Mercury (MUR kyur ee). The name derives from the Roman word for merchant and so Mercury was the god of commerce. Known in Greece as Hermes (HUR mees) he was also related to quick thinking, magic, illusion, and trickery. Quicksilver, literally "living silver", is the metal, Mercury, that is liquid at room temperatures and reminds us of this fleet messenger of the gods. He was the personal envoy of the Roman's Jupiter (JOO pih tur) or Zeus (ZOOS) for the Greeks and pictured with his helmet and sandals adorned with wings.

In northern Europe, he was identified with Woden (WOO den) from whom we get Woden's Day, our modern Wednesday.

Read facts about the planet Mercury.


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