Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Caduceus, the Latin name for the staff of Mercury, whom the Romans identified with the Greek Hermes. It was represented with a pair of wings at the top - to symbolise the speed with which the messenger of the gods travelled - and two serpents twined round it: either because, according to a legend, the god had once separated two serpents with his staff, or as a symbol of his wisdom, or of health (the serpent being sacred to AEsculapius). In modern times, Mercury being in one aspect the god of markets, the caduceus is sometimes the symbol of commerce.