Drawing of a caduceuscaduceus

DEFINITION

A herald's wand or staff, especially in ancient times. In Greek mythology, a winged staff with two snakes twined around it, carried by Hermes (Mercury is his Roman name). As an insignia, the caduceus is also a traditional symbol of the medical profession.(pr. kə-DOO-see-əs)A sculpture in which a caduceus appears:Johan Gregor van der Schardt (Dutch, 1530- about 1580), Mercury, Bologna, Italy, 1570-1580, bronze, height 45 1/4 inches (115 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA. Van der Schardt has given Mercury several attributes that signify his speediness: his sandals and hat bear wings. The caduceus he carries remind us of Mercury's role as patron of science. Mercury is the Roman name for the god called Hermes by Greeks.Also see feather and helix.

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