Mercury , the son of Jupiter and Maia, was the messenger of the gods, and the conductor of the souls of the dead to Hades. He was the supposed inventor of weights and measures, and presided over orators and merchants. Mercury was accounted a most cunning thief, for he stole the bow and quiver of Apollo, the girdle of Venus, the trident of Neptune, the tools of Vulcan, and the sword of Mars, and he was therefore called the god of thieves. He is the supposed inventor of the lyre, which he exchanged with Apollo for the Caduceus. There was also an Egyptian Mercury under the name of Thoth, or Thaut, who is credited with having taught the Egyptians geometry and hieroglyphics. Hermes is the Greek name of Mercury. In art he is usually represented as having on a winged cap, and with wings on his heels.
“And there, without the power to fly,
Stands fix’d a tip-toe Mercury.”-Lloyd, 1750.
“Then fiery expedition be my wing,
Jove’s Mercury, and herald for a king.”
“Be Mercury, set feathers to thy heels
And fly, like thought, from them to me again.” – Shakespeare.