The caduceus (☤; /kəˈdjuːʃəs, -siəs/; Latin cādūceus, from Greek κηρύκειον kērū́keion "herald's wand, or staff") is the staff carried by Hermes in Greek mythology and consequently by Hermes Trismegistus in Greco-Egyptian mythology. The same staff was also borne by heralds in general, for example by Iris, the messenger of Hera. It is a short staff entwined by two serpents, sometimes surmounted by wings. In Roman iconography, it was often depicted being carried in the left hand of Mercury, the messenger of the gods, guide of the dead, and protector of merchants, shepherds, gamblers, liars, and thieves.
Some accounts suggest that the oldest known imagery of the caduceus has its roots in a Mesopotamian origin with the Sumerian god Ningishzida; whose symbol, a staff with two snakes intertwined around it, dates back to 4000 B.C. to 3000 B.C.
As a symbolic object, it represents Hermes (or the Roman Mercury), and by extension trades, occupations, or undertakings associated with the god. In later Antiquity, the caduceus provided the basis for the astrological symbol representing the planet Mercury. Thus, through its use in astrology, alchemy, and astronomy it has come to denote the planet and elemental metal of the same name. It is said the wand would wake the sleeping and send the awake to sleep. If applied to the dying, their death was gentle; if applied to the dead, they returned to life.
By extension of its association with Mercury and Hermes, the caduceus is also a recognized symbol of commerce and negotiation, two realms in which balanced exchange and reciprocity are recognized as ideals. This association is ancient, and consistent from the Classical period to modern times. The caduceus is also used as a symbol representing printing, again by extension of the attributes of Mercury (in this case associated with writing and eloquence).
The caduceus is often incorrectly used as a symbol of healthcare organizations and medical practice, particularly in North America, due to confusion with the traditional medical symbol, the Rod of Asclepius, which has only one snake and is never depicted with wings.
It is thought that this symbol's long lasting association with the medical profession stems from early use of twigs to draw out long bodied inter muscular parasitic worms by wrapping them slowly around the twig so as not to break them or allow them to escape back into the body, a successful treatment still in use today, see Dracunculiasis.
The term kerukeion denoted any herald's staff, not necessarily associated with Hermes in particular.
In his study of the cult of Hermes, Lewis Richard Farnell (1909) assumed that the two snakes had simply developed out of ornaments of the shepherd's crook used by heralds as their staff. This view has been rejected by later authors pointing to parallel iconography in the Ancient Near East. It has been argued that the staff or wand entwined by two snakes was itself representing a god in the pre-anthropomorphic era. Like the herm or priapus, it would thus be a predecessor of the anthropomorphic Hermes of the classical era.
William Hayes Ward (1910) discovered that symbols similar to the classical caduceus sometimes appeared on Mesopotamian cylinder seals. He suggested the symbol originated some time between 3000 and 4000 BC, and that it might have been the source of the Greek caduceus. A.L. Frothingham incorporated Dr. Ward's research into his own work, published in 1916, in which he suggested that the prototype of Hermes was an "Oriental deity of Babylonian extraction" represented in his earliest form as a snake god. From this perspective, the caduceus was originally representative of Hermes himself, in his early form as the Underworld god Ningishzida, "messenger" of the "Earth Mother". The caduceus is mentioned in passing by Walter Burkert as "really the image of copulating snakes taken over from Ancient Near Eastern tradition".
The caduceus also appears as a symbol of the punch-marked coins of the Maurya Empire in India, in the third or second century BC. Numismatic research suggest that this symbol was the symbol of the Buddhist king Ashoka, his personal "Mudra". This symbol was not used on the pre-Mauryan punch-marked coins, but only on coins of the Maurya period, together with the three arched-hill symbol, the "peacock on the hill", the triskelis and the Taxila mark.
The Homeric hymn to Hermes relates how Hermes offered his lyre fashioned from a tortoise shell as compensation for the cattle he stole from his half brother Apollo. Apollo in return gave Hermes the caduceus as a gesture of friendship. The association with the serpent thus connects Hermes to Apollo, as later the serpent was associated with Asclepius, the "son of Apollo".
The association of Apollo with the serpent is a continuation of the older Indo-European dragon-slayer motif. Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher (1913) pointed out that the serpent as an attribute of both Hermes and Asclepius is a variant of the "pre-historic semi-chthonic serpent hero known at Delphi as Python", who in classical mythology is slain by Apollo.
One Greek myth of origin of the caduceus is part of the story of Tiresias, who found two snakes copulating and killed the female with his staff. Tiresias was immediately turned into a woman, and so remained until he was able to repeat the act with the male snake seven years later. This staff later came into the possession of the god Hermes, along with its transformative powers.
Another myth suggests that Hermes (or Mercury) saw two serpents entwined in mortal combat. Separating them with his wand he brought about peace between them, and as a result the wand with two serpents came to be seen as a sign of peace.
In some vase paintings ancient depictions of the Greek kerukeion are somewhat different from the commonly seen modern representation. These representations feature the two snakes atop the staff (or rod), crossed to create a circle with the heads of the snakes resembling horns. This old graphic form, with an additional crossbar to the staff, seems to have provided the basis for the graphical sign of Mercury (☿) used in Greek astrology from Late Antiquity.
Caduceus is encoded in Unicode at code point U+2624: ☤.
A simplified variant of the caduceus is to be found in dictionaries, indicating a “commercial term” entirely in keeping with the association of Hermes with commerce. In this form the staff is often depicted with two winglets attached and the snakes are omitted (or reduced to a small ring in the middle). The Customs Service of the former German Democratic Republic employed the caduceus, bringing its implied associations with thresholds, translators, and commerce, in the service medals they issued their staff. The caduceus is also the symbol of the Customs Agency of Bulgaria and of the Financial Administration of the Slovak Republic (Tax and Customs administration). The emblem of the China Customs is a caduceus crossing with a golden key.
It is relatively common, especially in the United States, to find the caduceus, with its two snakes and wings, used as a symbol of medicine instead of the Rod of Asclepius, with only a single snake. This usage was popularised largely as a result of the adoption of the caduceus as its insignia by the U.S. Army Medical Corps in 1902 at the insistence of a single officer (though there are conflicting claims as to whether this was Capt. Frederick P. Reynolds or Col. John R. van Hoff).
The Rod of Asclepius is the dominant symbol for professional healthcare associations in the United States. One survey found that 62% of professional healthcare associations used the rod of Asclepius as their symbol. The same survey found that 76% of commercial healthcare organizations used the Caduceus symbol. The author of the study suggests the difference exists because professional associations are more likely to have a real understanding of the two symbols, whereas commercial organizations are more likely to be concerned with the visual impact a symbol will have in selling their products.
The long-standing and abundantly attested historical associations of the caduceus with commerce are considered by many to be inappropriate in a symbol used by those engaged in the healing arts. This has occasioned significant criticism of the use of the caduceus in a medical context.
As god of the high-road and the market-place Hermes was perhaps above all else the patron of commerce and the fat purse: as a corollary, he was the special protector of the traveling salesman. As spokesman for the gods, he not only brought peace on earth (occasionally even the peace of death), but his silver-tongued eloquence could always make the worse appear the better cause. From this latter point of view, would not his symbol be suitable for certain Congressmen, all medical quacks, book agents and purveyors of vacuum cleaners, rather than for the straight-thinking, straight-speaking therapeutist? As conductor of the dead to their subterranean abode, his emblem would seem more appropriate on a hearse than on a physician's car.— Stuart L. Tyson
CADUCEUS was a medical expert system finished in the mid-1980s (first begun in the 1970s- it took a long time to build the knowledge base) by Harry Pople (of the University of Pittsburgh), building on Pople's years of interviews with Dr. Jack Meyers, one of the top internal medicine diagnosticians and a professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Their motivation was an intent to improve on MYCIN - which focused on blood-borne infectious bacteria - to focus on more comprehensive issues than a narrow field like blood poisoning (though it would do it in a similar manner); instead embracing all internal medicine. CADUCEUS eventually could diagnose up to 1000 different diseases.
While CADUCEUS worked using an inference engine similar to MYCIN's, it made a number of changes (like incorporating abductive reasoning) to deal with the additional complexity of internal disease- there can be a number of simultaneous diseases, and data is generally flawed and scarce.
CADUCEUS has been described as the "most knowledge-intensive expert system in existence".Caduceus (horse)
Caduceus was a New Zealand bred Standardbred racehorse. Caduceus is notable for winning the 1960 Inter Dominion Trotting Championship, trotting's premiership event in Australia and New Zealand, from a handicap of 36 yards, in front of a world record crowd. Prior to this in New Zealand, he had won major events including the New Zealand Free For All sprint race on three occasions plus the Auckland Pacing Cup.
In 1960, he went to the United States, the first to prove he could match the very top US horses. He ended up winning more than £100,000, with gallopers Tulloch and Sailor's Guide as the only horses bred in Australia or New Zealand to have achieved this distinction at that time.He was an inaugural inductee into the New Zealand Trotting Hall of Fame with the immortals Cardigan Bay, Harold Logan, Highland Fling, Johnny Globe and Ordeal.Caduceus (ship)
Caduceus was a convict ship that transported a single convict from Bombay, India to Fremantle, Western Australia in 1858. It arrived in Fremantle on 5 February 1858. The convict, Patrick Devlin, was a 31-year-old soldier who had been convicted of a breach of articles of war by court-martial in Hyderabad State in December 1855, and sentenced to 14 years transportation. In addition to Devlin, there were three other passengers on board.Caduceus Cellars
Caduceus Cellars is a winery in Jerome, Arizona, United States. It is owned by Maynard James Keenan, who is best known as the vocalist for Grammy Award-winning progressive metal band Tool. He is descended from Northern Italian winemakers. While the winery is named after caduceus, an ancient symbol for commerce and staff of the Greek god Hermes, the vineyard is named Merkin Vineyards, after a pubic wig (merkin).Caduceus as a symbol of medicine
The caduceus (☤) is the traditional symbol of Hermes and features two snakes winding around an often winged staff. It is often mistakenly used as a symbol of medicine instead of the Rod of Asclepius, especially in the United States. The two-snake caduceus design has ancient and consistent associations with trade, eloquence, negotiation, alchemy, wisdom, and controversially, thievery, lying, and the passage into the underworld.
The modern use of the caduceus as a symbol of medicine became established in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century as a result of documented mistakes, misunderstandings and confusion.Coat of arms of Brisbane
The Coat of Arms of Brisbane is a historic icon; symbolising aspects of not only the City but also the eponymous Governor of New South Wales, Sir Thomas Brisbane.
Sir Thomas' preoccupation with the field of astronomy is indicated by the two mullets. The Stafford knot was the badge of the 38th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot in which Sir Thomas Brisbane entered the British Army as an Ensign in 1789.
The Caduceus is the symbol of Commerce and Peace, and is the emblem depicted for Hermes in his capacity as God and Protector of Commerce.
Two Gryphons support the design, together with the motto "Meliora Sequimur", which means "Let us pursue better things" in Latin. The Gryphon is one of the principal bearings in heraldry, and is frequently used as a charge or supporter. The chimerical creature is half eagle and half lion and legend states that when it attains full growth, it will never be taken alive. The wavy blue bar around the creatures' necks alludes to the city's location as a port on the river.
The palm leaves in the crest are a symbol of victory included as a compliment from the Council to the valour of Australian Defence Force.
Valour, honour and high-mettled attributes are conveyed by the leopard in the crest. The colours of the city, blue and gold, are indicated by the top wreath.Demetrius I of Bactria
Demetrius I (Greek: Δημήτριος Α΄), also called Dharmamita, was a Hellenistic (Yona in Pali language, "Yavana" in Sanskrit) king (reigned c. 200–180 BC) of Gandhara. He was the son of the Greco-Bactrian ruler Euthydemus I and succeeded him around 200 BC, after which he conquered extensive areas in what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan.He was never defeated in battle and was posthumously qualified as the Invincible (Aniketos) on the pedigree coins of his successor Agathocles. Demetrius I may have been the initiator of the Yavana era, starting in 186–185 BC, which was used for several centuries thereafter.
"Demetrius" was the name of at least two and probably three Greek kings of Bactria. The much debated Demetrius II was a possible relative, whereas Demetrius III (c. 100 BC), is known only from numismatic evidence.Hermanubis
In classical mythology, Hermanubis (Ancient Greek: Ἑρμανοῦβις, translit. Hermanoubis) was a god who combined Hermes (Greek mythology) with Anubis (Egyptian mythology). He is the son of Set and Nephthys.
Hermes' and Anubis's similar responsibilities (they were both conductors of souls) led to the god Hermanubis. He was popular during the period of Roman domination over Egypt. Depicted having a human body and a jackal head, with the sacred caduceus that belonged to the Greek god Hermes, he represented the Egyptian priesthood. He engaged in the investigation of truth.The divine name Ἑρμανοῦβις is known from a handful of epigraphic and literary sources, mostly of the Roman period. Plutarch cites the name as a designation of Anubis in his underworldly aspect, while Porphyry refers to Hermanubis as σύνθετος "composite" and μιξέλλην "half-Greek".Although it was not common in traditional Greek religion to combine the names of two gods in this manner, the double determination of Hermanubis has some formal parallels in the earlier period. The most obvious is the god Hermaphroditus, attested from the fourth century BC onwards, but his name implies the paradoxical union of two different gods (Hermes and Aphrodite) rather than an assimilation in the manner of Hermanubis.Hermes
Hermes (; Greek: Ἑρμῆς) is the god of trade, heraldry, merchants, commerce, roads, thieves, trickery, sports, travelers, and athletes in Ancient Greek religion and mythology; the son of Zeus and the Pleiad Maia, he was the second youngest of the Olympian gods (Dionysus being the youngest).
Hermes was the emissary and messenger of the gods. Hermes was also "the divine trickster" and "the god of boundaries and the transgression of boundaries, ... the patron of herdsmen, thieves, graves, and heralds." He is described as moving freely between the worlds of the mortal and divine, and was the conductor of souls into the afterlife. He was also viewed as the protector and patron of roads and travelers.In some myths, he is a trickster and outwits other gods for his own satisfaction or for the sake of humankind. His attributes and symbols include the herma, the rooster, the tortoise, satchel or pouch, winged sandals, and winged cap. His main symbol is the Greek kerykeion or Latin caduceus, which appears in a form of two snakes wrapped around a winged staff with carvings of the other gods.In the Roman adaptation of the Greek pantheon (see interpretatio romana), Hermes is identified with the Roman god Mercury, who, though inherited from the Etruscans, developed many similar characteristics such as being the patron of commerce.Indemnity Act 1717
The Indemnity Act 1717 is an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain (4 Geo. I) also referred to as the Act of Grace and Free Pardon.
The Act was passed by both houses of parliament in July 1717, the last enactment of the session. It followed almost two years after the Jacobite rising of 1715, during and after which many Jacobites were taken prisoner. Those later convicted of treason were condemned to death, and some were executed, but by the Act most of the surviving Jacobite prisoners were freed and were permitted to settle either at home or overseas.Hundreds of Jacobites were freed by the Act. The more notable included the Earl of Carnwath, Lord Nairne, and Lord Widdrington, together with seventeen gentlemen awaiting execution in the Newgate and twenty-six in Carlisle Castle. Some two hundred men captured at the Battle of Preston were released at Chester, also all remaining prisoners held in the castles of Edinburgh and Stirling. The Act did not undo the effect of any attainders, and confiscated estates worth £48,000 a year in England and £30,000 a year in Scotland; the dispossessed owners were not restored of their property.There were some specific exceptions to the general pardon granted by the Act: Matthew Prior and Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford, had been held in the Tower of London before the Rising of 1715, and Oxford's friend Lord Harcourt and his cousin Thomas Harley. All members of the Clan MacGregor were also excluded from the Act's benefits, one of the targets of this last exclusion being the famous Rob Roy MacGregor. Philip Henry Stanhope noted in the 1840s that "...a modern reader is shocked to find excepted 'all and every person of the name and clan of Macgregor'".The passage of the Act was marked by the issuing of a silver medal, also struck in bronze, engraved by John Croker, chief engraver to the Royal Mint. On the obverse is the head of King George I, on the reverse is the winged figure of Clemency, who is standing, but leaning by her left elbow on a short stone pillar, surrounded by the words "CLEMENTIA AVGVSTI". In her left hand is an olive branch, while in her outstretched right hand she holds a caduceus, with which she touches the head of a fleeing snake, representing Rebellion. This image recalls the story of the caduceus of Mercury.Maynard James Keenan
James Herbert Keenan (born April 17, 1964), known professionally as Maynard James Keenan or MJK, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, actor, author, and winemaker. He is best known as the vocalist for the rock bands Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer.
In addition to his music career, Keenan has ventured into fields such as acting, improvisational sketch comedy, and winemaking. He currently owns Merkin Vineyards and the associated winery Caduceus Cellars. Since rising to fame, he has been noted as being reclusive; however, he does emerge for the occasional interview and to support charitable causes.Mercury (mythology)
Mercury (; Latin: Mercurius [mɛrˈkʊriʊs] listen ) is a major god in Roman religion and mythology, being one of the 12 Dii Consentes within the ancient Roman pantheon. He is the god of financial gain, commerce, eloquence, messages, communication (including divination), travelers, boundaries, luck, trickery and thieves; he also serves as the guide of souls to the underworld.
He was considered the son of Maia, who was a daughter of the Titan Atlas, and Jupiter in Roman mythology. His name is possibly related to the Latin word merx ("merchandise"; cf. merchant, commerce, etc.), mercari (to trade), and merces (wages); another possible connection is the Proto-Indo-European root merĝ- for "boundary, border" (cf. Old English "mearc", Old Norse "mark" and Latin "margō") and Greek οὖρος (by analogy of Arctūrus/Ἀρκτοῦρος), as the "keeper of boundaries," referring to his role as bridge between the upper and lower worlds. In his earliest forms, he appears to have been related to the Etruscan deity Turms; both gods share characteristics with the Greek god Hermes. He is often depicted holding the caduceus in his left hand. Similar to his Greek equivalent Hermes, he was awarded the caduceus by Apollo who handed him a magic wand, which later turned into the caduceus.Queensland Ambulance Service
The Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) is the chief provider of out-of-hospital emergency care and ambulance transport in the state of Queensland, Australia. It falls under the control of the Government of Queensland and is one of the largest ambulance services in the world.The service provides a high level of emergency care and transport services to the entirety of Queensland (typical population 4.3 million people, covering an area of 1.77 million square kilometres. The Queensland Ambulance Service provides emergency response services, pre-hospital patient care, specialised transport services, coordination of aero-medical services and inter-hospital transfers.Approximately 4000 FTE staff are employed by QAS, with approximately 87% as front-line operatives, who together deliver their services from 290 response locations across the state. In the 2015/16 financial year, the service handled over 946,000 cases, answered 737,803 triple zero calls and had an overall patient satisfaction rating of 98%.Rod of Asclepius
In Greek mythology, the Rod of Asclepius (Greek: Ράβδος του Ασκληπιού, Rábdos tou Asklipioú; Unicode symbol: ⚕), also known as the Staff of Asclepius (sometimes also spelled Asklepios or Aesculapius) and as the asklepian, is a serpent-entwined rod wielded by the Greek god Asclepius, a deity associated with healing and medicine. The symbol has continued to be used in modern times, where it is associated with medicine and health care, yet frequently confused with the staff of the god Hermes, the caduceus. Theories have been proposed about the Greek origin of the symbol and its implications.Seal of Cincinnati
The seal of Cincinnati is the official insignia of the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, in the United States. Adopted in 1819, the seal incorporates scales, a sword, and a caduceus. The seal is featured prominently in the flag of Cincinnati and the insignia of city agencies and institutions.TSS Manxman (1904)
TSS Manxman was a turbine steamer launched in 1904 for the Midland Railway and operated between Heysham and Douglas, Isle of Man. In 1916, she was commissioned by the Royal Navy as HMS Manxman and saw action as a seaplane carrier during the First World War, after which she was acquired by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. On the outbreak of the Second World War she was again requisitioned as a troop ship, until she was commissioned and her name changed to HMS Caduceus. She never returned to Manx waters, and was scrapped in August 1949.Tiresias
In Greek mythology, Tiresias (; Greek: Τειρεσίας, Teiresias) was a blind prophet of Apollo in Thebes, famous for clairvoyance and for being transformed into a woman for seven years. He was the son of the shepherd Everes and the nymph Chariclo. Tiresias participated fully in seven generations in Thebes, beginning as advisor to Cadmus himself.Westchester Avenue station
Westchester Avenue is a former railroad station located in the borough of the Bronx in New York City, partially suspended over Amtrak's busy Northeast Corridor line. It was built in 1908 with rich terra cotta detailing to a design by Cass Gilbert, who would later employ similar terra cotta detailing in his 1910 design for the Woolworth Building. Train service to the station ceased in 1937, and as of 2014 the station was a ruin in poor condition.
The Westchester Avenue station is located just to the southeast of the intersection of Westchester Avenue and the Sheridan Expressway, in the Morrisania section of the South Bronx. The Bronx River is a short distance to the east. The structure consists of a taller entry hall portion that stands on solid ground immediately to the west of the tracks, and a shorter waiting room section that is suspended over the tracks on metal beams. Formerly, this section had staircases that led down to low platforms at track level, but these were removed long ago. The entry hall portion has colorful glazed architectural terra cotta ornamentation, including a caduceus near the eaves, topped with the letters NYH. Though this seems to refer to the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, the original builder of the station, the caduceus was also the symbol of the New York, Westchester and Boston Railway, a local commuter railroad that also served the station.