Thursday, November 11, 2010

Caduceus

Caduceus and cornucopia, Parterre, LivornoA cornucopia, a caduceus and an anchor on the basement of the statue of Hygieia, the Greek goddess of health, at the entrance of the “Parterre”. If a cornucopia is the undisputed symbol of food and abundance, the caduceus is often used erroneously as a symbol of medicine instead of the correct rod of Asclepius, with only a single snake.Caduceus and Livorno coat of armsThe wings of a caduceus behind the coat of arms of Livorno.Caducei, LivornoThe caduceus is a herald's staff, a symbolic object representing the god Hermes (or the Roman Mercury), and by extension trades and occupations associated with the god.Caduceus, via Cairoli, LivornoThe staff of Hermes is also a long-established historical symbol of commerce.

See also: Bowl of Hygieia - Parterre
External links: Confusion with the rod of Asclepius - Caduceus as a symbol of medicine (Wikipedia)

17 comments:

ρομπερτ said...

Thank you for teaching me something I did not know before. Please have a good Thursday.

daily athens

Leif Hagen said...

They make me think of medical symbols!

Randy said...

Love the staff of Hermes.

Jack said...

How on earth did you know all that? The first photo has an interesting melange of symbols. I always like the chance to see the architectural details. Thank you.

Luis Gomez said...

Thank you so much! Always good to learn.

Hilda said...

Thanks for the lesson about the caduceus. Looks like a lot of medical associations and pharmaceutical companies here have their symbol wrong then.

Wonderful collection you found.

Small City Scenes said...

Very interesting. thanks for the info. I like the 3rd pic--the herald staff spread out. MB

Kaori said...

What a great informative post! I like the design above the door :-D

Dina said...

So many amazing examples.

I think it is shocking how the mistake about the caduceus and medicine was made by one US army man a long time ago and was perpetuated till this very day.

Cezar and Léia said...

I'm always learning something interesting and about history with you, thanks so much!
Now I will visit the links to read more about!
hugs
Léia

Traveling Hawk said...

I didn't know all these. Thanks!

B SQUARED said...

They just don't adorn new buildings like they used to.

Halcyon said...

I didn't know about the history behind all these symbols. Very interesting post today!

Virginia said...

I love these beautiful details and all the interesting info.
V

cieldequimper said...

Okay so now I know that a caducée isn't what I think it is.

Farmchick said...

Excellent learning post for me! Beautiful detail in these photos. Wonderful post.

Francisca said...

Good post, VP. I do think I was not clear about the difference between the caduceus and rod of Asclepius. You've shown us an interesting sampling of the symbols.