Page last updated on: April 4th, 2021
The Caduceus of Hermes
In ancient times, the caduceus was the main symbol of the god Hermes and one of the most classical symbols of the healing arts. It was a wooden staff made of laurel or olive wood and usually had two wings just above the tip.
The Caduceus was given to Hermes by his father Zeus when he appointed Hermes as the official messenger of the gods. Whenever the gods and mortals saw Hermes holding the caduceus, they knew he was about to deliver an official message.
According to legend, the Caduceus once split two poisonous snakes that were fighting with each other. From the moment they wrapped themselves around the Caduceus, they stopped fighting and began to look at each other peacefully.
The caduceus is called "kerykion" in Greek, derived from the word "keryx" which means "herald" in Greek.