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A Mythological Copernican Study/Mercury

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Mercury

Mercury
Here are two stories about Mercury, one of the gods in the Roman pantheon. Mercury was identified with the Greek god Hermes.

Roman Myth:
Mercury was the messenger-god of Jupiter, and was the god of games, of business, and of story telling, as well as diplomacy and theft, at least on "slow news" days.


Mercury was popular among the gods because he was playful, innocent, and helpful. Mercury helped his father, Jupiter, when Bacchus was born. Bacchus was the son of Semele and Jupiter. Semele was the daughter of Cadmus, the brother of Europa, and Harmonia, the daughter of Mars and Venus. When Jupiter and Semele first got to know each other, Jupiter was disguised in simple clothes. Jupiter's wife, Juno, was angry with both Jupiter and Semele. Juno disguised herself as Semele's nurse and made Semele curious about her new boyfriend. The next time Jupiter visited, Semele made him promise that the next time he came, he would come to her as he really was. On his next visit, he came as the god Jupiter, and Semele was reduced to ashes by his brilliance. Jupiter took Semele's baby, Bacchus, and nurtured him until he was ready to be born. Once he was born, Jupiter gave Bacchus to Mercury to protect the baby from Jupiter's wife, who was jealous. Mercury put the baby Bacchus in the care of Io, Semele's sister.


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