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pacifer Cyllenius. Cf. xiii.146 n. Mercury is called pacifer because Hermes, with whom he was identified, was the god of persuasive eloquence, who presided over social and especially over diplomatic intercourse (“φίλον κήρυκα, κηρύκων σέβας”, Aesch. Ag.498), and whose characteristic emblem was the caduceus or herald's staff (“εἰρήνης ὅπλον ἀμεμφές”, Hym. XXVII. 7). The serpents entwined about it (originally white ribbons) were interpreted as a symbol of fierce natures subdued to concord. Cf. Plin. H.N. XXIX. 3, 12, § 54.
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