Encyclopedia > Caduceus

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A caduceus (kerykeion[?] in Greek) staff with two snakes wrapped around it.

The caduceus is a symbol of commerce and is associated with the Greek god Hermes. It was originally a herald's staff, sometimes with wings, with two white ribbons attached. The ribbons eventually evolved into snakes in the figure-eight shape.

In modern times it is often mistakenly used interchangeably with the Rod of Asclepius (particularly in the United States), although the two symbols have distinct and unrelated meanings.

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