The staff of Hermes/Mercury as messenger of the gods, but also of heralds in general. It is a short staff with two serpents who face each other above the top, sometimes surmounted by wings. It is a symbol of trade and commerce, although it is often misused as a symbol of medicine, instead of the correct Rod of Asclepius, which consists of a single serpent entwined around a staff.

The name come from Doric Greek κηρύκειον (kērykeion), "herald's staff."



  • Aken, Dr. A.R.A. van. (1961). Elseviers Mythologische Encyclopedie. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
  • Bartelink, Dr. G.J.M. (1988). Prisma van de mythologie. Utrecht: Het Spectrum.