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Mercuralia was a Roman celebration that was also known as the ‘Festival of Mercury’.
Mercury, god of trade, thieves, and travel, was a Roman messenger god whose attributes were mainly borrowed from the Greek god Hermes.

On the Ides Of May, Mercury’s birthday, Roman merchants would dip laurel boughs in aqua Mercurii from a fountain at Porta Capena and sprinkle their ships, goods and themselves with it for good luck. They also prayed to Mercury for continued good profit and the ability to be successful at swindling their customers; Caveat emptor indeed!

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