Mercury, the son of Jupiter and Maia, belonged to the second generation of Olympian gods. According to Greek mythology, his main role was that of messenger of the gods, and especially of Jupiter. By extension, he became the god of travel and trade.
He provided particular protection for traders and travellers, and was seen as a distributor of wealth. He was renowned for his skill, inventiveness and cunning. While still young, he managed to steal Apollo’s flocks. His role as go-between also applied to the world of the dead: it was Mercury who accompanied the dead into the underworld.
Mercury seems to have been very popular throughout Roman Gaul. The territory of Gaul has yielded more images of this god than the other regions of the Roman empire.