Significance Regarded As Not-So Protean

Wed Jan 19, 2005

From Barb, A.A. “Three Elusive Amulets.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 27 (1964): 3:

There are few Graeco-Roman deities of such protean significance as Hermes-Mercurius. He is the divine messenger and the psychopompos as well as the god of business success—both honest and dishonest.

When I write my Dan Brown parody, it will definitely involve CEOs wearing Gnostic cameos. Adam Gopnik’s recent review of books on Leonardo Da Vinci in the New Yorker contains a line about how the perpetual appeal of the occult in American life should not be mistaken for religiosity. There is a relation, insufficiently charted, between this appeal and commercial life.