Sunday, April 3, 2016
Centenary of Greek stamps 20.12.1961
Greece's first postal service was founded in 1828, at the time of Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire. This initial service continued mail delivery and, later, the issuing of postage stamps until 1970. It was then succeeded by the Hellenic Post S.A. (abbreviated ΕΛΤΑ), which remains Greece's official postal provider. The first Greek stamps (known as "Large Hermes heads") were issued in 1861; by then, the postal service had expanded to operate 97 branches.
These three stamps on the FDC are part of a set of seven stamps commemorating the Centenary of Greek stamps. They bear the designs of the seven 1861 Paris denominations with common background but with different face values. The stamps depict the head of Hermes.
Hermes is an Olympian god in Greek religion and mythology, the son of Zeus and the Pleiad Maia, and the second youngest of the Olympian gods. Hermes is identified with the Roman god Mercury, who, though inherited from the Etruscans, developed many similar characteristics such as being the patron of commerce.
Mercury is a major Roman god, being one of the Dii Consentes within the ancient Roman pantheon. He is the patron god of financial gain, commerce, eloquence (and thus poetry), messages/communication (including divination), travelers, boundaries, luck, trickery and thieves; he is also the guide of souls to the underworld. He was considered the son of Maia and Jupiter in Roman mythology. He is often depicted holding the caduceus in his left hand.
The caduceus ("herald's staff") is the staff carried by Hermes Trismegistus in Greco-Egyptian mythology and Hermes in Greek mythology. In Roman iconography, it was often depicted being carried in the left hand of Mercury, the messenger of the gods, guide of the dead and protector of merchants, shepherds, gamblers, liars, and thieves.
Thank you Merja.