Romney was smiling as brightly as the caduceus when the painting was officially unveiled at the statehouse in July 2009.
The inclusion of the caduceus seemed no less important to Romney than the inclusion of his wife.
“The whole problem was what to do with the caduceus,” Whitney recalls.
1590s, from Latin caduceus, alteration of Doric Greek karykeion "herald's staff," from karyx (genitive karykos) "a herald," from PIE *karu-, from root *kar- "to praise loudly, extol" (cf. Sanskrit carkarti "mentions with praise," Old English hreð "fame, glory"). Token of a peaceful embassy; originally an olive branch. Especially the wand carried by Mercury, messenger of the gods, usually represented with two serpents twined round it.
caduceus ca·du·ce·us (kə-dōō'sē-əs, -shəs, -dyōō'-)
n. pl. ca·du·ce·i (-sē-ī')
A winged staff with two serpents twined around it, carried by Hermes.
An insignia modeled on Hermes' staff and used as the symbol of the medical profession.