Tag Archives: Asclepius

The snake, the staff, and the healer

Simon Wein Petach Tikvah, Israel   The Rod of Asclepius, graphite on paper, by Daniel Wein, 2021. Introduction In some ancient cultures, especially around the Near East, the snake was involved in healing. Today this seems counterintuitive. There are as many as 130,000 deaths from snake bites worldwide each year and three times that number […]

Anatomical descriptions in the Iliad

Maria Chicco Aylesbury, UK   Illustration on the interior of a Greek kylix, Achilles dressing the wounds of Patroclus, Attic red figure, Vulci, Italy, ca. 500 BCE, signed by the potter Sosias. Kylix – Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin F2278 (c. 500 BC)” The descriptions of battles and duels in the Iliad confer an epic […]

Asclepius at Epidaurus

L. J. Sandlow George Dunea Chicago, Illinois, United States   An Athenian seeking a cure for his afflictions in the fourth century BC had the option of visiting several competing sanctuaries, at Delphi, Olympia, or Epidaurus. To reach Epidaurus, the Athenian would bypass Megara and Corinth, then turn south and find himself at the shrine […]

Gymnopédie

Mark Tan Northwest Deanery, UK   First phrase of Gymnopédie. Erik Satie, 1888. Gymnopédie No. 1. Public domain Oblique et coupant l’ombre un torrent éclatant Ruisselait en flots d’or sur la dalle polie Où les atomes d’ambre au feu se miroitant Mêlaient leur sarabande à la gymnopédie [English translation]: Slanting and shadow-cutting a bursting stream […]

Medicine in Greek mythology

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK Fig. 1 Caduceus and Asclepian single serpent Some of the earliest ideas about health and disease lie in Greek mythology. The Greeks of prehistory told, retold, and often remoulded their tales of immortal gods and goddesses that were imaginative, symbolic creations. Stories of the gods probably started with Minoan and […]

Oaths, codes, and charters in medicine over the ages

L. J. Sandlow Chicago, Illinois, USA   Introduction Medical oaths are solemn pledges taken by medical students as they complete their training and enter the practice of medicine. Oaths and codes summarize the profession’s mission to protect and restore human health. Taking an oath is the hallmark of a physician’s commitment to his profession. Present in […]

Caduceus versus the Staff of Asclepius

 Portrait of an Elderly Physician Gaspare Pagani Philadelphia Museum of Art This painting from the Philadelphia Museum of Art is attributed to Gaspare Pagani, a relatively obscure sixteenth century artist from Modena, Italy, the world capital of balsamic vinegar. It shows an elderly man carrying a staff with two serpents coiled around it, serving to […]