Tag Archives: snakes

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 […]

Animality revisited in times of the coronavirus: A fable

Frank Gonzalez-Crussi Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. Jacob Savery (1566-1603). Orpheus among the animals. From Wikimedia. Imagine, as painters have done, representatives of animal species congregated in an assembly (Fig. 1). A man comes to address this motley crowd in this way: “You guys [he purposefully adopts this condescending language] have recently wronged […]

Loathsome Beasts: Images of reptiles and amphibians in art and science

The history of how reptiles and amphibians have been represented throughout history has been well covered by Professor Kay Etheridge of Gettysburg College in a learned article in 2007. She starts off by reminding her readers that “loathsome beasts” have received less attention than higher vertebrates, largely as they are not useful for food, sport, […]