CPAP 1605 Article - Asclepius and His Staff

CPAP 1605 Article - Asclepius and His Staff - Asclepius and...

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Asclepius and his staff Who was Asclepius? Asclepius was most probably a skilled physician who practiced in Greece around 1200BC (and was described in Homer's Iliad). Eventually, through myth and legend, he came to be worshipped as Asclepius, the (Greek) god of Healing. Medical schools developed, which were usually connected to temples or shrines, called Asclepions (Asclepieia), dedicated to Asclepius. The Asclepion became very important in Greek society. Patients believed they could be cured by sleeping in them. They would visit, offering gifts and sacrifices to the god, and be treated by priest healers (called the Asclepiadae). The worship of Asclepius spread to Rome and continued as late as the sixth century. The Asclepiadae were a large order of priest-physicians who controlled the sacred secrets of healing, which were passed from father to son. Harmless Aesclepian snakes were kept in the combination hospital-temples built by the ancient Greeks and, later, by the Romans in honor of the god. The snakes are found not only in their original range of southern Europe, but also in the various places in Germany and Austria where Roman temples had been established. Escaped snakes survived and flourished. Smooth, glossy, and slender, the snake has a uniformly brown back with a streak of darker color behind the eyes. The snake's belly is yellowish or whitish and has ridged scales that catch easily on rough surfaces, making it especially adapted for climbing trees. Scientific classification: The Aesclepian snake belongs to the family Colubridae. It is classified as Elaphe longissima. The Myth: Asclepius is the god of Healing. He is the son of Apollo and the nymph, Coronis.
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CPAP 1605 Article - Asclepius and His Staff - Asclepius and...

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