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Encyclopedia > Rod of Asclepius
Rod of Asclepius
Rod of Asclepius

The Rod of Asclepius (also known as Asklepios or Aesculapius) is an ancient Greek symbol associated with astrology and healing the sick with medicine. It consists of a serpent entwined around a staff. Asclepius, the son of Apollo, was practitioner of medicine in ancient Greek mythology. He was instructed in medicine by the centaur Chiron also connected to the constellation Ophiuchus. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The Temple to Athena, the Parthenon Ancient Greece is a period in Greek history that lasted for around three thousand years. ... Hand-coloured version of the anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888). ... medicines, see medication and pharmacology. ... Serpent is a word of Latin origin (serpens, serpentis) which is ultimately derived from the Sanskrit term serp, that is normally substituted for snake in a specifically mythic or religious context, in order to distinguish such creatures from the field of biology. ... For other uses of the word staff, see staff. ... Asclepius (Greek also rendered Aesculapius in Latin and transliterated Asklepios) was the god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek mythology, according to which he was born a mortal but was given immortality as the constellation Ophiuchus after his death. ... Lycian Apollo, early Imperial Roman copy of a fourth century Greek original (Louvre Museum) In Greek and Roman mythology, Apollo (Ancient Greek , Apóllōn; or , Apellōn), the ideal of the kouros (a beardless youth), was the archer-god of medicine and healing, light, truth, archery and also a... The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the Ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. ... In Greek mythology, the centaurs (Greek: Κένταυροι) are a race of creatures composed of part human and part horse. ... Chiron and Achilles In Greek mythology, Chiron (hand) — sometimes transliterated Cheiron or rarely Kiron — was held as the superlative centaur among his brethren. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Ophiuchus (IPA: ), formerly referred to as Serpentarius (IPA: ), both originating in the Greek language and meaning serpent-holder, is one of the 88 constellations and was also one of the 48 listed by Ptolemy. ...

Contents

Symbolism

The Rod of Asclepius symbolizes the healing arts by combining the serpent, which in shedding its skin is a symbol of rebirth and fertility, with the staff, a symbol of authority, befitting the god of Medicine. The snake wrapped around the staff is widely claimed to be a species of rat snake, Elaphe longissima, also known as the Aesculapian (Asclepian) snake. It is native to southeastern Europe, Asia Minor, and some central European spa regions, apparently brought there by Romans for their healing properties. In zootomy and dermatology, skin is the largest organ of the integumentary system made up of multiple layers of epithelial tissues that guard underlying muscles and organs. ... Rebirth may refer the following spiritual/religious concepts: Reincarnation Buddhist Rebirth The experience of being born again in Christianity Rebirth may also refer to: Rebirth, an album by Pain Rebirth, an album by Jennifer Lopez Rebirth, an album by Gackt Rebirth, an album by Angra ReBirth RB-338, software synthesizer... Fertility is a measure of reproduction: the number of children born per couple, person or population. ... Authority- is a very talented rocknroll band out of Columbia, S.C. This power rock trio has its roots in rock, funk, hardcore, and a dash of hip hop. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Binomial name Elaphe longissima Laurenti, 1768 Aesculapian Snake (Elaphe longissima or Zamenis longissimus) is a snake native to Europe. ... Anatolia (Greek: ανατολη anatole, rising of the sun or East; compare Orient and Levant, by popular etymology Turkish Anadolu to ana mother and dolu filled), also called by the Latin name of Asia Minor, is a region of Southwest Asia which corresponds today to...


Origin

Greek mythology

Asclepius was said to have learned the art of healing from Chiron, and is shown holding a stick with a serpent coiled around it. Serving as a surgeon on the ship, the Argo, Asclepius was so skilled in the medical arts, that he was reputed to have brought patients back from the dead. For this, he was punished, according to Greek mythology, and placed in the heavens as the constellation Ophiuchus. Chiron and Achilles In Greek mythology, Chiron (hand) — sometimes transliterated Cheiron or rarely Kiron — was held as the superlative centaur among his brethren. ... Surgeon may refer to: a practitioner of surgery the moniker of British electronic music producer and DJ, Anthony Child; see Surgeon (musician) This is a disambiguation page—a list of articles associated with the same title. ... The Argo, painting by Lorenzo Costa In Greek mythology, the Argo was the ship on which Jason and the Argonauts sailed from Iolcus to retrieve the Golden Fleece. ...


Asclepius himself, in traditional Greek mythology, was reputed to have the blood of Medusa in his veins. The blood that flowed on Medusa's left side was said to be fatal poison. The blood from her right side was beneficial. Asclepius was also known as Ophiuchus, the son of Apollo, to the ancient Greeks. In early Christianity, the constellation Ophiuchus was associated with Saint Paul holding the Maltese Viper. Human blood smear: a - erythrocytes; b - neutrophil; c - eosinophil; d - lymphocyte. ... Medusa, by Arnold Böcklin (1878) In Greek mythology, Medusa (Greek: Μέδουσα, Médousa, guardian, protectress[1]), was a monstrous chthonic female character, essentially an extension of an apotropaic mask, gazing upon whom could turn onlookers to stone. ... In the circulatory system, a vein is a blood vessel that carries blood toward the heart. ... The skull and crossbones symbol (Jolly Roger) traditionally used to label a poisonous substance. ... Lycian Apollo, early Imperial Roman copy of a fourth century Greek original (Louvre Museum) In Greek and Roman mythology, Apollo (Ancient Greek , Apóllōn; or , Apellōn), the ideal of the kouros (a beardless youth), was the archer-god of medicine and healing, light, truth, archery and also a... The term Early Christianity here refers to Christianity of the period after the Death of Jesus in the early 30s and before the First Council of Nicaea in 325. ... Paul of Tarsus (b. ...


'Worm' theory

Some scholars have suggested that the symbol once represented a worm wrapped around a rod; parasitic worms such as the "guinea worm" (Dracunculus medinensis) were common in ancient times, and were extracted from beneath the skin by winding them slowly around a stick. Physicians may have advertised this common service by posting a sign depicting a worm on a rod.[1] Click here for Computer worm For other uses, see Worm (disambiguation). ... Dracunciliasis, more commonly known as Guinea Worm Disease (GWD), is an infection caused by the parasite Dracunculus medinensis (also known as Guinea worm). The word Dracunculus comes from the Latin little dragon. // An adult female Dracunculus worm emerges through the skin of its human host one to two years after...


Biblical

A similar symbol, Nehushtan, is mentioned in the Bible in Numbers 21:4–9. Attacked by a plague of snakes in the wilderness, Moses holds up a serpent coiled around a staff, both made from bronze, so that the Israelites might recover from the bites.[2] Moses lifts up the brass snake, curing the Isrealites from Snake Bites. ... This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ... The Book of Numbers is the fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew Bemidbar במדבר, i. ... Moses with the Tablets, 1659, by Rembrandt This article is about the Biblical figure. ... Assorted ancient Bronze castings found as part of a cache, probably intended for recycling. ... “The Twelve Tribes” redirects here. ...


Astrological

In Astrology, some systems include a thirteenth sign of the zodiac, which is the constellation Ophiuchus, and is known as Ophiuchus Serpentarius (the "serpent holder"). This constellation lies between Sagittarius and Libra.[3] Hand-coloured version of the anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888). ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles. ... For other uses, see Sagittarius. ... Libra (IPA: , Latin: , symbol , Unicode ) is a constellation of the zodiac. ...


Usage

The Star of Life features a Rod of Asclepius
The Star of Life features a Rod of Asclepius

A number of organisations use the rod of Asceplius as their logo, or part of their logo. These include: Image File history File links Star_of_life. ... Image File history File links Star_of_life. ... The Star of Life The Star of Life is a blue, six-pointed star, outlined with a white border which features the Rod of Asclepius in the center, originally designed and governed by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) (under the United States Department of Transportation, DOT). ...

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. ... The Star of Life The Star of Life is a blue, six-pointed star, outlined with a white border which features the Rod of Asclepius in the center, originally designed and governed by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) (under the United States Department of Transportation, DOT). ... The American Medical Association (AMA) is the largest association of medical doctors in the United States. ... American Osteopathic Association Founded in 1898 in Kirksville, MO, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) is the representative organization for osteopathic physicians in the United States. ... The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the largest association of doctors in Canada and represents their interests and the interests of patients nationally. ... The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), founded in 1863, is a not-for-profit association representing more than 73,000 US veterinarians working in academia, private and corporate practice, industry, government, and uniformed services. ... The Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) is a specialist corps in the British Army which provides medical services to all British Army personnel and their families in war and in peace. ...

Confusion with the caduceus

The caduceus is often (incorrectly) used as a symbol for medicine or doctors, in place of the Rod of Asclepius which is the usual symbol of the medical profession. A 1992 survey of American health organisations found that 62% of professional associations used the staff of Asclepius, whereas in commerical organisations, 76% used the caduceus.[4] The Caduceus Two caduceuses without wings as decoration of door portal in Ztracená street in Olomouc (Czech Republic). ...


Early confusion between the symbols almost certainly arose due to the links between alchemy and Hermes, whose symbol is the caduceus. The alchemists adopted the caduceus because Hermes, the God of Messengers, was also the patron lord of gamblers, thieves, tricksters and alchemists. By the end of the 16th century, alchemy became widely associated with medicine in some areas, leading to some use of the caduceus as a medical symbol.[5] This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Hermes bearing the infant Dionysus, by Praxiteles, found at the Heraion, Olympia, 1877 Hermes (Greek, , IPA: ), in Greek mythology, is the Olympian god of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, of shepherds and cowherds, of orators and wit, of literature and poets, of athletics, of weights and measures...


The main reason for the modern confusion over the symbols occured when the caduceus was adopted by the Medical Department of the United States Army in 1902. [6] This was brought about by one Captain Reynolds, who after having the idea rejected several times by the Surgeon General, persuaded the new incumbent (WH Forwood) to adopt it. The mistake was noticed several years later by the librarian to the surgeon general, but was not changed.[6] The United States Army is the largest branch of the armed forces of the United States. ...


There was further confusion caused by the use of the caduceus as a printer's mark (as Hermes was the god of eloquence and messengers), which appeared in many medical textbooks as a printing mark, although subsequently mistaken for a medical symbol.[6]


Standard representation

The rod of Asclepius has a Unicode representation on the Miscellaneous Symbols table of the Unicode Standard at U+2695. The Miscellaneous Symbol plane of Unicode (2600–26FF) contains various glyphs representing things from a variety of categories: Astrological, Astronomical, Chess, Dice, Ideological symbols, Musical notation, Political symbols, Recycling, Religious symbols, Trigrams, Warning Signs and Weather. ... Unicode is an industry standard designed to allow text and symbols from all of the writing systems of the world to be consistently represented and manipulated by computers. ...


See also

In botany and horticulture, the popular name given to various tall flowering plants : Common mullein or great mullein (Verbascum thapsus), a biennal medicinal herb used in Amerindian medicine as a tonic for lung problems, such as cough, asthma or bronchitis; Snapdragon or Figwort family (Scrophulariaceae)(other common names: shepherds...

References

  1. ^ Emerson, John (July 2003). "Eradicating Guinea worm disease: Caduceus caption". Retrieved on 2007-06-15. 
  2. ^ Bible Passage Numbers 21:4-9. Bible Gateway.com. Retrieved on 2007-06-28.
  3. ^ Brady, Bernadette (1999). Brady's Book of Fixed Stars. Weiser Books. 
  4. ^ Friedlander, Walter J (1992). The Golden Wand of Medicine: A History of the Caduceus symbol in medicine. Greenwood Press. 
  5. ^ Blayney, Keith (September 2002). The Caduceus vs the Staff of Asclepius. Retrieved on 2007-06-15.
  6. ^ a b c Wilcox, Robert A; Whitham, Emma M (15 April 2003). "The symbol of modern medicine: why one snake is more than two". Annals of Internal Medicine. Retrieved on 2007-06-15. 
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Rod of Asclepius

  Results from FactBites:
 
Asclepius - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (786 words)
Asclepius (Greek Ἀσκλήπιος also rendered Aesculapius in Latin and transliterated Asklepios) was the god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek mythology, according to which he was born a mortal but was given immortality as the constellation Ophiuchus after his death.
Asclepius' powers were not appreciated by all, and his ability to revive the dead soon drew the ire of Zeus, who struck him down with a thunderbolt.
Asclepius was married to Salus (or Epione) and with her fathered six daughters: Aceso, Iaso, Panacea, Aglaea, Meditrine and Hygieia, and three sons: Machaon, Telesforos and Polidarius.
Rod of Asclepius - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (296 words)
The Rod of Asclepius is an ancient Greek symbol associated with medicine.
The Rod of Asclepius symbolizes the healing arts by combining the serpent, which in shedding its skin is a symbol of rebirth and fertility, with the staff, a symbol of authority, befitting the god of Medicine.
The Rod of Asclepius is frequently confused with the caduceus, which is a symbol of commerce associated with the god Hermes.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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