Asclepios, Greek god of medicine


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Asclepios was the Greek god of medicine and healing (called Aesculapius in Rome). He was the son of Apollo and the nymph Coronis according to legend, but most probably a mortal who originally practiced healing in the area of Trikkala on the Thessalian plain of central Greece and came later to be considered a god. He’s most famous sanctuary was located in Epidaurus. The temples of Asclepios are always associated with sacred springs, whose waters carried the healing powers of the Earth. The main attribute of Asclepius is a physician’s staff with an Asclepian snake wrapped around it; this is how he was distinguished in the art of healing, and his attribute still survives to this day as the symbol of the modern medical profession. He is shown as a venerable old man with thick and wavy hair and a heavy beard. He wears his himation or cloak in the style worn by learned teachers in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C., leaving most of the breast uncovered. The cock was also sacred to Asclepius and was the bird sacrificed at his altar. It is also said that Hippocrates was a descendant of Asclepios. This statue reproduces a marble original found in the Temple of Asclepios at Epidauros.

Additional information

Weight2.5 kg

National Museum, Athens



25"H (63 cm), Stone finish



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