Study Guide

Asclepius Gossip

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Asclepias is a type of milkweed named for the best doctor ever. Why? Because the plant has lots of healing properties, of course.

New healers were asked to swear by both Asclepius and his daughter Hygeia in the first ever Hippocratic Oath. (Source.)

The Rod of Asclepius—a staff with a snake twined around it—is still used as a symbol of medicine today.

The Caduceus—a winged wand with two snakes intertwined around it—was the ancient symbol of Hermes and is also used "mistakenly" to symbolize medicine today. (Get it right, people!)

Back in the day, tons of people used to travel to temples of Asclepius, where they would spend the night in hopes of being healed. (We wonder if that was covered by their HMO.) (Source.)

The temples of Asclepius used to be filled with non-venomous "Aesculapian Snakes," which were considered sacred to the god of healing. We're not sure today's hospitals would be down with that. (Source.)

Some myths say that Asclepius was turned into the constellation Ophiuchus, the Serpent Holder, after he died. In 2011, some astrologists labeled this constellation as the symbol of a previously unrecognized 13th sign of the zodiac. (Capricorns and Sagittarians might be in for a shock.) Are you still a Virgo?! (Source.)

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