Monday, 2 February 2015

Asclepius

In Greek mythology, Asclepius was described as the god of  the medical art (medicine). Asklepios was depicted as a kindly, bearded man holding a serpent-entwined staff. The rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today. 
                         Asclepius was the son of Apollo and the Trikkaian princess Coronis. His mother was killed for being unfaithful to Apollo and was laid out on the  pyre to be consumed, but the unborn child was rescued from her womb. In other version, his mother died in labour and was laid out on the pyre to be consumed, but his father rescued the child, cutting him from her womb. From this he received the name Asclepius, "to cut open."
                
Asclepius
   Asclepius was raised by the centaur Chiron who instructed him in the art of medicine. Asclepius became so proficient as a healer that he surpassed both Chiron and his father, Apollo. Asclepius was married to Epione, with whom he had five daughters: Hygieia, Panacea, Aceso, Iaso, and Aglaea, and three sons: Machaon, Podaleirios and Telesphoros. 
                           Asclepius received from goddess Athena the blood which had flowed from the veins of Gorgo, and the blood which had flowed from the veins of the right side of her body possessed the power of restoring the dead to life. According to other version in return for some kindness rendered by Asclepius, a snake licked Asclepius’ ears clean and taught him secret knowledge (to the Greeks snakes were sacred beings of wisdom, healing, and resurrection).
                                                Later Zeus killed Asclepius with a thunderbolt because he brought Hippolytus (son of Theseus) back alive from the dead, accepted gold for it and it was a crime against the natural order. According to other version,  Asclepius was killed because after bringing people back from the dead, Hades thought that no more dead spirits would come to the underworld, so he asked his brother Zeus to stop him. This angered Apollo who in turn killed the Cyclopes who made the thunderbolts for Zeus.

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