Greek Symbol of Medicine
The image shows the stone found in the ruins of Asclepeion in Ephesus, Turkey. As you can see from the image, the stone is carved with a serpent coiled around a staff, which is known as the Rod of Asclepius. The serpent symbolizes healing and rejuvenation as it sheds its skin and renews itself. A similar symbol consisting of two snakes coiled around a staff, which is known as the Caduceus , is widely used in modern times as the universal symbol of medicine and healthcare.
In ancient Greece, Asclepeions were healing temples dedicated to Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine, and are akin to modern-day hospitals. Besides the Asclepeion in Ephesus, there were many Asclepeions all over Greece, including the one in the island of Kos, the birthplace of Hippocrates. In the original Hippocrates oath, physicians swore by the god Asclepius.
Ephesus was well-known for its medical school and expertise in medicine. It is the birthplace of Soranus, a Greek physician who is famous for his work on gynecology and obstetrics. He lived in the 2nd century and practiced in Alexandria and Rome. Another famous Greek physician Rufus (80 -150 CE), who practiced in Ephesus, wrote treatises on anatomy, pathology, and dietetics.
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