In Greek mythology, Aesculapius was a Greek healer and famous physician. He was the son of Apollo and the nymph Coronis, who died when he was an infant. Apollo entrusted Aesculapius' education to the Centaur, Chiron, who taught him the art of healing. When grown, Aesculapius was so skilled in these arts that he could restore the dead to life. Hades, ruler of the dead, complained to Zeus about this, and Zeus killed Aesculapius with a thunderbolt, but to honor his skills as a healer, Zeus placed Aesculapius (also spelled Asclepius) in the sky with his serpants.

After Aesculapius' death, he was worshipped as a God of healing and people would sleep in his temples hoping for cures. Today, the staff of Aesculapius is medicines only symbol; a knotted wooden staff around which is coiled a mystical snake.

Aes`cu*la"pi*us (), n. [L. Aesculapius, Gr. .] Myth.

The god of medicine. Hence, a physician.


© Webster 1913.

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