Symbols Old & New
In ancient times, serpents were revered as symbols of renewal: they shed their skins each year, beginning anew.
On this marble pillar at Bergama (Pergamum) we see three health symbols: snakes, olive branches, and the wheel of life.
Asclepius, son of Apollo, was taught medicine by the centaur Chiron. According to myth, he even learned how to bring the dead back to life using Gorgon’s blood. No wonder Asclepius’s symbol was two serpents entwined around a staff: the caduceus (or kerykeion). It’s still the symbol of medicine even in our times.
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Good airplane & bedtime reading…