Roman statue of Asclepius

Roman statue of Asclepius

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Roman statue of Asclepius. The cult of the deity of Greek medicine, known as Asclepius, dates from the 6th century BC. Asclepius is represented in statues holding a staff around which a serpent twines, a symbol which survives today as a medical emblem. He was taught surgery and the use of drugs by Chiron the centaur. Asclepius was slain by a thunderbolt from Zeus because of complaints the ministrations of Asclepius were reducing the population of Hades (the underworld for the dead). This statue is displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Naples, Italy.

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