Ancient Greek/Roman Medicine

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Ancient Greek/Roman Medicine Depicted in Art The Romans were more interested in prevention of illness rather than a cure when it came to their medical practices. The first doctors in Rome were originally from Greece; their impact on Roman medicine was huge. There are many Greek doctors that are depicted in statues and symbols. Today, in the medical world, there is confusion on whether the symbol of medicine is the Staff of Æsculapius or the Caduceus of Mercury. Doctors in Rome weren’t as favored as the doctors in Greece. Medicine was much more regarded in Greece compared to Rome. Many of the Roman doctors were actually freed Greek slaves (“The Doctor in Roman Society”). Since many of the doctors in Rome were Greeks, many Greek medical ideas…show more content…
In the “Iliad,” Apollo is praised as the teacher of epidemics. Chiron, a centaur, was believed to have been taught by Apollo and Artemis. Chiron ended up being the teacher of Æsculapius. Æsculapius ended up being defined as the Greek god of medicine (Outlines of Greek and Roman Medicine). The symbol of Æsculapius is a serpent entwined around a staff. This staff is also known as the Asklepian. The Asklepian is still the symbol of medicine today. Æsculapius’ staff came from when he learned he had the powers to heal the sick. According the New York Times, Æsculapius learned this power “by seeing a snake he had killed with his staff revived by another snake, which had crammed herbs into his mouth. Using the same herbs, Æsculapius saved a man killed by one of Zeus’s thunderbolts“ (“Slithery Medical Symbolism: Worm or Snake? One or Two?”). A cause of death that would later take Æsculapius’ life. Many organizations medically related use a symbol of a short rod intertwined by two snakes with a pair of wings at the top. This symbol is actually the caduceus of the Greek god Hermes, also known as the Roman god, Mercury. This god was not a god of medicine, but the god of eloquence, invention, travel commerce, and theft (“The Caduceus vs the Staff of
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