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Asklepios the Physician

By Amanda Sioux Blake

[Snip] Apollo is the God of Healing, and the father of the God of Medicine, Asklepios. The Romans spelled his name as Aesculapius, or Asclepius. The last form is the spelling you will usually see. Asklepios’ symbol is a tall staff with one snake curled around it. His temples often kept snakes, cared for by the priests and priestesses, and they were believed to be a form of Asklepios on earth. Asklepios was equated by Alexandrian Greeks with the Egyptian Physician-God Imhotep and thought by some modern Hellenes to be an aspect of Apollo Himself. Some might go so far as to consider him an avatar, or mortal incarnation of the God, much as Krishna is considered by Hindus to be an avatar of Vishnu. Either way, I prefer to treat Asklepios as a separate entity from Apollo.

Asklepios begins as mortal. Apollo fell in love with a beautiful maiden named Koronis, the daughter of the Thessalonian horse-breeder Phlegyas. Koronis became His lover, but He was almost never around because He had to spend so much time tending to his Godly duties.

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