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Pronunciation : ass-KLEE-pee-uhs

(Greek Deity) ASCLEPIUS

Also known as ASCULAPIUS, ASKLEPIOS
Class : Mortal... then Deity
Greek God of : Medicine
Attributes : Unknown
Festival Days :
When in Rome : Aesculapius

The son of Coronis and Apollo who inherited his fathers interest in healing but, fortunately for all concerned, not his interest in stalking and sex.

Never one to take no for an answer, Apollo hounded poor Coronis until she eventually gave in to his advances. Typical of your average Greek god, once he'd had his wicked way he wasn't around much and spent most of his time gallavanting around trying to pound other females into submission.

Coronis was lonely, the big day was fast approaching and she didn't much fancy being a single mother so she married Ischys.

When Apollo got wind of her infidelity he was furious, which is more than a little hypocrytical, so he set her ablaze and tore his son from her womb as she died a most horrible death.

Asclepius was sent to study with an authority on all things medical, a centaur known as CHIRON, where he learned the art of healing and became doctor to the Argonauts.

So accomplished did Asclepius become with his healing hands that he took to bringing the dead back to life. Hippolytus was grateful, at least for a short while, but Hades wasn't and went into full on panic mode. You can't really blame him, i mean, how can you take the patron of the underworld seriously if the dead don't stay dead, he would be out of a job in no time. Something had to be done...

Zeus : 'hey Hades, why the long face?'

Hades : 'You've got to do something about Asclepius, Bro, he's bringing mortals back to life. Who the Hades does he think he is?'

He had a point. Mortals just shouldn't be interfering with life and death matters, the consequences of upsetting the natural order of the universe didn't bear thinking about. Zeus came over all wrathful, hurled a thunderbolt in Asclepius's general direction, and Hippolytus found himself dead for a second time.

There was a bit of tit-for-tat when a furious Apollo stormed the home of Hephaestus and smacked the Cyclopes to death by way of revenge but they were patched up once Asclepius' genius with prescription cures was recognized and he was granted divine status as Zeus made him the God of medicine.

Asclepius had two sons, Machaon and Podalirius, who led 30 Greek ships to Troy from the city of Eurytos and, during the course of battle, one of them healed Philoctetes but neither will admit it. This could be something to do with patient confidentiality, which is understandible, but a bigger mystery is the identity of the Minoan God or Goddess of healing who was previously worshipped at a site in Lendas on the south east coast of Crete long before the Temple of Asclepius was plonked on top of it.
Family Tree ...
Parents : Coronis and Apollo
Spouse : Don't know, sorry
Offspring : Machaon and Podalirius, Hygeia
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'ASCLEPIUS' - Greek entry : 26 April 2007
Page last modified on 27 Mar 2013
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