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the god of healing in Roman mythology. The staff of Aesculapius, a rod or staff with a snake entwined around it, is a symbol of medicine and is the official insignia of the American Medical Association.
Aesculapius/Aescu·la·pi·us/ (es″ku-la´pe-us) [L.] the god of healing in Roman mythology; see also caduceus and under staff.
n. Roman Mythology
The god of medicine and healing.
the ancient Greek god of medicine. According to legend, Ӕsculapius, the son of Apollo, was trained by the centaur Chiron in the art of healing; he became so proficient that he not only cured sick patients but also restored the dead to life. Because Zeus feared that Ӕsculapius could help humans escape death altogether, he killed the healer with a bolt of lightning. Later, Ӕsculapius was raised to the stature of a god and was worshipped also by the Romans, who believed he could prevent pestilence. Serpents were regarded as sacred by Ӕsculapius, and he is symbolized in modern medicine by a staff with a serpent entwined about it. See also staff of Ӕsculapius.