Greece held their Medical professionals in high esteem. Aesculapius historically and mythically was one of the most successful physicians of all time.

It has even been suggested that Aesculapius was looked upon with the same respect as they looked upon their Gods, he was however supposed to have been the son of the God Apollo and born by what we know today as post mortem caesarean section.

He had an uncanny success rate. Plato was to comment on this by stating, Hades was losing all of its recruits.” It was generally thought that to maintain his success rate his laymen used to take the terminally ill to a nearby wood to die.” The patients that die would not be recorded as his patient.

Aesculapius had two sons Podalarius and Macheon who followed his profession and was said to have followed Agamemnon with the legendary Achilles and Ulysses to tend the wounded in the 10 year battle with Hector and Paris to repatriate Helen at the siege of Troy in 1192bc.46

Legend has it that Aesculapius was struck by a lightning bolt from Zeus for daring to resurrect a dead man, Zeus said, only a God is allowed to undertake such a wondrous task.

Notice the Staff with the snake wrapped around it, this is said to come from scripture; The people of Israel were grumbling about the food they were eating (given by God) So the Lord sent snakes among them and many died because of the bites. After Moses intercession, the Lord told him to make a fiery snake made of bronze and set it on a pole. He was then asked to lift up the pole and all who looked upon the serpent were healed. This of course is an analogy to Christ's crucifixion, as he was lifted up on a cross, and anyone who looks to him on the cross, will be saved.




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The History of Surgery and Anaesthesia was created as a free resource to educate Students or indeed anyone wishing to understand the beginings of surgery and Anaesthesia.

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