EpicentRx Word of the Week: Aesculapian

Apr 8, 2024

“Aesculapian, heal thyself.”

The caduceus (left) vs. the Rod of Aesculapius (right)

Aesculapian adjective and noun

adj: medical; medicinal.
noun: a physician; doctor

Example sentence:
“In the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the main character was an Aesculapian by day and a monster by night.”

After Aesculapius, the Roman god of medicine and healing. One of his daughters was named Hygieia from which the word, “hygiene” derives. The most popular motif of medicine is the Rod of Aesculapius, a single snake entwined staff, though sometimes it is confused with the caduceus, the double snake entwined staff with wings wielded by the Greek God Hermes (Roman: Mercury). The snake was looked on by the Ancient Greeks and Romans as a symbol of health and healing 1) because snakes shed and regenerate their skin and 2) because their venoms were used to make antidotes and medicines.