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The Aesculapian emblem, "representing a snake entwinning a rod, is today merely a token like any other badge or seal. Few who see it are aware of its deeper meaning as a symbol. The sign itself is hollowed out and has lost its content."
So begins Jan Schouten's fascinating account of the origin and evolution of the medical symbol. The story tracts the rod and the serpent from their first association with Asklepios sometime after the sixth century B. C. through the Middle Ages, where Christian thought transferred their medical function to the Brass Serpent of Moses, into the Renaissance,
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The Rod and Serpent of Asklepios: Symbol of Medicine.. Ann Intern Med. 1967;67:681–682. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-67-3-681
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1967;67(3_Part_1):681-682.
Copyright © 2017 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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