Asclepius was the ancient Greek god of medicine, son of the god Apollo and Coronis, the daughter of Phlegyas, King of the Lapiths. He was married to Epione, the goddess of soothing; together, they had a number of children; their daughters were Panacea (goddess of medicines), Hygeia (goddess of health), Iaso (goddess of recuperation), Aceso (goddess of the healing process), Aglaea or Aegle (goddess of magnificence and splendor). They also had four sons; Machaon and Podalirius were legendary healers who fought in the Trojan War; Telesphorus who accompanied his sister, Hygeia, and symbolised recuperation; and Aratus.
Asclepius was given to the Centaur Chiron, who raised him and taught him medicine and the healing arts. At some point, Asclepius healed a snake, which in return taught him secret knowledge - snakes were considered divine beings that were wise and could heal. This is how the symbol of Asclepius and later healing was a rod wreathed with a snake. Asclepius was so good at healing that he had managed to cheat death and bring people back from the underworld. As a result, Zeus killed him to maintain the balance and placed him on the night sky under the constellation of the Ophiuchus (the snake holder).
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