16 Jan Greek Gods of Healing
Caring for the human body is a practice that has been carefully honed since the beginning of time. Our company name, Therápia, comes from a Greek word meaning therapy or healing. In ancient Greek times, healers would call upon special gods that they believed would help them to help treat their patients. Two of these Greek Gods of healing were Asclepius and Apollo.
Once a famous healer, Asclepius was elevated to the level of deity by the clan of healers who followed in his footsteps. His followers built temples to him and invoked his help as they worked to attend to the health of others. They believed that they had inherited his knack for healing as well as mystical powers that gave them an edge in the business. His reputation spread throughout the Mediterranean region and he was regarded as the main god of healing through late antiquity.
As the god of the sun, bringing on the day was not the only responsibility of Apollo. He was also regarded as the god of many other things, including music, poetry, archery, prophecy, miracles, plague, and healing. It was widely believed that angering Apollo was a sure way to bring sickness upon a people and widespread disease was usually considered an issue to take up with him. The thinking was that if Apollo could bring the sickness, he could cure it as well, and he was often called upon for this purpose. Many temples and offerings were given to Apollo from people hoping to live long, healthy lives.
Remnants of these ancient practices can still be seen in medicine today. The caduceus symbol, featuring a staff entwined by two snakes, is a version of the staff of Asclepius. In ancient Greece, snakes symbolized healing and rejuvenation. This symbol is still being used to represent contemporary medicine and is currently being the symbol for the American Medical Association.