Sunday, March 31, 2019

Why Is the Medical Symbol a Snake on a Stick?

The caduceus is the staff carried by Hermes in Greek mythology and consequently by Hermes Trismegistus in Greco-Egyptian mythology. The same staff was also borne by heralds in general, for example by Iris, the messenger of Hera. It is a short staff entwined by two serpents, sometimes surmounted by wings. 

Why Is the Medical Symbol a Snake on a Stick?

The image of serpents wrapped around a staff is a familiar one in the medical field, decorating pharmaceutical packaging and hospitals alike. Snakes bites are generally bad news, and so the animal might seem ill-fitting as the symbol of the medical profession, but the ancient emblem actually has a quite a story behind it.


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