I’m going to be blogging about Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and patron of healers.
Asclepius is the son of Apollo and the Triccaean princess Coronis. His mother died in childbirth, and Apollo rescued his unborn son from her womb. He took Asclepius to be raised by the centaur Chiron, who instructed him in the art of medicine. Asclepius became a very skilled healer. He became even more powerful when, after performing a kindness for a serpent, the snake whispered secret knowledge to him in gratitude. After this, Asclepius was able to raise the dead to life. This was an affront against the natural laws of the universe, and Zeus destroyed him with a thunderbolt. Apollo grew very angry, and to preserve the peace on Olympus, Zeus elevated Asclepius to divinity. Temples to Asclepius became renowned places for healing, and for the education of physicians.
Asclepius was married in life, and his wife Epione gave birth to demigod children: Hygieia – goddess of health and sanitation, Panacea – goddess of remedies, Iaso – goddess of recuperation, Aceso – goddess of the healing process, Aigle – goddess of radiant good health. She also gave birth to two sons, Machaon and Podaleirios, who accompanied the Greek expedition to Troy. Podaleirios perished in Asia Minor, where his tomb was honored as a hero-shrine, and he was said to bestow cures for the illness of humans as well as animals.