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The Staff of Asclepius and Caduceus of Mercury

The Staff of Asclepius is considered to be the proper medical symbol and consists of one snake coiling itself around Asclepius’ staff.

The iconography of the Staff of Asclepius is thought primarily to be a representation of the ancient Greek physician Asclepius who through myth and legend came to be worshipped as the Greek God of Healing. The symbolism of a “snake” wound around a stick is thought to originate from the physician’s practice of slowly winding a common parasitic worm around a stick in order to remove it from the host’s body.

The Caduceus of Mercury or Hermes Wand consists of two snakes coiled around Hermes (Mercury’s) Wand topped by two symmetrically placed wings with an orb situated centrally between them.

The Greek God Hermes, whose Roman equivalent was Mercury, was the messenger of the gods. He had winged feet, a winged cap and carried the caduceus. The staff carried by Hermes was usually thought to be a symbol of peace. It served as a badge of protection for ancient Greek and Roman heralds and ambassadors. It was originally depicted as an olive branch ending in two shoots and decorated with garlands or ribbons; in later iconography the garlands become two snakes and a pair of wings was attached to the staff to represent Hermes’ speed.

These hand painted tiles are also available personalized with a name.

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