It is not certain as to who an Asclepiad was. It is possible that it was used with more than one meaning. Many theories hold that the Asclepiads were priests of Asclepion in ancient Greece. The Asclepiadae could also have been a guild in honour of Asclepius, the Greek god of healing, separate from the healing temples and closely related to Hippocratic tradition. Plato gives Hippocrates this title in his Protagoras, referring to him as “Hippocrates of Cos, the Asclepiad”. It may also have been used to refer to a group of people who claimed to be descended from Asclepius.
Asclepiades was the name of several Hellenistic physicians, some of whom probably assumed this appellation either as a sort of honorary title in allusion to the ancient family of the Asclepiadae, or in order to signify that they themselves belonged to it, or even just to indicate that they were proficient healers.
- Asclepiades of Bithynia, (ca. 125–40 BC) philosopher and physician
- Asclepiades Pharmacion, (1st-2nd century) Greek physician
- Hippocrates, who was raised as an Asclepiad.
- Jones, W. H. S. (1868), Hippocrates Collected Works I, Cambridge Harvard University Press.
- Jowett, B. (1927). "Protagoras". In William Chase Greene. The Dialogues of Plato. New York: Liveright Publishing Corp. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
- Rutkow, Ira M. (1993), Surgery: An Illustrated History, London and Southampton: Elsevier Science Health Science div, ISBN 0-8016-6078-5
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