Asclepius
Asclepius
AsclepiusIcon.JPG Asclepius is the son of Apollo and was so learned in medicine that he discovered a method of bringing the dead back to life. Zeus smote him with a thunderbolt in order to restore the balance of the universe but Asclepius had figured out too many divine secrets to settle quietly down in Hades. These days, he passes his time as the self-professed Saviour of Man, bringing healing and prophetic dreams to those who go spend the night in his sanctuaries. Sexual union with his priests is said to improve one's chances, though it's only his priests who say it. Asclepius.jpg

Common History

Asclepius is a hero and god of medicine in Colonial mythology and represents the healing aspect of the medical arts; his daughters are Hygieia (personification of health, cleanliness, and sanitation), Iaso (recuperation from illness), Aceso (the healing process), Aglæa/Ægle (the glow of good health), and Panacea (the universal remedy). He was one of Apollo's sons, sharing with Apollo the epithet Paean ("the Healer"). The rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today. Those physicians and attendants who served this god were known as the Therapeutae of Asclepius. The most famous temple of Asclepius was at Epidaurus in north-eastern Leonis. Another famous healing temple (or asclepieion) was built approximately a century later on the island of Kos, where Hippocrates, the legendary "father of medicine", may have begun his career. Other asclepieia were situated in throughout the Colonies.

Related Colony

  • Caprica: With Apollo being Caprica's primary Patron, Asclepius is sometimes overlooked, but many of the main temples of the faith can be found there, sheltering under the protection of Apollo from the wrath of Hades.

Common Rituals

At the founding of each new temple to Asclepious throughout the colonies, a particular species of non-venomous snake was introduced to the site. In some cases this was merely a ceremonial act, a snake, or a representation of such, was carried around the temple during the sanctification ceremony, but then removed, but on others they were introduced and allowed to slither around freely on the floor in dormitories where the sick and injured slept.

Those seeking healing for complex ailments can expect an overnight stay at their local temple. Ritual purification is followed by offerings or sacrifices, and the supplicant then spends the night in the holiest part of the sanctuary – the abaton (or adyton). Come the morning any dreams or visions are reported to the attendant priest who then prescribes an appropriate therapy by a process of interpretation.

Cults and Sects

  • Orphans of Asclepius: An order of friars based initially on Leonis but then spread throught the colonies as it grew. Members run small, community hospitals, growing their own herbal remedies and offerin gpoltices and remedies to those in need. Their name comes from the Order's known practice of taking in orphans and raising them to become healers themselves. Many of these youngsters stay within the order for the rest of their lives, but others seek out other challenges. Few take up formal medical training, focusing more on natural remedies than high-tech medicine, but some do go on to be first responders, or even corpsmen with the Colonial Fleet.
  • The Resurectionists: Found almost exclusively on a small compound on Aerilon, this cult is not recognised by the mainstream followers of Asclepius. Their theology and worldview is dominatied by the story told long ago of Asclepius reportedly healing the dead, and returning them to life at the request of Artemis. Sometimes accused of being a Death Cult little is known about what goes on behind their doors, but they do offer free hospice care to the dying. They do not appear to have succeeded in replicating his work yet though, as the number of graves in their cemetary continues to slowly grow.

Hymn

I begin to sing of Asclepius, son of Apollo and healer of sicknesses.
In the Dotian plain fair Coronis, daughter of King Phlegyas, bare him,
A great joy to men, a soother of cruel pangs.
And so hail to you, lord: in my song
I make my prayer to thee!

Characters with this Patron

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