Click Photo for Larger Version
A life size statue of Asclepius the son of Apollo, the god of healing, found at Epidarus (Greece). Asclepius was at first considered to be a mortal, but then after his death he was deified as a god – the god of medicine. He is depicted with a serpent wound around a staff – a symbol still used in the medical profession. Indeed snakes were used as part of the healing process.
At times he bore the title "soter," or "savior" and thus as a healer and savior competed with the work of Christ and the early Church.
For a brief description of the Asclepion Click Here.