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A marble statue of Asclepius that was found in one of the Terrace Houses at Ephesus.
Asclepius was considered to be the son of Apollo, the god of healing. He 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 often 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.