Rod of Asclepios with serpent: What is the meaning of the Schattauer logo?

Since the founding of the publishing house on November 24, 1949 all Schattauer publications have been adorned with the Schattauer logo with a branch with a serpent winding around it (based on the rod of Asclepios). Maybe you are wondering about the meaning of this symbol, which is the emblem of the medical profession and pharmacists?

Asklepios, marble statue

Asklepios, marble statue, End of the 2. century AD

An excursion into Greek mythology

Asclepios is considered the best known Greek god of healing, who was generally depicted with a serpent-entwined walking staff. The term “Rod of Asclepios“ is derived from this. There are many different sagas about Asclepios, here is one example:

Asclepios was the son of the mortal princess Koronis and Apoll, a son of Zeus. Apoll killed Koronis because she had been unfaithful, and had Asclepios educated by the centaur Cheiron to become a flawless physician. Asclepios was so skillful that he was even able to restore the dead to life. Thus, god father Zeus worried that this skill would alter the natural order of things and destroyed Asclepios with a thunderbolt.

According to a less spectacular version, Asclepios was a natural healer from Thessalia in Northern Greece who was increasingly deified in a cult.

The curative career of the serpent

Already in the ancient world, due to its ability to shed its skin the serpent was considered a symbol for immortality, eternal youth and healing after long illness. Its reawakening in the spring from its torpor (death-like hibernation) can be interpreted as a kind of re-birth. The non-poisonous Aesculapian snake is common in the European Mediterranian area and can be as long as 1.8 meters (5.9 feet).

Further elements in the Schattauer logo: branch and circle

The branch in the Schattauer logo is derived from the walking staff of Asclepios. In our logo it furthermore symbolizes the tree of science and knowledge. The circle, which encloses the symbol, stands for all-encompassing knowledge.

You can learn more about the mythology in the modern medicine in the german book:

Amor, Äskulap & Co.

Klassische Mythologie in der Sprache der modernen Medizin
2004. 216 Seiten, 55 Abb., 4 Tab., gebunden
€(D) 29,95  €(A) 30,80
ISBN 978-3-7945-2343-6
Schattauer GmbH – Verlag für Medizin und Naturwissenschaften

More about book and author



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