Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece

The Birth of Asclepius and Apollo's Rage


The Greek god of the healing Asclepius was the son of the Olympian god Apollo and the beautiful mortal Coronis. Apollo used to love Coronis very much, but as soon as Coronis became pregnant, she decided to marry another young man with the name Ischis. Apollo got informed about Coronis' infidelity by his faithful servant Corax and, in his rage, he transformed Corax from white into black.

Unfaithful Coronis herself was punished by Apollo’s sister Artemis, who killed Coronis with her arrows. Apollo, however, decided to rescue the child of Coronis. So he turned himself invisible and then pulled the child from Coronis’ abdomen and transferred it to Mount Pelion in Thessaly.

Once in Mount Pelion, the infant was handled to the gentle, wise Centaur Chiron to be taken care of. Chiron was the first to teach young Asclepius the Sciences of Medicine and Pharmacology through healing herbs and also taught Asclepius how to hunt.

With time, Hades, the Ruler of the Underworld, slowly started to be concerned of Asclepius healing properties, fearing that his kingdom would this way come to an end.

Hades therefore asked his brother Zeus, the King of the Gods, to eliminate Asclepius and Zeus threw lightnings to struck down Asclepius. But since he was feeling sorrow for what he had done, Zeus decided to comfort Asclepius and gave the god a special place in the stars' constellation of "Ophiuchus".

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