Aescŭlāpĭus, i, m., = Ἀσκληπιός, acc. to fable, the son of Apollo and the nymph Coronis, deified after his death on account of his great knowledge of medicine, Cic. N. D. 3, 22; Cels. 1 praef. He had a temple at Rome, on the island in the Tiber. Upon the kind of worship paid to him, and his attributes, v. Festus, p. 82. Huic gallinae immolabantur, id. ib. The principal seat of his worship in Greece was Epidaurus. In his temple there was a magnificent statue of ivory and gold, the work of Thrasymedes, in which he was represented as a noble figure, resembling that of Zeus. He was seated on a throne, holding in one hand a staff, and with the other resting on the head of a dragon (serpent), and by his side lay a dog. There were also other representations, one even as beardless, very common at an earlier period, Müll. Archaeol. d. Kunst, S. 534 and 535. Serpents, prob. as symbols of prudence and renovation. were everywhere connected with his worship; cf. Spreng. Gesch. d. Medic. 1, 205.
Note: Adj.: anguis Aesculapius, Plin. 29, 4, 22, § 72.