Real Name: Asclepius
Occupation: God of medicine, healer, patron deity of physicians
Legal Status: Citizen of Olympus
Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of the existence of Asclepius except as a mythological deity.
Other Aliases: Aesculapius (Roman spelling), Ophiuchis ("serpent holder"),
Place of Birth:
Epidaurus (now part of modern Greece)
Epidaurus (now part of modern Greece)
Marital Status: Widowed
Known Relatives: Apollo (father), Coronis (mother, deceased), Artemis, Athena (aunts), Hercules, Hermes (uncles), Phlegyras (maternal grandfather, deceased), Epione (wife), Machaon, Podalirius, Iaso, Acesis (sons, deceased), Hygeia (daughter), Panacea (daughter, deceased), Zeus (paternal grandfather),
Group Affiliations: The Gods of Olympus
Base of Operations: Olympus, formerly Epidaurus
First Appearance: Ares I #4
History: Asclepius is the mortal son of Apollo, the Olympian god of light and prophecy, and Coronis, daughter of King Phlegyras of Orchomenus, a region now known as modern Greece. (Some traditions claim he was Apollo's son by the Messenian princess Arsinoe.) Coronis bore Asclepius while she was living in Epidaurus, but she abandoned him in infancy on nearby Mount Myrtium where young Asclepius was found and raised by the goat herder, Aresthanes, who discovered the youth's godly attributes and grew afraid of him, later delivering him under the directions of the god Hermes to the wise old centaur, Chiron. Coronis meanwhile disdained Apollo's love for a young man named Ischys and was killed by the goddess Artemis for the insult. Apollo meanwhile slew Ischys.
Chiron taught Asclepius the arts of medicine, but the youth became so adept in his skills that he soon began to excell even Chiron himself. The goddess Athena even gave Asclepius vials of blood from the Gorgon Medusa to study and divine the secrets of life and death. After his experience became renowned, Asclepius became famous as a healer, capable of curing illness, preventing disease and even reaching the point of raising the dead. King Merops of Percote was so grateful to Asclepius that he gave him his daughter, Epione, as a bride. Asclepius and Epione had several sons and daughters to which he taught his secrets of healing.
Asclepius's power of healing, however, angered Hades, the god of the dead, who complained that ability to raise the dead tangled the threads of the Fates and deprived him from acquiring new acquisitions. Upset by the precedent, Zeus slew Asclepius with a lightning bolt, but Apollo took offense and slew the Cyclopes that created his father's thunderbolts for revenge. For punishment, Zeus stripped Apollo of his godhood for a year and sent him to earth to live among mortals for a year. In the aftermath of their father's death, Machaon and Podalirius carried their father's teachers throughout Ancient Greece and even into war as the Argives went to war against Troy where they cured Philoctetes, the protégé of Hercules, of his infection During his time as a mortal, Apollo designated the Ophiuchis constellation in honor of his son.
Around 295 BC, a plague overtook Rome and the Romans brought a statue of Asclepius from Epidaurus to Rome to eradicate the disease. Apollo petitioned the right for Asclepius to join his place by his side among the gods. As a god, Asclepius brought his daughter Hygeia as goddess of hygiene and cleanliness. As a god, Asclepius became the patron deity of healers.
Among the Olympians, Asclepius was often called upon to cure
illnesses and afflictions the other gods could not understand, even for gods
like Apollo or Prometheus
who had healing powers of their own. However, he also returned to earth on
occasion to bestow his presence upon others, often getting confused for St.
Gabriel, the patron saint of healers from the Early Catholic Church. Asclepius
was absent from Olympus when Hercules was brought there for injuries incurred
from the Masters of Evil, but Apollo brought him there when Zeus fell in battle
against the demon Mikaboshi,
restoring his health and bringing him back from the point of death.
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 315 lbs.
Hair: Blonde, now White
Strength Level: Asclepius possesses superhuman strength enabling her to lift (press) 25 tons under optimal conditions.
Known Superhuman Powers: Asclepius possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Olympian gods. Like all Olympians, he is immortal: he has not aged since reaching adulthood and cannot die by any conventional means. He is immune to all Earthly diseases and is resistant to conventional injury. If he were somehow wounded, his godly life force would enable him to recover with superhuman speed. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it dispersed a major portion of his bodily molecules to cause him a physical death. Even then, it might be possible for a god of significant power, such as Zeus, Poseidon and Apollo or for a number of Olympian gods of equal power working together to revive him. Asclepius also possesses superhuman strength and his Olympian metabolism provides him with far greater than human endurance in all physical activities. (Olympian flesh and bone is about three times as dense as similar human tissue, contributing to the Olympians' superhuman strength and weight.)
Asclepius also has exceptional healing powers derived from
both his innate mystical potential as a god and his unsurpassed knowledge of
medicinal herbs and plants. He has some sort of clairvoyant prowess to
automatically deduce and comprehend illness and injury, using elixirs and
potions of his creation in tandem with his mystical powers of the mind/body/soul
to cure those in suffering around him. He can also mentally accelerate the
natural healing abilities of his patients to stave off infection and mend broken
bone or damaged tissue.
Abilities: Asclepius is a beneficent and compassionate deity capable of incredible kindness and dedication to his patients.
Weapons/Paraphernalia: Asclepius wields a staff entwined with snakes as a symbol of his connection to medicine. He can direct his godly power over it to cure mortals.
Comments: This bio pretty much features Asclepius as he appears in the Marvel Universe; he has not yet appeared in the DC Universe.
In one account, possibly non-canon, several members of GIJoe
are cast back in time to sometime in Ancient Greece where they are mistaken for
the Argonauts. Their medic, Lifeline, is mistaken for Asclepius, who was never
one of the Argonauts.
Clarifications: Asclepius is not to be confused with:
Last updated: 10/05/07
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