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Asclepius was the ancient god of medicine in Greek mythology. Born a mortal, he was trained as a physician by Chiron, and became so skilled in the art of medicine that he could resurrect the dead. For this arrogance, Zeus smote him with a thunderbolt. However, Apollo rescued him from Hades and made him a god on Olympus where he became physician to the gods.

Because of his supposed healing powers, Asclepius was worshipped all over Greece. His temples were usually built in "healthy" places, such as hills outside of the towns where they would be away from disease or near wells with alleged healing properties.