HYGEIA In History

Have you ever thought why mythological stories have been in our lives for thousands of years? These stories, loaded with wisdom and experience, pass on the cultural heritage of human history to future generations. The characters in mythology are archetypes that guide people of today with the solutions they found to the problems that once were lived.

In this context Hygeia is an archetype that emerged in the Ancient Greek world around 600s BCE as the daughter of Asclepius, the archetype of medicine. To her was attributed the responsibility of preventive healthcare.

In the history of humanity Hygeia gained even more importance after the first epidemic in Greece around 400s BCE. It is probably for this reason that as the name-giver of the word ‘hygiene’ Hygeia’s responsibility has been reduced to the areas of ‘cleanliness’ and ‘sanitation’.

In classical sculpture, Hygeia is shown holding or feeding a snake, which is the symbol of Asclepion medicine. Another symbol is a snake depicted with a large bowl. Statues of Hygeia were erected in all major healing centers attributed to the Asclepius archetype. Its principal centers were in Epidaurus, Corinth, Kos and Pergamon.

Do you wonder why we named our initiative HYGEIA? Read here.

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