[Skip to Navigation]
Article
October 1959

Hippocrates and the Plane Tree on the Island of Cos

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md.

Research Associate, Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Metabolism, National Heart Institute; now Assistant Resident in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Mass.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1959;104(4):653-657. doi:10.1001/archinte.1959.00270100139025
Abstract

Beside a fountain's sacred brink we raised Our verdant altars, and the victims blazed: 'Twas where the plane-tree spread its shades around, The altars heaved; and from the crumbling ground A mighty dragon shot, of dire portent; From Jove himself the dreadful sign was sent. Straight to the tree his sanguine spires he roll'd And curled around

The altars heaved ; and from the crumbling ground A mighty dragon shot, of dire portent; From Jove himself the dreadful sign was sent. Straight to the tree his sanguine spires he roll'd And curled around in many a winding fold. . . .

Iliad ii1

The small Greek island of Cos bears some of the most remarkable links between Hippocrates and the modern world. In addition to the ruins of a great temple of Aesculapius, there stands an ancient plane tree under whose shade Hippocrates may have sat and taught his students.

×