The Golden Wand of Medicine: A History of the Caduceus Symbol in Medicine

By Walter J. Friedlander | Go to book overview
43.
Colonel Hoff wrote a letter to Colonel F. F. Russell of the U.S. Army Medical Corps in which he defended the use of the caduceus in the same terms that Garrison spoke about. ( Hoff J. Van R. "The Caduceus," Mil. Surg. 1928, 63:122.)

My Dear Russell:

It is difficult to convince the Purist that the caduceus as worn by us has nothing to do with the followers of Asculapius but is the only badge of neutrality the ancients recognized.

It is not to be presumed that this badge was adopted ignorantly, for surely the ancients knew as much of the symbols of their gods, as we do. And that it became universal for them must be due to the fact that the Caduceus was universally recognized as the badge of the noncombatant.

Apparently little was written on the subject in the olden days, but I think the inference is logical.

This letter was dated October 11, 1919 which was five months after Garrison's letter appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Again, it may have represented the true basis of why the caduceus was adopted but, on the other hand, in light of the other material discussed here, it may also have been a hindsight written to support Garrison's earlier letter.

44.
Garrison F. H. "The Babylonian Caduceus," Mil. Surg. 1919, 44:633-636.
45.
Kagan S. R. Life and Letters of Fielding H. Garrison. Boston: Medico-Historical Press, 1938, p. 110.
46.
Bercher M. J. and Hassenforder M. J. "Les Débuts du 'Caducée' Médical darts le Corps de Santé Militaire et! l' Institution d'un Emblème International," Presse Med. 1953, 61:185.
47.
Bailby. "Le Serpent d' Epidaure et la Caducée," Aesculape. 1914, 4:4-8(cited in Dillemann, "Les Insignes") and, by Guillermand J. ( Secretariat General. Comité d' Histoire du Service de Santé, Ministère de la Défense, République Francaise) Personal communication, July, 1983.
48.
Le Caducée: Journal de Chirurgia & de Médecine d'Armée 1901, 1: 1.
49.
Garrison F. H. "A Lucubration on the Caduceus," Mil. Med. 1932, 71:129-32.
50.
Tyson S. L. "The Caduceus," Scientific Monthly. 1932, 34:492-98.
51.
Arnold H. L. Jr., "Fielding H. Garrison, the Caduceus and the United States Army Medical Department," Bull. Hist. Med. 1943, 13:627-30.

-144-

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The Golden Wand of Medicine: A History of the Caduceus Symbol in Medicine
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Medical Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures ix
  • Foreword xi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • Note 3
  • 2 - Definition of the Caduceus 5
  • Notes 12
  • 3 - Development of the Structure of the Caduceus 13
  • Notes 29
  • 4 - Hermes 31
  • Notes 59
  • 5 - Egyptian Hermes 61
  • Notes 81
  • 6 - Caduceus in Medicine: Sixteenth Through Nineteenth Centuries 83
  • 7 - Caduceus as a Printer's Mark 109
  • 8 - U. S. Army's Medical Department Adopts the Caduceus 127
  • Notes 144
  • 9 - Present 145
  • Notes 154
  • 10 - Summary 155
  • Appendix I Persistence of Confusion About Hermes 159
  • Notes 165
  • Appendix II History of the American Medical Association's Official Symbol 167
  • Notes 169
  • Selected Bibliography 171
  • Index 175
  • About the Author 183
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