Why "Asclepius" and not "Aesculapius"?

LETTER — Posted July 18, 2005

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Regarding "The symbol for a new AMA: Medicine for the 21st century" (Editorial, June 20): I like the new logo very much. My only question concerns the modified spelling of the being whose staff is entwined by the serpent.

According to Webster's Third New International Dictionary, the spelling of the name is shown as "Aesculapius." I would appreciate seeing a note in our newspaper giving the reason why the spelling has been changed to "Asclepius."

Wallace A. Reed, MD, Phoenix

Editor's note: In our editorial we identify Asclepius as the Greek god of healing. Our spelling, therefore, follows a common presentation of the name taken from Greek. Aesculapius is also widely used and is the Latin, and later appearing, name for this figure.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/07/18/edlt0718.htm.

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