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Mystery Monday: stone serpents

The caduceus is supposed to be a symbol not of medicine but of commerce, derived from its association with the Greek god Hermes. But over the years, the symbol has been so often confused with medicine’s Rod of Asclepius that both are now effectively symbols of the medical profession. This specimen seen on a Yale building has two snakes (like the caduceus), no wings (like the Rod of Asclepius) and a torch (a symbol of knowledge). None of that will likely help you figure out where to find this carving, though. Got any ideas? We’ll update this post with the answer tomorrow.

UPDATE: The serpents are above the entrance to Leigh Hall, which is now home to the School of Music but was the university infirmary when it was built in 1930.


The Yale Alumni Magazine is published by Yale Alumni Publications Inc., an alumni-based nonprofit that is not run by Yale University. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration.

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