Photo by The Art Archive / Archaeological Museum Venice / Dagli Orti

For more than 1,000 years, ailing people throughout the Mediterranean world flocked to sanctuaries of the god Asklepios, who is shown here in a detail from a first-century B.C. marble statue in the Archaeological Museum of Venice, Italy. In “Asklepios Appears in a Dream”, author Bronwen Wickkiser recounts that this bearded man with a serpent-entwined staff, or caduceus (the symbol of modern medicine), visited patients as they slept, curing them of their disorders.