1

The rod with a snake, known as the {Rod,Staff} of {Asclepius,Asklepios,Aesculapius} or simply the asklepian is a common symbol of medicine.

How can I typeset it in LaTeX? Is it available in any common package?

  • Also, I am not looking for the two-snaked caduceus. – evanb May 9 '20 at 3:35
  • 2
    Just save the SVG in the link and convert it to an image (via Inkscape, say). Then you can include it using \includegraphics. – Werner May 9 '20 at 3:47
  • Well, I may fall back to that ultimately. But I'd like to avoid incorporating non-text files into my project, if possible. – evanb May 9 '20 at 3:57
8

This is MWE in Asymptote, based on that svg file. It has separate paths for the stick, the snake body and the eye:

// Rod of Asclepius
settings.outformat="pdf";
guide[] gStick=(61,-32).. controls (62,-25) and (66,-17)
 ..(65,-10).. controls (61,-6) and (56,-11)
 ..(52,-10).. controls (46,-9) and (47,-4)
 ..(40,-3).. controls (33,-2) and (32,-1)
 ..(33,-16).. controls (34,-21) and (34,-25)
 ..(34,-29).. controls (38,-28) and (42,-28)
 ..(45,-28).. controls (51,-28) and (56,-30)
 ..(61,-32)--cycle
 ^^(37,-55).. controls (38,-63) and (39,-72)
 ..(39,-81).. controls (44,-85) and (50,-89)
 ..(57,-94).. controls (57,-94) and (58,-95)
 ..(59,-95).. controls (59,-94) and (59,-93)
 ..(59,-92).. controls (60,-84) and (61,-77)
 ..(62,-69).. controls (52,-68) and (47,-52)
 ..(37,-55)--cycle
 ^^(38,-222).. controls (38,-223) and (38,-223)
 ..(38,-223).. controls (38,-235) and (38,-246)
 ..(38,-257).. controls (43,-261) and (48,-265)
 ..(55,-270).. controls (55,-270) and (56,-271)
 ..(56,-271).. controls (56,-269) and (56,-266)
 ..(56,-264).. controls (56,-255) and (56,-250)
 ..(59,-243).. controls (61,-238) and (68,-229)
 ..(59,-227).. controls (58,-229) and (56,-229)
 ..(55,-231).. controls (53,-224) and (56,-214)
 ..(56,-206).. controls (55,-205) and (55,-204)
 ..(55,-203).. controls (55,-195) and (54,-187)
 ..(56,-180).. controls (56,-179) and (56,-179)
 ..(56,-179).. controls (57,-172) and (59,-166)
 ..(58,-157).. controls (58,-154) and (61,-151)
 ..(61,-147).. controls (61,-142) and (57,-147)
 ..(57,-137).. controls (58,-134) and (59,-131)
 ..(59,-128).. controls (59,-126) and (59,-124)
 ..(59,-122).. controls (54,-117) and (48,-114)
 ..(43,-111).. controls (42,-110) and (40,-109)
 ..(38,-107).. controls (40,-131) and (43,-154)
 ..(39,-155).. controls (35,-155) and (36,-149)
 ..(32,-148).. controls (23,-151) and (25,-155)
 ..(27,-161).. controls (30,-167) and (28,-172)
 ..(32,-178).. controls (34,-182) and (37,-188)
 ..(36,-198).. controls (36,-198) and (36,-198)
 ..(36,-198).. controls (35,-206) and (38,-214)
 ..(38,-222)--cycle
 ^^(43,-357).. controls (43,-371) and (42,-385)
 ..(40,-397).. controls (54,-384) and (55,-380)
 ..(53,-358).. controls (53,-355) and (53,-353)
 ..(53,-351).. controls (53,-348) and (53,-345)
 ..(53,-342).. controls (53,-332) and (54,-323)
 ..(56,-313).. controls (58,-306) and (58,-298)
 ..(57,-290).. controls (52,-287) and (46,-283)
 ..(39,-280).. controls (40,-291) and (40,-302)
 ..(41,-313).. controls (42,-326) and (42,-339)
 ..(42,-351).. controls (42,-353) and (43,-355)
 ..(43,-357)--cycle;

guide[] gSnake=
(59,-122).. controls (65,-128) and (70,-136)
 ..(70,-148).. controls (70,-164) and (64,-172)
 ..(55,-180).. controls (54,-187) and (55,-195)
 ..(55,-203).. controls (59,-199) and (62,-196)
 ..(65,-193).. controls (78,-182) and (90,-165)
 ..(90,-144).. controls (90,-120) and (73,-105)
 ..(59,-95).. controls (58,-95) and (57,-94)
 ..(57,-94).. controls (50,-89) and (44,-85)
 ..(39,-81).. controls (34,-76) and (30,-72)
 ..(30,-67).. controls (30,-62) and (32,-57)
 ..(37,-55).. controls (38,-55) and (39,-54)
 ..(40,-54).. controls (44,-54) and (52,-66)
 ..(62,-69).. controls (64,-70) and (66,-70)
 ..(68,-70).. controls (72,-70) and (73,-69)
 ..(73,-63).. controls (77,-63) and (80,-67)
 ..(81,-56).. controls (81,-50) and (76,-39)
 ..(61,-32).. controls (56,-30) and (51,-28)
 ..(45,-28).. controls (42,-28) and (38,-28)
 ..(34,-29).. controls (22,-33) and (9,-45)
 ..(9,-63).. controls (9,-79) and (24,-97)
 ..(38,-107).. controls (40,-109) and (42,-110)
 ..(43,-111).. controls (48,-114) and (54,-117)
 ..(59,-122)--cycle
 ^^(57,-290).. controls (81,-306) and (66,-327)
 ..(53,-342).. controls (53,-345) and (53,-348)
 ..(53,-351).. controls (58,-347) and (61,-344)
 ..(64,-342).. controls (72,-336) and (85,-322)
 ..(83,-309).. controls (81,-288) and (68,-280)
 ..(55,-270).. controls (48,-265) and (43,-261)
 ..(38,-257).. controls (33,-252) and (30,-248)
 ..(30,-242).. controls (31,-236) and (34,-229)
 ..(38,-222).. controls (38,-214) and (35,-206)
 ..(36,-198).. controls (23,-212) and (12,-227)
 ..(12,-246).. controls (13,-264) and (26,-273)
 ..(39,-280).. controls (46,-283) and (52,-287)
 ..(57,-290)--cycle
 ^^(42,-351).. controls (31,-360) and (17,-366)
 ..(3,-369).. controls (20,-367) and (33,-362)
 ..(43,-357).. controls (43,-355) and (42,-353)
 ..(42,-351)--cycle;
guide gEye=(67,-45).. controls (67,-47) and (65,-48)
 ..(63,-48).. controls (61,-48) and (59,-47)
 ..(59,-45).. controls (59,-43) and (61,-42)
 ..(63,-42).. controls (65,-42) and (67,-43)
 ..(67,-45)--cycle;
filldraw(gStick,brown+opacity(0.7), brown+0.7*bp);
filldraw(gSnake,deepgreen+opacity(0.7),deepgreen+0.4*bp);
fill(gEye,brown);

enter image description here

And a lame translation to TikZ:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{tikz}
\definecolor{stickClr}{rgb}{0.65,0.3,0.3}
\definecolor{snakeClr}{rgb}{0.3,0.65,0.3}
\definecolor{eyeClr}{rgb}{0.5,0.0,0.0}

\def\RodOfAsclepius{%
\begin{tikzpicture}[scale=0.0015,baseline=-11pt]
\fill[stickClr][stickClr] (61,-32).. controls (62,-25) and (66,-17)
     ..(65,-10).. controls (61,-6) and (56,-11)
     ..(52,-10).. controls (46,-9) and (47,-4)
     ..(40,-3).. controls (33,-2) and (32,-1)
     ..(33,-16).. controls (34,-21) and (34,-25)
     ..(34,-29).. controls (38,-28) and (42,-28)
     ..(45,-28).. controls (51,-28) and (56,-30)
     ..cycle;
\fill[stickClr] (37,-55).. controls (38,-63) and (39,-72)
     ..(39,-81).. controls (44,-85) and (50,-89)
     ..(57,-94).. controls (57,-94) and (58,-95)
     ..(59,-95).. controls (59,-94) and (59,-93)
     ..(59,-92).. controls (60,-84) and (61,-77)
     ..(62,-69).. controls (52,-68) and (47,-52)
     ..cycle;
\fill[stickClr] (38,-222).. controls (38,-223) and (38,-223)
     ..(38,-223).. controls (38,-235) and (38,-246)
     ..(38,-257).. controls (43,-261) and (48,-265)
     ..(55,-270).. controls (55,-270) and (56,-271)
     ..(56,-271).. controls (56,-269) and (56,-266)
     ..(56,-264).. controls (56,-255) and (56,-250)
     ..(59,-243).. controls (61,-238) and (68,-229)
     ..(59,-227).. controls (58,-229) and (56,-229)
     ..(55,-231).. controls (53,-224) and (56,-214)
     ..(56,-206).. controls (55,-205) and (55,-204)
     ..(55,-203).. controls (55,-195) and (54,-187)
     ..(56,-180).. controls (56,-179) and (56,-179)
     ..(56,-179).. controls (57,-172) and (59,-166)
     ..(58,-157).. controls (58,-154) and (61,-151)
     ..(61,-147).. controls (61,-142) and (57,-147)
     ..(57,-137).. controls (58,-134) and (59,-131)
     ..(59,-128).. controls (59,-126) and (59,-124)
     ..(59,-122).. controls (54,-117) and (48,-114)
     ..(43,-111).. controls (42,-110) and (40,-109)
     ..(38,-107).. controls (40,-131) and (43,-154)
     ..(39,-155).. controls (35,-155) and (36,-149)
     ..(32,-148).. controls (23,-151) and (25,-155)
     ..(27,-161).. controls (30,-167) and (28,-172)
     ..(32,-178).. controls (34,-182) and (37,-188)
     ..(36,-198).. controls (36,-198) and (36,-198)
     ..(36,-198).. controls (35,-206) and (38,-214)
     ..cycle;
\fill[stickClr] (43,-357).. controls (43,-371) and (42,-385)
     ..(40,-397).. controls (54,-384) and (55,-380)
     ..(53,-358).. controls (53,-355) and (53,-353)
     ..(53,-351).. controls (53,-348) and (53,-345)
     ..(53,-342).. controls (53,-332) and (54,-323)
     ..(56,-313).. controls (58,-306) and (58,-298)
     ..(57,-290).. controls (52,-287) and (46,-283)
     ..(39,-280).. controls (40,-291) and (40,-302)
     ..(41,-313).. controls (42,-326) and (42,-339)
     ..(42,-351).. controls (42,-353) and (43,-355)
     ..cycle;
\fill[snakeClr](59,-122).. controls (65,-128) and (70,-136)
     ..(70,-148).. controls (70,-164) and (64,-172)
     ..(55,-180).. controls (54,-187) and (55,-195)
     ..(55,-203).. controls (59,-199) and (62,-196)
     ..(65,-193).. controls (78,-182) and (90,-165)
     ..(90,-144).. controls (90,-120) and (73,-105)
     ..(59,-95).. controls (58,-95) and (57,-94)
     ..(57,-94).. controls (50,-89) and (44,-85)
     ..(39,-81).. controls (34,-76) and (30,-72)
     ..(30,-67).. controls (30,-62) and (32,-57)
     ..(37,-55).. controls (38,-55) and (39,-54)
     ..(40,-54).. controls (44,-54) and (52,-66)
     ..(62,-69).. controls (64,-70) and (66,-70)
     ..(68,-70).. controls (72,-70) and (73,-69)
     ..(73,-63).. controls (77,-63) and (80,-67)
     ..(81,-56).. controls (81,-50) and (76,-39)
     ..(61,-32).. controls (56,-30) and (51,-28)
     ..(45,-28).. controls (42,-28) and (38,-28)
     ..(34,-29).. controls (22,-33) and (9,-45)
     ..(9,-63).. controls (9,-79) and (24,-97)
     ..(38,-107).. controls (40,-109) and (42,-110)
     ..(43,-111).. controls (48,-114) and (54,-117)
     ..(59,-122)--cycle;
\fill[snakeClr](57,-290).. controls (81,-306) and (66,-327)
     ..(53,-342).. controls (53,-345) and (53,-348)
     ..(53,-351).. controls (58,-347) and (61,-344)
     ..(64,-342).. controls (72,-336) and (85,-322)
     ..(83,-309).. controls (81,-288) and (68,-280)
     ..(55,-270).. controls (48,-265) and (43,-261)
     ..(38,-257).. controls (33,-252) and (30,-248)
     ..(30,-242).. controls (31,-236) and (34,-229)
     ..(38,-222).. controls (38,-214) and (35,-206)
     ..(36,-198).. controls (23,-212) and (12,-227)
     ..(12,-246).. controls (13,-264) and (26,-273)
     ..(39,-280).. controls (46,-283) and (52,-287)
     ..(57,-290)--cycle;
\fill[snakeClr](42,-351).. controls (31,-360) and (17,-366)
     ..(3,-369).. controls (20,-367) and (33,-362)
     ..(43,-357).. controls (43,-355) and (42,-353)
     ..cycle;    
\fill[eyeClr](67,-45).. controls (67,-47) and (65,-48)
     ..(63,-48).. controls (61,-48) and (59,-47)
     ..(59,-45).. controls (59,-43) and (61,-42)
     ..(63,-42).. controls (65,-42) and (67,-43)
     ..(67,-45)--cycle;
\end{tikzpicture}%
}

\begin{document} 
Rod of Asclepius: \RodOfAsclepius\RodOfAsclepius\RodOfAsclepius.

\end{document} 

enter image description here

5

If you need a symbol rather than a picture, its codepoint is U+2695 (STAFF OF ASCLEPIUS). The Caduceus or the Staff of Hermes, of commercial use, is also available and its codepoint is U+2624 (CADUCEUS)

https://emojipedia.org/medical-symbol/

To include either symbol in your document, you need XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX and a font which supports the corresponding symbol.

%!TEX program = xelatex
\documentclass{standalone}
\usepackage{fontspec}
\newfontfamily\emoji{DejaVu Sans}
\newcommand{\Asclepius}{{\emoji\symbol{"2695}}}
\newcommand{\Caduceus}{{\emoji\symbol{"2624}}}
\begin{document}
%Defining a command easier to type also works
{\Huge Hello, Asclepius \Asclepius and Caduceus \Caduceus}
\end{document}

enter image description here

With TeX Live 2020, LuaLaTeX uses the LuaHBTeX (LuaTeX + Harfbuzz) engine and supports colored emojis. The Caduceus is not supported as emoji, it seems:

%!TEX program = lualatex
\documentclass{standalone}
\usepackage{fontspec}
\newfontfamily\emoji{Noto Color Emoji}[Renderer=Harfbuzz]
\newcommand{\Asclepius}{{\emoji\symbol{"2695}}}
\newcommand{\Caduceus}{{\emoji\symbol{"2624}}}
\begin{document}
    {\Huge Hello, Asclepius \Asclepius and Caduceus \Caduceus}
\end{document}

enter image description here

I see other emoji fonts use a different design for the medical symbol emoji. Here's the code below with Twemoji Mozilla.

enter image description here

EDIT: Thanks to user Mrkvička for the clarification wrt the difference between the Staff of Asclepius and the Caduceus. I've corrected my answer so I won't spread further confusion.

  • 1
    This is a rather bad answer as you confuse two distinctively different symbols and continue to spread the (at least in the USA) wide spread myth that they are the same. Asclepius is the symbol for medicine while Caduceus is for commerce! Edit: no clue which emoticon you copied as the one you have pasted is the Asclepius, while the one you link to is the Caduceus... – Mrkvička May 9 '20 at 17:59
  • I did some Googling and I found two codepoints: U+2624 (CADUCEUS) and U+2695 (STAFF OF ASCLEPIUS). I tested both and, it seems, both fonts treat the same. I'm going to include your remark. – user193767 May 9 '20 at 18:11

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