Which is worse, the cure or the disease?


An asclepion is a spa-like temple dedicated to Asclepius, the Greek god of health and medicine. This asclepion built in 357 BCE on the Greek island of Kos treated patients in the tradition of Hippocrates. The site consisted of three terraces: the lowest with the Roman baths, the middle with the dormitories, and the highest with the great Temple of Asclepius.

In The Deadliest Lie, Judah tells Miriam that his mentor, Saul, sent his wife to an asclepion to have her treated for mania. There she was given a special diet, dream therapy, mineral baths, exercise, and massage along with various healing rituals. One in particular involved sleeping in a dormitory with non-venomous snakes crawling all over the floor. But nothing could restore the balance of her yellow bile.

I could have enjoyed all those treatments except for the snakes crawling on the floor. That alone would have driven me crazy. So, I ask, “Which is worse, the cure or the disease?”

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