Tree of Hippocrates

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The celebrated "Tree of Hippocrates", an oriental plane tree in Kos, Greece.

The Tree of Hippocrates is the plane tree (or platane, in Europe) under which, according to legend, Hippocrates of Kos (considered the father of medicine) taught his pupils the art of medicine. Paul of Tarsus purportedly taught here as well.[1] The Platanus in Kos is an oriental plane (Platanus orientalis), with a crown diameter of about 12 metres, said to be the largest for a plane tree in Europe.[1]

Hippocrates' tree resides on the Platía Platanou (or "Square of the Platane"), in front of the Castle of Knights and next to the Gazi Hassan Mosque (erected in 1776) in the centre of Kos town. The current tree is only about 500 years old,[2] but may possibly be a descendant of the original tree which allegedly stood there 2400 years ago, in Hippocrates' time.[3] The tree has become hollowed out over the years, and some branches are supported by metal scaffolding. Next to the tree is a white tap with engravings in the Arabic language, also built by the Turkish Governor Gazi Hassan.[2][4]

Derivatives of the original tree[edit]

The Medical Association of Cos presented a gavel made from wood of the plane tree to the President of the Canadian Medical Association in 1954.[5]

Tree of Hippocrates at the United States National Library of Medicine

Seeds or cuttings from the tree have been spread all over the world.[6] A cutting of the tree was presented as a gift from the island of Kos to the United States and the National Library of Medicine, and planted on December 14, 1961 on the grounds surrounding the library.[7] Many medical colleges, libraries or institutions have, or claim to have, trees cut or seeded from the original tree in Kos.[8]

Trees cut or seeded from the original tree can be found, among others:
North America:

South America:




Additional images[edit]


  1. ^ a b "HIPPOCRATES PLANE TREE - KOS GREECE". Archived from the original on February 4, 2008. Retrieved September 22, 2006.
  2. ^ a b Hendriksen, Bartho; Leo Platvoet (1996). Ródos, Kós & Dodekánisos. Amsterdam: Babylon-De Geus. p. 69. ISBN 90-6222-518-7.
  3. ^ Voyageur Tours. "Kos Facts - Voyageur's Europe online". Retrieved September 22, 2006.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Greek Islands - Aegean Islands - Kos". Retrieved September 22, 2006.
  5. ^ "Brief History". The College of Family Physicians of Canada. August 23, 2004. Archived from the original on October 11, 2006. Retrieved September 22, 2006.
  6. ^ Sheldon Rubenfeld, M.D. (March 2004). "Healing by killing: medicine in the third reich". Houston Medicine Magazine. Archived from the original on May 11, 2006. Retrieved September 22, 2006.
  7. ^ National Library of Medicine (March 1, 2000). "Objects of Art: Tree of Hippocrates". United States National Institutes of Health. Retrieved September 22, 2006.
  8. ^ Williams, Ann (September 6, 2006). "FYI archives, September 6, 2006". The University of Utah. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
  9. ^ Norton, Bertha Bendall (1970). Birmingham's First Magic Century: Were You There?. Birmingham, Alabama: Lakeshore Press.
  10. ^ "ALABAMA'S FAMOUS & HISTORIC TREE PROGRAM - 2003" (PDF). Alabama Forestry Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 19, 2006. Retrieved September 22, 2006.
  11. ^ "Tree of Knowledge". Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  12. ^ "The Tree of Hippocrates: West Campus Addition Rooted in ancient Greece". ECU News Services. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
  13. ^ "AHEPA Organization Donates Statue of Hippocrates". University of Michigan Health History Research Center. Retrieved September 22, 2006.
  14. ^ "Hippocrates Tree to be Planted, Blessed at Medical School". Mercer University. Archived from the original on November 26, 2005. Retrieved September 22, 2006.
  15. ^ "Clikas honored for planting of "the trees of hippocrates"". University of South Alabama Biomedical Library. May 1, 1997. Archived from the original on September 10, 2006. Retrieved September 22, 2006.
  16. ^ "Forest Biology Tree Walk" (PDF). University of Victoria. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 6, 2009. Retrieved September 9, 2008.
  17. ^ "Yale Medicine, Spring 2006, archives". Yale Medicine. 1981. Archived from the original on September 9, 2006. Retrieved September 22, 2006.
  18. ^ "UTHealth Media Relations".
  19. ^ "Christine Borland". York University Art Gallery. Archived from the original on March 14, 2007. Retrieved September 22, 2006.
  20. ^ Archived 2018-03-13 at the Wayback Machine], , ERSKINE HOUSE TREE CROWNED NORTHERN IRELAND’S ‘TREE OF THE YEAR’
  21. ^ "Barcelona planta un árbol descendiente del de Hipócrates". La Vanguardia. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  22. ^ Kidd, Michael (September 2006). "Hippocrates' tree" (PDF). The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. p. 733. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 6, 2011. Retrieved September 22, 2006.
  23. ^ David J Tiller; Rick McLean; Bruce C Harris (November 2005). "Hippocrates came across our desks". Medical Journal of Australia: 602. Retrieved September 22, 2006. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

Coordinates: 36°53′41″N 27°17′27″E / 36.89472°N 27.29083°E / 36.89472; 27.29083

External links[edit]