The Hippocrates plane tree

In Platanos Square of the city of Kos, on the homonymous Greek island, famous as the birthplace of Hippocrates, there is an impressive plane tree traditionally related to the memory of the "father of medicine". Ruth Kozak, a travel journalist and historical fiction novelist from Vancouver, has recently given us this vivid account of the famous tree:

"When Hippocrates sat under the plane tree in Kos's town square expounding his theories of healing I wonder if he knew that many millennia later he would be known as 'the father of modern medicine' and people would still flock to Kos to stand in the shade of the ancient, gnarled tree. The tree is said to be 500 years old, a distant offshoot of the original where Hippocrates used to sit, its wide spreading branches propped up by pieces of aged marble. Underneath there is a purification fountain made from an antique sarcophagus, used by the Byzantine Turks to wash themselves before entering the mosque which was built in the same square opposite1.

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