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Objects of Art: Tree of Hippocrates

Location: Across Center Drive, on the north side of Building 38
Planted December 14, 1961 at the dedication of the National Library of Medicine

Tree of Hippocrates in the snow

A gift from the Greek Dodecanese island of Cos, historic birthplace of Hippocrates, Father of Medicine, the cutting came from the very tree (platanus orientalis) under which Hippocrates is said to have conducted his classes some 25 centuries ago.

Tree of Hippocrates in the summer

The cutting was given to the U.S. Ambassador in Athens, Greece in July 1960 and cared for in the Glenn Dale Nurseries of the Agriculture Research Center in Maryland and was formally presented to the National Library of Medicine by the Ambassador of Greece to the United States

The teachings of Hippocrates, preserved in the works known as the "Hippocratic Corpus," gave birth to the science of medicine and inspired physicians through the ages. The Hippocratic spirit and oath live to this day.

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