I am teaching a learning in retirement course on Medicinal and Poisonous plants. This includes some history of the pharmacy industry, herbalists, etc. Why did the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, chartered in the early 1600s by King James I, adpot the sign of Jupiter as their insignia. Does Jupiter have some sort of connection to health? And did that symbol some how come down to us as the familiar Rx?
Jill’s Staff Report on What does the pharmacist’s symbol “Rx” mean? has a detailed account.
Damn, that’s a great question (and answer). Welcome to the Boards, Prof Frankie!
Her answer didn’t seem to mention the Society of Apothecaries, though. But where did you get the report that they used the sign of Jupiter?
I possibly didn’t look hard enough on their website, but I couldn’t find anything about the Jupiter sign (or the Rx symbol).
The site does explain their coat of arms, granted as stated by James I in 1617 (the original Grant of Arms is shown in a photograph here) in the following way :
(For those wishing, a better view of the coat of arms is on their homepage (http://www.apothecaries.org/)
Several references, including the text I have used on Practical Botany mention that the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries used the sign of Jupiter as their symbol and that it eventually came down to as as the familiar Rx.