The Robinson LibraryTHE ROBINSON LIBRARY
The Robinson Library >> Medicine >> General Information
Origins of the "Universal" Symbol for a Prescription

prescription symbol

the Eye of Horusancient symbol for the god JupiterThe symbol above is found on prescription pads in almost every doctor's office and as part of many pharmacy logos. It is generally accepted as representing the Latin word recipe, which means take. The symbol is traceable to the sign of Jupiter (at right), which was placed on ancient prescriptions to appeal to that god for favorable action of the medicine. That symbol was itself probably adapted from the ancient Egyptian symbol known as the "Eye of Horus" (left). A myth tells how Horus, the falcon god, attacked his uncle to avenge his father's murder. In the fight, Horus' eye was torn, whereupon Thoth, patron god of physicians, miraculously healed it.

Questions or comments about this page?


The Robinson Library >> Medicine >> General Information

This page was last updated on 02/13/2017.