Asclepius was born a demigod, son of Apollo and Coronis, daughter of Phlegyas, the king of the Lapiths. Coronis fell in love with the mortal man Ischys while she was pregnant with Asclepius. When Apollo discovered this, he had Artemis kill the lovers in a rage, but saved his child out of remorse. The newborn was then taken to be raised by Chiron, who instructed the demigod in the art of medicine and would drive him to become the greatest of healers. Asclepius eventually settled in the city of Trikke and had two sons, Podaleirios and Makhaon, who led the cities Trikke and Oekhalia in the expedition against Troy.
Asclepius became a favorite of Athena who gave him a vial of Gorgon Blood. This allowed him to cure any illness, heal any injury, and even bring back the dead with The Physicians' Cure. He used it to bring back Hippolytos, the son of Theseus, at Artemis' request, and as punishment for his transgression against the natural laws of death, Zeus struck him down with his thunderbolt. Angered by the death of his son, Apollo retaliated by killing the Cyclopes who made Zeus' thunderbolts, and to atone for this act, Zeus ordered Apollo to serve the mortal king Admetos for a year.
To prevent a further feud with Apollo after reviving the Cylopes, Asclepius was resurrected by Zeus and made into a god under the condition that he didn't revive any more people. His cult became extremely popular in classic times, spreading outwards from his chief shrines located in the Argive town Epidauros, which purported to offer supplicants cures to their physical ills and tried to understand mental ills. Some say it was the best "hospital" in the Mediterranean. The Asklepiades, an ancient guild of doctors, were also devotees of the god.
The Physicians' Cure has only been made and used twice, to bring back Hippolytos and Leo. Piper used charmspeak to convince Asclepius to make the cure for them.
Though against his will, Vitellius explains to Frank how he was claimed by Asclepius. While he was cleaning his clothes, a white chicken stole his underwear. Recognizing the animal as the symbol of his divine ancestor, Vitellius became the physician of his legion. He also casually said that a friend of his had an even more embarrassing claiming involving a bug, but a disgusted Frank didn't want to listen.
Piper, Leo and Jason later meet Asclepius in the Asclepion. He quickly diagnoses Jason with myopia (shortsightedness) and gives him a pair of glasses. Later, he uses the Pylosian mint, the "cursed" daisy and the makhai to formulate the Physician's Cure and gives the trio instructions on its use.
His father mentions the god of healing when helping out with injured campers, stating that he is better at healing then Apollo.
Asclepius can change his appearance into his Roman aspect of Aesculapius or Vejovis; becoming more disciplined, militaristic, and warlike.
In The Blood of Olympus, Asclepius is described as a man with a kindly smile, crinkles around his twinkling eyes, short salt-and-pepper hair, and a well-trimmed beard. He wears a white lab coat over a business suit and a stethoscope around his neck. Asclepius wields a polished black staff with a live green yellow-eyed python (named Spike) with a crown of spikes around his neck coiled around it.
Asclepius is a kind man and acts like a common doctor. He always helps those who come to him for it and even with problems they didn't ask about. Asclepius dedicates his entire life to medicine. His is a bit absent minded, obsessive and treats his mortals times as trivial despite the intense trials he faced a sign if his immortal personality.
- He presumably possesses the standard powers of a god.
- Vitakinesis: As the God of Medicine and Healing, Asclepius can restore the injured to near-instantaneous health. As revealed in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Asclepius is even more skilled in medicine than his father Apollo, most likely because he, unlike Apollo, devoted all of his time to it. Apollo himself admits this in The Blood of Olympus.
- Enhanced Healing: He can instantly heal almost any wounds at a quicker rate than even other gods, his father Apollo even admits that he is superior.
- Medical Omniscience: As seen in The Blood of Olympus, Asclepius is instantly able to discern a person's health status and history, as he was able to tell that Piper had broken her arm when she was six after falling off a horse, and that Jason had been recently injured by an Imperial Gold sword, that he had a mole on his left foot, and that he was near-sighted.
- Biokinesis: He has the power to manipulate and modify the body.
- Machaon and Podaleirius
The Rod of AsclepiusThe Rod of Asclepius is often confused with Hermes' Caduceus, however the Caduceus has two snakes (George and Martha), and the Rod of Asclepius has one, Spike. Therefore, the caduceus is sometimes used by medical companies. Asclepius says that this gets Spike angry, because George and Martha get all the attention.
- In Percy Jackson's Greek Gods his name is spelled as Asklepios.
- The name of his daughters each rather transparently reflects a certain subset of the overall theme of "good health".
- His rod is sometimes mistaken with the Caduceus, as mentioned in The Blood of Olympus. However, the Rod of Asclepius has only one snake, Spike, while Hermes' Caduceus has two snakes, George and Martha.
- Like Serqet, they both are medical gods with the emblems of dangerous, poisonous animals (scorpions and snake). This may be because, as pointed out by Apollo in The Dark Prophecy, poisons and acids were commonly used as cures and medicine in the Middle Ages.
- He is considered to be the favorite son of Apollo.
- As revealed in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Asclepius was even more skilled in medicine than his father Apollo, most likely because he devoted all of his time to it. Apollo himself admits this in The Blood of Olympus and The Hidden Oracle.
- He was the healer on the Argo, the original Jason's ship.