Origins of ‘Rx’ traced back to 5000 years in Egypt

April 2nd, 2009 - 2:22 pm ICT by ANI  

London, April 2 (ANI): In a special report, the Voice of America has traced the origin of the sign ‘Rx’, the history of which goes back to 5000 years in Egypt.

The sign is seen on drug stores and on bottles of pills and other medicines.

The sign is formed by a line across the right foot of the letter “R.” It represents the word “prescription.” It has come to mean “take this medicine.”

The sign has its beginnings five thousand years ago in Egypt.

At that time, people prayed to Horus, the god of the Sun. It was said that when Horus was a child, he was attacked by Seth, the demon of evil.

Folklore says that the evil Seth put out the eye of the young Horus. The mother of Horus called for help. Her cry was answered by Thoth, the god of learning and magic.

Thoth, with his wisdom and special powers, healed the eye of Horus, and the child was able to see again.

The ancient Egyptians used a drawing of the eye of Horus as a magic sign to protect themselves from disease, suffering and evil.

They cut this sign in the stones they used for buildings. It was painted on the papyrus rolls used for writing about medicine and doctors.

For thousands of years, the eye of Horus remained as a sign of the god’s help to the suffering and sick.

Long after the fall of the ancient Egyptian civilization, doctors and alchemists in Europe continued the custom of showing a sign of the gods’ help and protection.

But, over the years, the sign changed from the eye of Horus to the sign for Jupiter, the chief god of the Romans. Jupiter’s sign looked much like the printed number “four.”

That sign changed, also.

Today, it is the easily recognized capital “R” with a line across its foot. (ANI)

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