Rx as an abbreviation for 'prescription'

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Rx as an abbreviation for 'prescription'

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat Jun 25, 2005 10:38 pm

In the USA and Canada, and possibly elsewhere, the word 'prescription' is often abbreviated to Rx when used in a medical context; the x frequently appears as a lower-case subscript after the upper-case R. What is the origin of this non-intuitive abbreviation?
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Rx as an abbreviation for 'prescription'

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sun Jun 26, 2005 12:21 am

Erik, Most dictionaries say that Rx it is an abbreviation of Latin ‘recipe,’ singular imperative of ‘recipere,’ to take, and it has been used by pharmacists for many moons. But none say anything about the ‘x,’ and I was fairly surprised at the dearth of information on the subject.

‘Acronynfinder.com’ claims that it is an abbreviation of the Latin ‘radix,’ but I don’t believe that and they are the only one’s who say it. Radix means ‘basis or origin’ and I don’t see the connection.

I think the book Devils, Drugs, and Doctors: The Story of the Science of Healing from Medicine-Man to Doctor (1929) [available in paperback (2003)] by Haggard had it partially correct at least when it said:
<"Rx is not, as is frequently supposed, an abbreviation of a Latin word meaning recipe or compound, but is an invocation to Jupiter, a prayer for his aid to make the treatment effective . . . sometimes in old medical manuscripts all the R's occurring in the text were crossed.">
The Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins came to the rescue, however, with what is certainly the correct answer:
<“The Latin ‘recipe,’ take,’ provides the R in the symbol Rx used by pharmacists for centuries, while the slant across the R’s leg is the sign of the Roman god Jupiter, patron of medicine.”>
Ken – June 25, 2005
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Rx as an abbreviation for 'prescription'

Post by haro » Sun Jun 26, 2005 12:45 am

Ken, that sounds very interesting and is completely new to me. According to what we were told at the University of Zurich in the 'sixties, the origin of 'Rx' is a simple 'R' standing for the Latin imperative 'recipe' = 'receive' (as mentioned but dismissed above). As with some other single-letter abbreviations such as £, which actually is just an 'L' with a little horizontal dash to make clear it's not just an ordinary character but stands for the monetary unit, an oblique stroke was added to the tail of the 'R' to signal that it's more than just an 'R.' Since most font sets do not contain many such composite symbols other than '£' and '&' (for Latin 'Et'), 'Rx' is typed instead.

As for the prayer theory - I just wonder why they crossed the 'Rs' of all characters. Why not, say, the Vs? It's also new to me that Jupiter was the patron god of medicine. That was Apollo and, at a lower level, Aesculapius (Greek Asklepios). Or did I get all those things wrong? Maybe we are just about to debunk a few myths.

Apart from English, I don't know in which languages 'Rx' is used. There isn't much usable information on the Internet. As I said, the stuff above is what I was told at the University of Zurich more than 35 years ago. The professor said that's normal practice in English, whereas, for instance, in German 'Rp' is used instead.
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Rx as an abbreviation for 'prescription'

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sun Jun 26, 2005 3:54 am

Hans Joerg, As far as the ‘take’ or ‘receive,’ I was just going by what the American Heritage Dictionary gave as the etymology:
<“Alteration of Rx, symbol used in prescriptions, abbreviation of Latin ‘recipe,’ singular imperative of 'recipere,' to take. See receive” [[Facts on File had the same ‘to take’]].
And under ‘receive’ American Heritage had:
<“Latin ‘recipere’ : ‘re-,’ re, + ‘capere,’ to take.”>
As far as the prayer theory the only thing that I thought made sense when I originally read it was the ‘Jupiter’ connection since it agreed with Facts on File, which I believed. However, in checking through my ‘gods of’ list, you're right – Jupiter ain’t right. My suspicion now is that Facts on File may have picked up on the Haggard book, and propagated their error. I’m surprised because I have never caught them in a mistake before, but this is definitely a booboo. Saying Jupiter, of course, makes their whole statement suspect, but perhaps they just had a slip of the gods and the rest is correct – I don’t know. Your explanation actually sounds pretty reasonable, though.

After doing a fair amount of searching, and there is very little information around on this subject, I am now of the opinion that no one knows for sure where the ‘x’ in Rx comes from (perhaps that’s why there is so little information!). For what its worth (and that may not be much), here is something I dredged up on the subject, which provides another possible Jupiter connection and an Egyptian connection to boot:

From NCBI (National Center for Biological Information) at the National Library of Medicine (MLM) at the National Institute of Health (NIH), PubMed: The article was translated from Japanese

Memorandum on the Origin of Rx (1995) by Ohashi K.

The Japanese Society for History of Pharmacy.

The symbol variously written Rp. Rx. or R. is still employed by physicians to head their prescriptions. In our country, we have learned and believe that the origin of the symbol is an abbreviation of the Latin word for "recipe." In Europe, another suggestion of the origin of the symbol appears to represent the astronomical sign of the planet Jupiter. There is, however, no evidence to support this suggestion. As regards the Jupiter symbol it is probably that printer may have used the sign as the nearest approach he had in type to the abbreviated sign for recipe. It is believed that the confusion between the two symbols is due to a mere typographical coincidence. A careful examination of the various styles of writing the symbol, clearly shows that the sign was originally adopted as an abbreviation of the word "recipe." Recently, it has been suggested that the symbol originates in "the eye of Horus," but, as regards the eye of Horus symbol, much more still remains to be examined. Thus, I will suspend judgment until the facts of the matter become clear, and expect further researches in future.
__________________

Ken – June 25, 2005
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Rx as an abbreviation for 'prescription'

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sun Jun 26, 2005 4:10 am

I have since found a good discussion (http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mrx.html) at Cecil Adams' website, The Straight Dope. It is particularly informative in its account of the possible origin of the 'x' subscript:

From Cecil's Mailbag by the Straight Dope Science Advisory Board

What does the pharmacist's symbol "Rx" mean?
17-May-1999

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Straight Dope:

Where and when did the use of the term "Rx" begin? Everyone associates it with prescriptions, but what does it actually mean? Is it an abbreviated form of a Latin word? Thank you for sharing your considerable wisdom with the plebes of the world! --Mary Ann S.


SDSTAFF Jill replies:

The simple, quick answer--but not the only (or most romantic) one--is that Rx is an abbreviation for the Latin word "recipere" or "recipe," which means "Take, thou." In the days before manufactured drugs, apothecaries (who were also doctors) would write out a formula for medications. They would mix up and compound ingredients to make drugs or remedies. Not until well into the 19th century was the distinction between the apothecary/pharmacist as a compounder of medicines and the physician as a therapist generally accepted. According to the Pharmaceutical Handbook (nineteenth edition, 1980), the Latin abbreviation Rx is completed by some statement such as "fiat mistura," which means "let a mixture be made," sometimes abbreviated to f. m. or ft. mist. or fait mist.). Pharmacists required a knowledge of compounding until recently. In 1920, 80% of prescriptions were compounds mixed in the shop. In the 1940s the number of prescriptions requiring compounding had declined to 26%, and then to 1% or less in 1971.

Other abbreviations with "x"s are used by medical people too; sx = signs and symptoms, tx = treatment or transplant, hx = history, and dx = diagnosis. But Rx isn't just a normal R and x. It's a symbol (not available in the ASCII list) of an italic R with a leg that hangs down below the line with an X line through it. This brings me to theory number two, from the book Devils, Drugs, and Doctors, written in 1931: "Rx is not, as is frequently supposed, an abbreviation of a Latin word meaning recipe or compound, but is an invocation to Jupiter, a prayer for his aid to make the treatment effective...sometimes in old medical manuscripts all the R's occurring in the text were crossed." In other words, the Rx symbol was a corruption of the ancient symbol for the Roman god Jupiter. If you're an astrology fan, you know this symbol which has a very similar crossed leg at the bottom right.

Nonsense, says Phil Griego, owner of a local pharmacy called "Phil's Pills." He should know. I called him because he has the Rx symbol incorporated into his store logo. He says the R probably came from "recipe" but the pharmaceutical symbol used to be an EYE with an "x" below it instead of the "R," and was called the "Eye of Horus." According to Phil, the Egyptian god Horus was the "father of pharmacy." As soon as he said it, I remembered seeing a farmacia in Juarez, Mexico with the eyeball/x picture in its logo.

The Medieval Latin word "pharmacia," a medicine, comes from the Greek word "pharmakeia," use of drugs, from "pharmakon," drug or remedy. The real history of pharmacy begins with the Chinese (the great Chinese herbal compilation "Ben cao" was attributed to the emperor Shennong in 2700 BC) and the Egyptians. The Ebers papyrus, circa 1550 BC, listed 700 drugs and 800 compounds, and is thought to be a copy of the even more ancient books of Thoth (3000 BC). One source I saw suggested that that there is a connection between the word "pharmacy" and the Egyptian term ph-ar-maki ("bestower of security"), "which the God Thoth, patron of physicians, conferred as approbation on a ferryman who had managed a safe crossing." Whoa. Hey Jupiter, scoot over for Horus.

The Greek tradition is considered the beginning point of European pharmacy, but it drew on Egyptian and Asian sources, so maybe Phil is right. I found support for Phil's claim on a Website run by Lyle R. Teska, M.D., who uses the (other) eye of Horus in his logo:

"Horus was the son of two of the main gods in Egyptian mythology, Isis and Osiris. Horus had an evil uncle (Seth) who murdered Osiris, the father of Horus. Horus did battle with Seth to avenge his father's murder. During the fight, Seth plucked out Horus' left eye and tore it apart. Thoth (god of wisdom and magic) found the eye, pieced it together and added some magic. He returned the eye to Horus, who in turn gave it to his murdered father Osiris, thereby bringing him back to life.

"The Eye of Horus (or 'udjat') became a powerful symbol in ancient Egypt. It was worn as an amulet to ensure good health and ward off sickness. The Eye of Horus is depicted as a human eye and eyebrow, decorated with the markings seen under the eyes of falcons since Horus had the head of a falcon. The right eye represented the sun and the left eye the moon.... The left eye is the origin of the pharmacist's symbol for prescription, 'Rx' [my emphasis]. [Note: This symbol can be viewed at http://www.drteska.com/other/logo.htm - EK]

"A variation of this symbol is an eye within a pyramid associated with Freemasonry. It is also found on the Great Seal of the United States and on the U.S. one dollar bill."

Sounds good to me. Just for laughs, ask your local pharmacist if s/he knows about the origin of Rx.

--SDSTAFF Jill
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I agree with Jill. Let's all use this test to find out which pharmacists are sheep, which are goats, and which are falcons.
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Rx as an abbreviation for 'prescription'

Post by spiritus » Sun Jun 26, 2005 7:37 am

http://www.wordwizard.com/phpbb3/viewto ... chTerms=re

A relatively enigmatic contribution from 'one whom dances between circles and lines'.

"It is often forgotten that (dictionaries) are artificial
repositories, put together well after the languages they
define. The roots of language are irrational and of a
magical nature."
-- Jorge Luis Borges; The prologue to El Otro, El Mismo.

When modern linguistic logic stumbles and forgets, re-member why the earliest languages of religion are hidden within the rationality of modern science's philosophical reason.

( The muted intro to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is heard as you read the last paragraph of this post. )
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Rx as an abbreviation for 'prescription'

Post by haro » Sun Jun 26, 2005 7:30 pm

How come I didn't even think of consulting Cecil Adams? After all, I've been a regular reader of The Straight Dope for many years.
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Rx as an abbreviation for 'prescription'

Post by spiritus » Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:30 am

Erik_Kowal wrote: I have since found a good discussion (http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mrx.html) at Cecil Adams' website, The Straight Dope. It is particularly informative in its account of the possible origin of the 'x' subscript:

From Cecil's Mailbag by the Straight Dope Science Advisory Board



Nonsense, says Phil Griego, owner of a local pharmacy called "Phil's Pills." He should know. I called him because he has the Rx symbol incorporated into his store logo. He says the R probably came from "recipe" but the pharmaceutical symbol used to be an EYE with an "x" below it instead of the "R," and was called the "Eye of Horus." According to Phil, the Egyptian god Horus was the "father of pharmacy." As soon as he said it, I remembered seeing a farmacia in Juarez, Mexico with the eyeball/x picture in its logo.

The Medieval Latin word "pharmacia," a medicine, comes from the Greek word "pharmakeia," use of drugs, from "pharmakon," drug or remedy. The real history of pharmacy begins with the Chinese (the great Chinese herbal compilation "Ben cao" was attributed to the emperor Shennong in 2700 BC) and the Egyptians. The Ebers papyrus, circa 1550 BC, listed 700 drugs and 800 compounds, and is thought to be a copy of the even more ancient books of Thoth (3000 BC). One source I saw suggested that that there is a connection between the word "pharmacy" and the Egyptian term ph-ar-maki ("bestower of security"), "which the God Thoth, patron of physicians, conferred as approbation on a ferryman who had managed a safe crossing." Whoa. Hey Jupiter, scoot over for Horus.
The term, ph-ar-maki ("bestower of security") is the meaning of the Egyptian(Kemetic) concept 'pharoah' or per 'aa ( New Kingdom ) which meant 'great house'. The broader symbol being; 'that which shelters, protects, and provides'. As used by Europeans it would eventually become a synonym for any Egyptian 'king'. The convoluted etymology of the word 'pharmacy' has its source in 'pharoah'.

The so-called 'Egyptian god Horus' is the Greek name and interpretation of the Kemetic principle called 'Heru' which expressed the idea of divinity manifested in flesh. This was the generating seed from which the later Christ figure was to be created. I would add: Isiris and Osiris; Horus's parents would later change cultural identities and become respectively; the Greek Venus and Christian Mary; and the Judaic God of Abraham and God, the Father of Jesus.

The Greek tradition is considered the beginning point of European pharmacy, but it drew on Egyptian and Asian sources, so maybe Phil is right. I found support for Phil's claim on a Website run by Lyle R. Teska, M.D., who uses the (other) eye of Horus in his logo:

"Horus was the son of two of the main gods in Egyptian mythology, Isis and Osiris. Horus had an evil uncle (Seth) who murdered Osiris, the father of Horus. Horus did battle with Seth to avenge his father's murder. During the fight, Seth plucked out Horus' left eye and tore it apart. Thoth (god of wisdom and magic) found the eye, pieced it together and added some magic. He returned the eye to Horus, who in turn gave it to his murdered father Osiris, thereby bringing him back to life.


"The Eye of Horus (or 'udjat') became a powerful symbol in ancient Egypt. It was worn as an amulet to ensure good health and ward off sickness. The Eye of Horus is depicted as a human eye and eyebrow, decorated with the markings seen under the eyes of falcons since Horus had the head of a falcon. The right eye represented the sun and the left eye the moon.... The left eye is the origin of the pharmacist's symbol for prescription, 'Rx' [my emphasis]. [Note: This symbol can be viewed at http://www.drteska.com/other/logo.htm - EK]

"A variation of this symbol is an eye within a pyramid associated with Freemasonry. It is also found on the Great Seal of the United States and on the U.S. one dollar bill."

Sounds good to me. Just for laughs, ask your local pharmacist if s/he knows about the origin of Rx.

--SDSTAFF Jill
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I agree with Jill. Let's all use this test to find out which pharmacists are sheep, which are goats, and which are falcons.
The principle of Osiris is expressed as the objective form of consciousness which is created from and by the subjective consciousness, which is Ra or Re. The healed Eye of Horus is given back to Horus, who gives it to his father, OsiriusRe, whom by this act is healed and brought back to life. In effect, the part is bound back to the whole. We call this religion, the Egyptians called it The Straight Dope.

When correctly drawn, the Eye of Horus as a visual symbol, reveals Rx and also the Egyptian method for measuring fractions or parts of a whole.

Thank you very much Erik, for a refreshingly circular and non-linear informative posting.
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Rx as an abbreviation for 'prescription'

Post by spiritus » Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:07 am

Speaking of 'not thinking'; it is the less-then-the-straight-dope provided by the scholarship of Sir Walter Budge; the dopey translations of the Rosetta Stone's demotic script by Jean-Fracois Champollion and Francois Antoine-Isaac Silvestre deSacy; which has many an academic parroting their errors like a dope.

Had Champollion thought of it; he might have found descendant languages of Old Egypt being spoken then and to this day, throughout the African continent. Ethiopian Coptic was the most diluted and least related of that group.
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Rx as an abbreviation for 'prescription'

Post by pingpong fan » Tue Jun 28, 2005 9:21 pm

As luck would have it I met a and asked a pharmacist friend at a rock concert on Saturday hoping for an insight from the horse's mouth but he had no clue, such serendipity,not.
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Rx as an abbreviation for 'prescription'

Post by spiritus » Wed Jun 29, 2005 1:07 am

The serendipity of this may exist in the paucity of good 'dope' to be had at a rock concert; the usage of which, may move one to seek insights from the wrong end of the pharmacist's horse. A worse case scenario would be a drug induced hallucination in which the pharmacist morphs into a horse's ass that emits great insights.

In either case, that would not be serendipity, but rather; synchronicity and valid cause for drug detoxing.
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Rx as an abbreviation for 'prescription'

Post by pingpong fan » Thu Jun 30, 2005 8:18 pm

As this Rx debate was a bit dormant a coincidence meeting a chemist out of the blue prompted my mentioning this and sparking off the previous contribution, very droll. Not wishing to divert down a siding but as a fave word of mine, only 'cos I like it so, is now twice here it surprised to draw a blank on "Search". I know not of which Spiritus speaks drugwise. We were on grass but in a field drinking beer trying not to inhale passively the less than healthy smoke blowing in the wind (the Clintonian defence I believe)Frank
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Rx as an abbreviation for 'prescription'

Post by spiritus » Thu Jun 30, 2005 8:55 pm

Clintonian-defense --- A relatively subjective untranslatable truth?

I wonder if my favorite Republican, William Safire, would contest that possible definition.

Than you Frank, for that gem. (;-D
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Rx as an abbreviation for 'prescription'

Post by spiritus » Thu Jun 30, 2005 9:16 pm

pingpong fan wrote: As this Rx debate was a bit dormant a coincidence meeting a chemist out of the blue prompted my mentioning this and sparking off the previous contribution, very droll.
Frank,

You have provided another possible example of Jungian synchronicity.

The recipes for 'chemist' and 'chemical' reguire a generous amount of Kemet.
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Rx as an abbreviation for 'prescription'

Post by spiritus » Mon Jul 04, 2005 6:00 am

Erik_Kowal wrote: In the USA and Canada, and possibly elsewhere, the word 'prescription' is often abbreviated to Rx when used in a medical context; the x frequently appears as a lower-case subscript after the upper-case R. What is the origin of this non-intuitive abbreviation?

Erik,

There is far more to your inquiry then meets the "eye", so to speak.

"What is the origin of this non-intuitive abbreviation"? This part of your question, brought to mind Ken's mention of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, in his "Untranslatables" thread.

"Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about".
Author: Benjamin Lee Whorf

That, in an easily translatable “nuts'” shell, is the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis --- and more Whorf then Sapir, I might add.

The thoughts generated by a strong belief in that dictum will most likely insure language imposed limits upon ones' thinking and perception. That probability also makes the following contradicting dictum true.

Thought shapes our language and intuitions, and determines what we can speak about or believe.

Erik, I am wondering; what do you believe makes "Rx" a non-intuitive abbreviation?

The quote, below provides a counter-intuitive answer that is axiologically and asthetically, intuitive.

From: The American Society of Consulting Pharmacists
[h]Origin of ‘Rx’ Symbol May Lie in the Eye of an Egyptian[/h]

The "Rx" symbol is recognized by pharmacists and laypersons worldwide, but its origins may be older and more exotic than many might think.
According to a recent article by clinical pharmacologist Jeff Aronson in the British Medical Journal, the symbol does not represent the letters "R" and "x," an abbreviation of the Latin word for "recipe." Instead, he contends, the symbol derives from the symbol used by ancient Egyptians to signify the utchat, the eye of the ancient god Horus the Elder.

Egyptian legend holds that Horus had two eyes, the sun and the moon. Set, the god of darkness and evil, stole the sun eye. The deity Thoth attempted to end the conflict, but Set kept battling and cut off pieces of Horus’ remaining moon eye, which Thoth renewed each month—tidily explaining the lunar phases. Because of the theme of miraculous restoration, "the eye of Horus became a potent symbol of good fortune and healing, later adopted by the Greeks, Arabs, and others," according to Aronson (BMJ 1999;318:1543).

The eye symbol is easily recognized as the letter "R." In recent times, the use of "R," followed by "x" to indicate an abbreviation, has led to many new abbreviations, such as "Hx" for history and "Dx" for diagnosis.

Four amateur historians have already written to the journal to refute Aronson’s hypothesis and offer alternative theories about the origins of the "Rx" symbol.

http://www.ascp.com/public/pubs/tcp/199 ... ends.shtml
Let's compare the above, with what follows; compliments of The Australian Pharmaceutical Society.
Rx is one of the symbols that links pharmacy practice today to ancient mythology, and which appears on every prescription that you too will handle. The Rx can take many forms, but they all basically have the same intent.
The most popular interpretation is that it could have derived from the ancient Egyptian eye symbol, the Eye of Horus, the falcon god of lower Egypt who had his eyes torn out in a dispute. Each piece of the eye symbol represents a fraction, and these pieces were used when specifying the quantities of ingredients in a prescription, and when the pieces are put together we get the prescribing sign Rx.

There is a less fanciful interpretation however, and that is that Rx is an abbreviation for the Latin verb "recipere", which translated means "Take" (it or thou).
Hence it became the heading for the formula or prescription that followed.
The English word recipe is derived from it and is taken to mean a list of ingredients and directions for making something, especially a food preparation.

All professions generate pictorial representations of their craft, including the health professions, who have generated a series of craft specific symbols.
For Pharmacy the symbol is the bowl of Hygeia and the serpent reaching up to it, for Nursing it is a lamp, for Medicine it is the Caduceus, and so on
http://www.psa.org.au/ecms.cfm?id=93
Well, fanciful interpretation, semiotically speaking, is what gives "denotation" a demeaning "connotation".

The above quote provides the usual self-assumed authoritative, objectively positioned discourse, complete with errors in language interpretation regarding the specific subject.

Ken Greenwald wrote: As far as the prayer theory the only thing that I thought made sense when I originally read it was the ‘Jupiter’ connection since it agreed with Facts on File, which I believed. However, in checking through my ‘gods of’ list, you're right – Jupiter ain’t right. My suspicion now is that Facts on File may have picked up on the Haggard book, and propagated their error. I’m surprised because I have never caught them in a mistake before, but this is definitely a booboo. Saying Jupiter, of course, makes their whole statement suspect, but perhaps they just had a slip of the gods and the rest is correct – I don’t know. Your explanation actually sounds pretty reasonable, though.

After doing a fair amount of searching, and there is very little information around on this subject, I am now of the opinion that no one knows for sure where the ‘x’ in Rx comes from (perhaps that’s why there is so little information!). For what its worth (and that may not be much), here is something I dredged up on the subject, which provides another possible Jupiter connection and an Egyptian connection to boot:[/b]

My first reading of the above anticipated a winking ( left eye of course ) smiley-face at the text's ending. It's absence leads me to assume you ain't jokin'. I assume from my readings of your postings; you have access to relatively extensive research resources. When you profess to being temporarily stymied; I don't think it's due to a lack of answers; but rather a matter of which is the right question.

The unquestioned assumption that language and word etymologies are accessible by way of a particular research method or knowledge source, insures the repetition of fallacies. One must often use different sensibilities to gain accesss to knowledge. If we examine history, we must also discard some of the traditional patterns of asking questions to obtain knowledge.

With apologies to the Sapir-Whorf language determinists; I must say; language is not an independent agent. It is a creation of the human agency and as such, reflects its creators' attributes in all respects. We should all have a high comfort level with the prevalence of evidence which confirms that "human reason" and its products are not always "logical". Which is not to say; these products do not make deeply profound "sense".

Here is a sensible product. GreatScott.com was created by a group of graphic artists and educators. Their mission statement claims:
The goal of GreatScott.com is to create all-age educational materials that anyone can understand. GreatScott.com has matured from the original Egyptian Hieroglyphics pages created in 1998. Since then, more than a half million visitors from around the world have visited. The lessons were originally created as an experiment with web design and interactive teaching.

I understand thousands of school children use this site as a homework reference site. Just think of it, any child might have answered that question correctly.
The 'Rx' symbol which is used by pharmacies and in medicine has its origins in the Eye of Horus.

Eye of Horus, was a powerful symbol used to protect from evil. Pronounced "udjat" by the Egyptians, the Eye of Horus represents a human eye with the cheek markings of a falcon.

The Eye of Horus is partitioned into sections with fraction values.
The Eye of Horus fraction system was based on the Eye of Horus symbol. This system was used to record prescriptions, land and grain.

Fractions are created by combining sections of the Eye of Horus symbol. Each section has a different value. The complete Eye of Horus with all parts in place has a value of 1. In reality the complete Eye of Horus represents 63/64, which is rounded off to 1.

http://www.greatscott.com/hiero/eye.html
Language is a form of human reason, which has its internal logic of which human beings can say nothing. But that which we cannot express in words; we may know.

There are unique semiotic interpretative codes in the language usage of particular human activities that are ignored for any number of reasons. It's that dismissal that leaves some of us "one eye blind" ( again, that would be the left eye ). Semiotic analysis of any text or practice involves considering several codes and the relationships between them. A range of typologies of codes can be found in the literature of semiotics. I refer here only to those which are most widely mentioned in the context of politics, history, culture and religion.

From: Alternative Religion/ Dictionary of Symbols
Designed to resemble the eye of a falcon, this symbol is called the Eye of Ra or Eye of Horus represents the right eye of the Egyptian Falcon God Horus. As the udjat (or utchat), it represented the sun, and was associated with the Sun God Ra (Re).

The Eye of Horus was believed to have healing and protective power, and it was used as a protective amulet, and as a medical measuring device, using the mathematical proportions of the eye to determine the proportions of ingredients in medical preparations) to prepare medications.

The Masonic all seeing eye, the Eye of Providence symbol found on American money, and our modern Rx pharmaceutical symbol are all derived from the Eye of Horus.

http://altreligion.about.com/library/gl ... fhorus.htm
From my personal favorite; a site that really displays comprehensive and competent objectivity. Just the facts ma'am, just the facts. Mythology and Medicine.

Isis (1500 B.C.) was considered the "Divinity of Medicine" and was a renowned teacher of surgical skill. Horus was the son of Isis and had lost his sight in childhood. Isis prayed to Thoth and her prayers were answered with the restoration of the eyesight of Horus. Since then Horus has been worshipped as the "God of Medicine" and the eye of Horus, has become a symbol of protection of health.


The significance of the symbol Rx dates back to 3000 B.C. It was also supposed to have arisen from the eye of Horus. It was a symbol of durability, strength and beneficence of the medical profession and the Egyptian druggist, and is hence conventionally written at the beginning of all medical prescriptions.
http://www.histmedindia.org/mytholgy.htm

For those whom would presume to question the assumptions of self- assumed authority:

From: History of Pharmacy; College of Pharmacy
Eye of Horus. Horus was determined to avenge his father's murder at the hands of his evil uncle Seth. Battle -- Horus' eye was torn out and shredded into 64 pieces.. which Thoth healed... hence the eye of Horus represents wellness and unity.... was then used by Galen (2nd century Greek physician).... and then became the Rx sign.

Of the men of ancient times whose names are known and revered among both the professions of Pharmacy and Medicine, Galen, undoubtedly, is the foremost. Galen (130-200 A.D.) practiced and taught both Pharmacy and Medicine in Rome; his principles of preparing and compounding medicines ruled in the Western world for 1,500 years; and his name still is associated with that class of pharmaceuticals compounded by mechanical means - galenicals. He was the originator of the formula for a cold cream, essentially similar to that known today. Many procedures Galen originated have their counterparts in today's modern compounding laboratories
http://www.pharmacy.wsu.edu/History/history09.html

And now, a few words from the Egyptians:

Edited and Prepared by Prof. Hamed A. Ead
Earliest Egyptian Chemical Manuscripts

Although Egypt is generally recognized as the mother of chemical and alchemical arts, unfortunately her monuments and literature have left only a few records which explain these arts. Some of these ideas that have been transmitted to us through Greek and Roman sources do not enable us to discriminate between the matter derived from Egypt and the confused interpretation or additions of the early Greek alchemists.

History tells us that about 290 A.D, the Emperor Diocletian passed a decree providing for the destruction of works and ancient books on alchemical arts as well as on gold and silver throughout the empire, so as to prevent the makers of gold and silver from a massing richness which might enable them to organize revolts against the empire. This decree resulted in the disappearance of a mass of literature which doubtless would have furnished us with much insight into the early history of chemicals arts and ideas.

http://www.touregypt.net/chemicals.htm



Thus, to determine why Rx is "hidden", one might begin by double checking Jupiter's ID, performing a strip search, and then asking, "What are your reasons for being here, sir?"
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Che Baraka

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