As soon as medical characters make their appearance in literature, they attract attention on account of their remuneration. In general, the doctor is perceived to be obsessed with his payment, which is also seen as a poisonous element in his relationship with his patients. The earliest recorded decrees concerning doctors 1 are not devoted to codes of behavior or physicians’ training, but almost in their entirety, to a regulation of medical fees. Asclepios, the mythical father figure of Greek medicine and the first doctor in ‘Western’ literature, is destroyed by his greed. This talented, semi-divine physician comes across as a recognizable type of general practitioner. 2 He treats patients suffering from ‘sores of nature’ as well as those presenting with traumatic injuries, ‘their limbs wounded’. He is able to distinguish between patients who need reassurance (‘tending some with kindly incantations’), those who require medications (‘giving to others a soothing potion’) and those who can be cured only by surgery (‘restoring others by the knife’). Unfortunately, he is lured by ‘a splendid fee of gold’ 2 to attempt an illegal procedure and is punished accordingly.