Web Theoi
ASKLEPIOS CULT
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Roman Name
Ασκληπιος Asklêpios, Asclepius Aesculapius Aesculapius
OTHER ASKLEPIOS PAGES
Asklepios General Info. & Myths

ASKLEPIOS was the god of medicine and healing. His was cult became extremely popular in classical times, spreading outwards from his chief shrines located in the Argive town of Epidauros, which purported to offer supplicants cures to their physical ills. The Asklepiades, an ancient guild of doctors, were also devotees of the god.

In Greek sculpture Asklepios was usually depicted as a bearded man holding a serpent-entwined staff.


GENERAL CULT

Callistratus, Descriptions 10 (trans. Fairbanks) (Greek rhetorician C4th A.D.) :
"[A description of an ancient Greek statue of the god Asklepios :] On the statue of Paian. Are we then to believe that the vessel Argo . . . became capable of speech, and yet in the case of a statue into which Asklepios infused his own powers, introducing purposeful intelligence therein and thus making it a partner with himself, not believe that the power of the indwelling god is clearly manifest therein? Nay, more shall we admit that the divine spirit descends into human bodies, there to be even defiled by passions, and nevertheless not believe it in a case where there is no attendant engendering of evil? To me, at any rate, the object before our eyes seems to be, not an image, but a modelled presentment of truth; for see how Art not only is not without power to delineate character, but, after having portrayed the god in an image, it even passes over into the god himself. Matter though it is, it gives forth divine intelligence, and though it is the work of human hands, it succeeds in doing what handicrafts cannot accomplish, in that it begets in a marvellous way tokens of a soul. The face as you look at it enthrals the senses; for it has not been fashioned to an adventitious beauty, but as it raises a saintly and benignant eye it flashes forth an indescribable depth of majesty tempered with modesty. Curly locks abounding in grace,--some fall luxuriant and unconfined on the back, while others come down over the forehead to the eyebrows and hang thick about the eyes. But, as if stirred by life and kept moist of themselves, they coil themselves into the bending curls, the material not rendering obedience to the law of art, but realizing that it represents a god and that he must work his own will. And although all things that are born are wont to die, yet the form of the statue, as though carrying within itself the essence of health, flourishes in the possession of indestructible youth. And so we, O Paian, have offered to you the first fruits of discourse, freshly made, and the offspring of memory; for you bid us do so, I think; and I am eager also to sing the strains to you if you allot me health."


S23.1 ASCLEPIUS
S23.2 ASCLEPIUS
S23.3 ASCLEPIUS
S23.4 ASCLEPIUS

CULT OF IN ATTIKA (SOUTHERN GREECE)

I) ATHENS Chief City of Attika

Plato, Phaedo 118a (trans. Lamb) (Greek philosopher C4th B.C.) :
"[Sokrates was executed with a dose of hemlock poison :] When the poison reaches the heart, that will be the end. He was beginning to grow cold about the groin, when he uncovered his face, for he had covered himself up, and said (they were his last words)--`Krito, we owe a cock to Asklepios [i.e. for a painless death]. Pay it and do not neglect it.'"

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 21. 4 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
”The sanctuary of Asklepios [at Athens] is worth seeing both for its paintings and for the statues of the god and his children."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 26. 1 :
"The most famous sanctuaries of Asklepios had their origin from Epidauros. In the first place, the Athenians, who say they gave a share of their mystic rites to Asklepios, call this day of the festival Epidauria, and they allege that their worship of Asklepios dates from then."

Aelian, On Animals 7. 13 (trans. Scholfield) (Greek natural history C2nd to 3rd A.D.) :
"A temple-thief who had waited for the midmost hour of night, and had watched till men were deep asleep, came to the shrine of Asklepios [in Athens] and stole a number of offerings without, as he supposed, being seen. There was however in the temple an excellent watcher, a Dog, more awake than the attendants, and it gave chase to the thief and never stopped barking, as with all its might it summoned others to witness what had been done. And so at first the thief and his companions in that crime pelted the Dog with stones; finally he dangled bread and cakes in front of it. He had been careful to bring these things with him as an attraction to Dogs, as he supposed. Since however the Dog continued to bark when the thief came to the house where he lodged and when he came out again, it was discovered where the Dog belonged, while the inscriptions and the places where the offerings were set up lacked the missing objects. The Athenians therefore concluded that this man was the thief, and by putting him on the rack and discovering the whole affair. And the man was sentenced in accordance with the law, while the Dog was rewarded by being fed and cared for at the public expense for being a faithful watcher and second to none of the attendants in vigilance."

Aelian, Historical Miscellany 5. 17 (trans. Wilson) (Greek rhetorician C2nd to 3rd A.D.) :
"Note that Athenians superstition was very great. If someone cut down a small oak tree from a hero’s shrine, they executed him. Also, when Atarbes struck and killed the bird sacred to Asklepios, the Athenians did not overlook the matter as trivial; they executed him and did not grant a pardon on grounds of ignorance or insanity, because they deemed the god’s interest superior to both these considerations. He was in fact said to have acted involuntarily, or according to others to have been mad."
[N.B. The sacred bird of Asklepios was probably a cock.]

Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 3. 17 (trans. Conybeare) (Greek biography C1st to 2nd A.D.) :
"The paian of Sophokles which they sing at Athens in honour of Asklepios."

Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 4. 48 :
"It was the day of the Festival Epidauria, at which it is still customary for the Athenians to celebrate the [Eleusinian] Mystery [of Demeter and Persephone] at a second sacrifice after both proclamation and victims have been ordered; and this custom was instituted in honour of Asklepios, because they still initiated him when on one occasion he arrived from Epidauros too late for [initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries]."

Philostratus the Younger, Imagines 13 (trans. Fairbanks) (Greek rhetorician C3rd A.D.) :
"[From a description of an ancient Greek painting depicting Sophokles inspired the Muse Melpomene :] This is Asklepios nearby, I think, doubtless urging you to write a paian, and though 'famed for his skill' he does not disdain to listen to you; and his gaze that is fixed upon you, suffused as it is with joy, dimly foreshadows his visit to you a little later as your guest." [Cf. For the famous paian of Sophokles sung at Athens see Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 96. 26 above.]


CULT IN MEGARIS (SOUTHERN GREECE)

I) MEGARA Chief City of Megaris

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 40. 6 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"When you have ascended the citadel [at Megara] . . . you see . . . the image of Asklepios and also that of Hygeia (Good Health) were made by Bryaxis."

II) NEAR MEGARA

Seneca, Phaedra 1022 (trans. Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) :
"The rocks [shaped like altars on the coast of Megara], the sacred seat of the Epidaurian god [Asklepios] . . . and the cliffs famous for he crime of Sciron."


CULT IN AIGINA (SOUTHERN GREECE)

I) AIGINA Chief Town of Aigina

Aristophanes, Birds 120 ff (trans. O'Neill) (Greek comedy C5th to 4th B.C.) :
"His son took him to [the island of] Aigina and forcibly made him lie one night in the temple of Asklepios, the God of Healing."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 30. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
”The sanctuary of Asklepios [on the island Aigina] is here . . . and his image is of stone and seated."


CULT IN KORINTHIA (SOUTHERN GREECE)

I) KORINTHOS Chief City of Korinthia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 2. 3 :
"At the other end of the harbour [of Kenkhreai, Korinthos] sanctuaries of Asklepios."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 4. 5 :
"By this gymnasium [in Korinthos] are temples of Zeus and Asklepios. The images of Asklepios and Hygeia (Health) are of white marble."


CULT IN SIKYONIA (SOUTHERN GREECE)

I) SIKYON Chief City of Sikyonia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 10. 2 -3 :
"[In Sikyon] is an enclosure of Akslepios [at Sikyon]. On passing into the enclosure you see on the left two buildings with two rooms. In the outer room lies a figure of Hypnos (Sleep), of which now nothing remains except the head. The inner room is given over to Apollon Karneios; into it none may enter except the priests. In the portico lies a huge bone of a Ketos (Sea-monster or Whale), and after it an image of Oneiros (Dream) and Hypnos (Sleep), surnamed Epidotes (Bountiful), lulling to sleep a lion. Within the sanctuary on either side of the entrance is an image, on the one hand Pan is seated, on the other Artemis is standing. When you have entered you see the god [Asklepios], a beardless figure of gold and ivory made by Kalamis. He holds a staff in one hand, and a cone of the cultivated pine in the other. The Sikyonians say that the god was carried to them from Epidauros on a carriage drawn by two mules, that he was in the likeness of a serpent, and that he was brought by Nikagora of Sikyon, the mother of Agasikles and the wife of Ekhetimos. Here are two small figures hanging from the roof. She who is on the serpent they say is Aristodama, the mother of Aratos, whom they hold to be a son of Asklepios."

II) TITANE Village in Sikyonia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 11. 5 - 8 :
"Alexanor, the son of Makhaon, the son of Asklepios, came to Sikyonia and built the sanctuary of Asklepios at Titane. The neighbours are chiefly servants of the god, and within the enclosure are old cypress trees. One cannot learn of what wood or metal the image is, nor do they know the name of the maker, though one or two attribute it to Alexanor himself. Of the image can be seen only the face, hands, and feet, for it has about it a tunic of white wool and a cloak. There is a similar image of Hygeia; this, too, one cannot see easily because it is so surrounded with the locks of women, who cut them off and offer them to the goddess, and with strips of Babylonian raiment. With whichever of these a votary here is willing to propitiate heaven, the same instructions have been given to him, to worship this image which they are pleased to call Hygeia. There are images also of Alexanor and of Euamerion; to the former they give offerings as to a hero after the setting of the sun; to Euamerion, as being a god, they give burnt sacrifices. If I conjecture aright, the Pergamenes, in accordance with an oracle, call this Euamerion Telesphoros (Accomplisher), while the Epidaurians call him Akesis (Cure). There is also a wooden image of Koronis, but it has not fixed position anywhere in the temple. While to the god are being sacrificed a bull, a lamb, and a pig, they remove Koronis to the sanctuary of Athena and honour her there. The parts of the victims which they offer as a burnt sacrifice, and they are not content with cutting out the thighs, they burn on the ground, except the birds, which they burn on the altar. In the gable at the ends are figures of Herakles and of Nikai (Victories). In the portico are dedicated images of Dionysos and Hekate, with Aphrodite, the Meter Theon [Rhea], and Tykhe. These are wooden, but Asklepios, surnamed Gortynios, is of stone. They are unwilling to enter among the sacred serpents for fear, but they place their food before the entrance and take no further trouble."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 27. 1 :
"All the offerings [to Asklepios], whether the offerer be one of the Epidaurians themselves or a stranger, are entirely consumed within the bounds. At Titane too, I know, there is this same rule."

III) PHLIOUS Town in Sikyonia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 13. 5 :
"As you do down from the citadel [of Phlious, Sikyonia] you see on the right a temple of Asklepios with an image of the god as a beardless youth."


S23.5 ASCLEPIUS
S23.6 ASCLEPIUS
   

CULT IN ARGOLIS (SOUTHERN GREECE)

I) ARGOS Chief City of Argolis

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 21. 1 :
"[In the market-place of Argos is] a temple of Asklepios."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 23. 4 :
"The most famous sanctuary of Asklepios at Argos contains at the present day a white-marble image of the god seated, and by his side stands Hygeia . . . The original founder of the sanctuary was Sphyros, son of Makhaon [son of Asklepios] and brother of the Alexanor who is honoured among the Sikyonians in Titane."

II) EPIDAUROS Town in Argolis

Aristophanes, Plutus 410 & 620 (trans. O'Neill) (Greek comedy C5th to 4th B.C.) :
"[Comedy in which two Athenians take the blind god Ploutos to Asklepios at Epidauros to be healed :]
Khremylos : But I have thought the matter well over, and the best thing is to make Ploutos lie in the Temple of Asklepios.
Blepsidemos : Unquestionably that's the very best thing. Hurry and lead him away to the temple . . .
[The two Athenians bring Ploutos to the shrine of Asklepios to be healed by the god.]
Khremylos : Let us make haste to put Ploutos to bed in the Temple of Asklepios . . . Kario, bring the coverlets and all that I have got ready from the house; let us conduct the god to the temple, taking care to observe all the proper rites.
(Kario comes out of the house with a bundle under one arm and leading Ploutos with the other.Khremylos and Blepsidemos join him and all four of them depart.) . . .
Leader of the Chorus : My good fellow, what has happened to your friends? You seem the bearer of good tidings.
Kario : What joy-for my master and even more for Ploutos! The god has regained his sight; his eyes sparkle with the greatest brilliancy, thanks to the benevolent care of Asklepios . . .
Leader of the Chorus : I will sing to the honour of Asklepios, the son of illustrious Zeus, with a resounding voice; he is the beneficent star which men adore . . .
Kario : Having arrived near to the temple with our patient, then so unfortunate, but now at the apex of happiness, of blessedness, we first led him down to the sea to purify him.
Wife : Ah! what a singular pleasure for an old man to bathe in the cold seawater!
Kario (in the manner of the tragic messenger) : Then we repaired to the temple of the god. Once the wafers and the various offerings had been consecrated upon the altar, and the cake of wheaten-meal had been banded over to the devouring Hephaistos, we made Ploutos lie on a couch according to the rite, and each of us prepared himself a bed of leaves.
Wife : Had any other folk come to beseech the deity?
Kario : Yes. Firstly, Neoklides, who is blind, but steals much better than those who see clearly; then many others attacked by complaints of all kinds. The lights were put out and the priest enjoined us to sleep, especially recommending us to keep silent should we hear any noise. There we were all lying down quite quietly. I could not sleep; I was thinking of a certain stew-pan full of pap placed close to an old woman and just behind her head. I had a furious longing to slip towards that side. But just as I was lifting my head, I noticed the priest, who was sweeping off both the cakes and the figs on the sacred table; then he made the round of the altars and sanctified the cakes that remained, by stowing them away in a bag. I therefore resolved to follow such a pious example and made straight for the pap.
Wife : You rogue! and had you no fear of the god?
Kario : Aye, indeed! I feared that the god [Asklepios] with his crown on his head might have been near the stew-pan before me. I said to myself, `Like priest, like god.' . . . As for myself, I swallowed a goodly portion of the pap and, having made a good feed, went back to bed.
Wife : And did not the god come?
Kario : He did not tarry; and when he was near us, oh! dear! such a good joke happened. My belly was quite blown up, and I let a thunderous fart!
Wife : Doubtless the god pulled a wry face?
Kario : No, but [his daughters] Iaso blushed a little and Panakeia turned her head away, holding her nose; my farts are not perfume.
Wife : And what did the god do?
Kario : He paid not the slightest heed.
Wife : He must then be a pretty coarse kind of god?
Kario : I don't say that, but he's used to tasting stools.
Wife : Impudent knave, go on with you!
Kario : Then I hid myself in my bed all a-tremble. Asklepios did the round of the patients and examined them all with great attention; then a slave placed beside him a stone mortar, a pestle and a little box.
Wife : Of stone?
Kario : No, not of stone.
Wife : But how could you see all this, you arch-rascal, when you say you were hiding all the time?
Kario : Why, great gods, through my cloak, for it's not without holes! He first prepared an ointment for Neoklides; he threw three heads of Tenian garlic into the mortar, pounded them with an admixture of fig-tree sap and lentisk, moistened the whole with Sphettian vinegar, and, turning back the patient's eyelids, applied his salve to the interior of the eyes, so that the pain might be more excruciating. Neoklides shrieked, howled, sprang towards the foot of his bed and wanted to bolt, but the god laughed and said to him, `Keep where you are with your salve; by doing this you will not go and perjure yourself before the Assembly.'
Wife : What a wise god and what a friend to our city
Kario : Thereupon he came and seated himself at the head of Ploutos' bed, took a perfectly clean rag and wiped his eyelids; Panakeia covered his head and face with a purple cloth, while the god whistled, and two enormous snakes came rushing from the sanctuary.
Wife : Great gods!
Kario : They slipped gently beneath the purple cloth and, as far as I could judge, licked the patient's eyelids; for, in less time than even you need, mistress, to drain down ten beakers of wine, Ploutos rose up; be could see. I clapped my hands with joy and awoke my master, and the god immediately disappeared with the serpents into the sanctuary. As for those who were lying near Ploutos, you can imagine that they embraced him tenderly. Dawn broke and not one of them had closed an eye. As for myself, I did not cease thanking the god who had so quickly restored to Ploutos his sight and had made Neoklides blinder than ever.
Wife : Oh! thou great Asklepios! How mighty is thy power!"

Plato, Ion 530a (trans. Lamb) (Greek philosopher C4th B.C.) :
"Sokrates : Where have you come from now, to pay us this visit? From your home in Ephesos?
Ion [a singer of the Homeric rhapsodies] : No, no, Socrates; from Epidauros and the festival there of Asklepios.
Socrates : Do you mean to say that the Epidaurians honor the god with a contest of rhapsodes also?
Ion: Certainly, and of mousika [i.e. music, dance and song] in general.
Socrates : Why then, you were competing in some contest, were you? And how went your competition?
Ion : We carried off the first prize, Sokrates."

Strabo, Geography 8. 6. 15 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Epidauros [in he Argolis], too, is an important city, and particularly because of the fame of Asklepios, who is believed to cure diseases of every kind and always has his temple full of the sick, and also of the votive tablets on which the treatments are recorded, just as at Kos [island in the Greek Aegean] and Trikke [in Thessalia]."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 26. 1 - 28. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Before you reach Epidauros itself [in Argos] you will come to the sanctuary of Asklepios ... That the land is especially sacred to Asklepios is due to the following reason. The Epidaurians say that Phlegyas came to the Peloponnesos . . . accompanied by his daughter [Koronis mother of Asklepios], who all along had kept hidden from her father that she was with child by Apollon. In the country of the Epidaurians she bore a son [Asklepios], and exposed him on the mountain called Titthion (Nipple) at he present day, but then named Myrtion . . .
There is other evidence that the god was born in Epidauros; for I find that the most famous sanctuaries of Asklepios had their origin from Epidauros. In the first place, the Athenians, who say they gave a share of their mystic rites to Asklepios, call this day of the festival Epidauria, and they allege that their worship of Asklepios dates from then. Again, when Arkhias, son of Aristaikhmos, was healed in Epidauria after spraining himself after hunting about Pindasos, he brought the cult to Pergamon [in Asia Minor]. From the one at Pergamos has been built in our own day the sanctuary of Asklepios by the sea at Smyrna. Further, at Balagrai of the Kyreneans there is an Asklepios called Iatros (Healer), who like the others came from Epidauros. From the one at Kyrene was founded the sanctuary of Asklepios at Lebene, in Krete. There is this difference between the Kyreneans and the Epidaurians, that whereas the former sacrifice goats, it is against the custom of the Epidaurians to do so. That Asklepios was considered a god from the first, and did not receive the title only in the course of time. I infer from several signs, including the evidence of Homer, who makes Agamemnon say about Makhaon:--`Talthybios, with all speed go summon me hither Makhaon, mortal son of Asklepios.’ As who should say, `human son of a god.’
The sacred grove of Asklepios is surrounded on all sides by boundary marks. No death or birth takes place within the enclosure; the same custom prevails also in the island of Delos. All the offerings, whether the offerer be one of the Epidaurians themselves or a stranger, are entirely consumed within the bounds. At Titane too, I know, there is this same rule. The image of Asklepios is, in size, half as big as Zeus Olympios at Athens, and is made of ivory and gold. An inscription tells us that the artist was Thrasymedes, a Parian, son of Arignotos. The god is sitting on a seat grasping a staff; the other hand he is holding above the head of the serpent; there is also a figure of a dog lying by his side. On the seat are wrought in relief the exploits of Argive heroes . . .
Over against the temple is the place where the suppliants of the god sleep. Near has been built a circular building of white marble, called Tholos (Round House) . . . Within the enclosure stood slabs; in my time six remained, but of old there were more. On them are inscribed the names of both the men and the women who have been healed by Asklepios, the disease also from which each suffered, and the means of cure. The dialect is Doric. Apart from the others is an old slab, which declares that Hippolytos dedicated twenty horses to the god. The Arikians tell a tale that agrees with the inscription on this slab, that when Hippolytos was killed, owing to the curses of Theseus, Asklepios raised him from the dead. On coming to life again he refused to forgive his father; rejecting his prayers, he want to the Arikians in Italy . . . The Epidaurians have a theatre within the sanctuary ...
Within the grove are a temple of Artemis, an image of Epione (Soothing), a sanctuary of Aphrodite and Themis (Custom), a race-course . . . and a fountain worth seeing for its roof and general splendour.
A Roman senator Antoninos made in our own day a bath of Asklepios and a sanctuary of the gods called Bountiful. He made also a temple to Hygeia (Health), Asklepios, and Apollon, the last two surnamed Aigyptios (Egyptian). He moreover restored the portico that was named the Portico of Kotys, which, as the brick of which it was made had been unburnt, had fallen into utter ruin after it had lost its roof. As the Epidaurians about the sanctuary were in great distress, because their women had no shelter in which to be delivered and the sick breathed their last in the open, he provided a dwelling, so that these grievances also were redressed. Here at last was a place in which without sin a human being could die and a woman be delivered . . .
The serpents, including a peculiar kind of a yellowish colour, are considered sacred to Asklepios, and are tame with men. These are peculiar to Epidauria, and I have noticed that other lands have their peculiar animals."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 29. 1 :
"[In the city of Epidauros, Argos] is a precinct of Asklepios, with images of the god himself and Epione (Soothing). Epione, they say, was the wife of Asklepios. These are of Parian marble, and are set up in the open."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 10. 2 - 3 :
"The Sikyonians say that the god [Asklepios] was carried to them from Epidauros on a carriage drawn by two mules, that he was in the likeness of a serpent, and that he was brought by Nikagora of Sikyon, the mother of Agasikles and the wife of Ekhetimos."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 23. 7 :
"[At Epidauros Limera, Lakedaimonia] the people says they are descended . . . from the Epidaurians of the Argolid, and that they touched at this point in Lakonia when sailing on public business to Asklepios in Kos, Warned by dreams that appeared to them, they remained and settled here. They also say that a snake, which they were bringing from their home in Epidauros, escaped from the ship, and disappeared into the ground not far from the sea. As a result of the portent of the snake together with the vision in their dreams they resolved to remain and settle here. There are altars to Asklepios where the snake disappeared, with olive trees growing round them."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 11. 11 :
"When I asked at Epidauros why they pour neither water nor olive oil on the image of Asklepios [to keep the ivory in good condition], the attendants at the sanctuary informed me that both the image of the god and the throne were built over a cistern."

Aelian, On Animals 9. 33 (trans. Scholfield) (Greek natural history C2nd to 3rd A.D.) :
"A woman suffered from an intestinal worm, and the cleverest doctors despaired of curing her. Accordingly she went to Epidauros and prayed to the god [Asklepios] that she might be rid of the complaint that was lodged in her. The god was not at hand. The attendants of the temple however made her lie down in the place where the god was in the habit of healing his petitioners. And the woman lay quiet as she was bid; and the ministers of the god addressed themselves to her cure: they severed her head from the neck, and on of them inserted his hand and drew out the worm, which was a monstrous creature. But to adjust the head and to restore it to its former setting, this they always failed to do. Well, the god arrived and was enraged with the ministers for undertaking a task beyond their skill, and himself with the irresistible power of a god restored the head to the body and raised the stranger up again. For my part, O King Asklepios, of all gods the kindliest to man, I do not set Wormwood [as a cure for intestinal worms] against your skill (heaven forbid I should be so insensate!), but in considering Wormwood I was reminded of your beneficent action and of your astounding powers of healing. And there is no need to doubt that this herb also is a gift from you."

Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3. 34 (trans. Rackham) (Roman rhetorician C1st B.C.) :
"He [the piratical Dionysius of Syracusa] gave orders for the removal of the golden beard of Aesculapius at Epidaurus, saying it was not fitting for the son to wear a beard when his father [Apollo] appeared in all his temples beardless . . . Nor did Aesculapius cause him to waste away and perish of some painful and lingering disease [for this sacrilege]."

Pliny the Elder, Natural History 4. 18 (trans. Rackham) (Roman encyclopedia C1st A.D.) :
"The town of Epidaurus famous for its shrine of Aesculapius."

Suidas s.v. Aristarkhos (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Aristarkhos : Of Tegea, a composer of tragedies, who was sick with some disease; then Asklepios cured him and required him to give a thanksgiving dedication for his health. The poet allotted him the drama that bears his name. But gods of health would never request payment nor accept it. How could that be?--when with a good, philanthropic spirit they offer us the greatest things free of charge."


CULT IN LAKEDAIMONIA (SOUTHERN GREECE)

I) SPARTA Chief City of Lakedaimonia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 14. 2 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"[At Sparta, Lakedaimonia] is a sanctuary of Asklepios, called ‘in the place of the Agiadai."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 14. 7 :
"The sanctuary of Agnitas [at Sparta, Lakedaimonia] has been made on the right of the Course; Agnitas is a surname of Asklepios, because the god had a wooden image of agnus castus. The agnos is a willow like the thorn."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 15. 10 :
"The most famous of their sanctuaries of Asklepios has been built near Booneta [in Sparta, Lakedaimonia]."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 19. 7 :
"Across the river [Eurotas in Lakedaimonia] is a temple of Askelpios Kotyleos (Of the Hip-joint); it was made by Herakles, who named Asklepios Kotyleos, because he was cured of the wound in the hip-joint that he received in the former fight with Hippokoon and his sons."

II) THERAI Village in Lakedaimonia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 20. 5 :
"[Near Therai, Lakedaimonia] is a sanctuary of Demeter surnamed Eleusionion. Here according to the Lakedaimonian story Herakles was hidden by Asklepios while he was being healed of a wound."

III) PELLENA Village in Lakedaimonia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 21. 1 :
"Remarkable sights I remember seeing here [in Pellana, Lakedaimonia] were a sanctuary of Asklepios and the spring Pellanis."

IV) GYTHEATAI Village in Lakedaimonia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 21. 8 :
"[At Gytheatai, Lakedaimonia] is a bronze image of Asklepios, whose temple is roofless."

V) ASOPOS Village in Lakedaimonia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 22. 9 :
"About twelve stades from the city [of Asopos, Lakedaimonia] is a sanctuary of Asklepios. They call the god Philolaos, and the bones in the gymnasium, which they worship, are human, although of superhuman size."

VI) PARAKYPARISSION Village in Lakedaimonia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 22. 10 :
"There is also in this district [Parakyparission, Lakedaimonia] a sanctuary of Asklepios, about fifty stades from Asopos; the place where the sanctuary is they name Hyperteleaton."

VII) BOIAI Village in Lakedaimonia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 22. 13 :
"In another part of the town [of Boiai, Lakedaimonia] is a temple of Asklepios."

VIII) EPIDAUROS LIMERA Village in Lakedaimonia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 23. 7 :
"[At Epidauros Limera, Lakedaimonia] the people says they are descended . . . from the Epidaurians of the Argolid, and that they touched at this point in Lakonia when sailing on public business to Asklepios in Kos, Warned by dreams that appeared to them, they remained and settled here. They also say that a snake, which they were bringing from their home in Epidauros, escaped from the ship, and disappeared into the ground not far from the sea. As a result of the portent of the snake together with the vision in their dreams they resolved to remain and settle here. There are altars to Asklepios where the snake disappeared, with olive trees growing round them."

IX) KYPHANTA Village in Lakedaimonia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 24. 2 :
"The ruins of the so-called Kyphanta [in Lakedaimonia], among which is a cave sacred to Asklepios; the image is of stone."

X) MT ILIOS Mountain in Lakedaimonia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 24. 8 :
"On Mount Ilios [in Lakedaimonia] is a temple of Dionysos, and of Asklepios at the very summit."

XI) HYPSOI Village in Lakedaimonia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 24. 9 :
"Here [at Hypsoi, Lakedaimonia] is a sanctuary of Asklepios."

XII) LEUKTRA Village in Lakedaimonia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 26. 4 :
"The inhabitants [of Leuktra, Lakedaimonia] honour Asklepios most of the gods, supposing him to be the son of Arsinoe the daughter of Leukippos. There is a stone statue of Asklepios."


CULT IN MESSENIA (SOUTHERN GREECE)

I) MESSENE Chief City of Messenia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 4. 31. 10 :
"The most numerous statues and the most worthy seeing [at Messene, Messenia] are to be found in the sanctuary of Asklepios. For besides statues of the god and his sons, and besides statues of Apollon, the Mousai (Muses) and Herakles, the city of Thebes is represented and . . . Tykhe (Fortune), and Artemis Bringer of Light. The stone statues are the work of Damophon."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 4. 31. 12 :
"Asklepios is also represented [in the temple of Messene at Messene, Messenia], being according to the Messenian account a son of Arsinoe, also Makhaon and Podaleirios, as they also took part in the affair at Troy."

II) GERENIA Village in Messenia

Strabo, Geography 8. 4. 4 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"In Gerenia [in Messenia] is to be seen a temple of Asklepios Trikkaios, a reproduction of the one in the Thessalian Trikka."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 24. 10 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Here in Gerenia [in Messenia] is a tomb of Makhaon, son of Asklepios, and a holy sanctuary. In this temple men may find cures for diseases. They call the holy spot Rhodos; there is a standing bronze statue of Makhaon, with a crown on his head which the Messenians in the local speech call kyphos."

III) ABIA Village in Messenia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 4. 30. 1 :
"There was a notable temple of Herakles here [at Abia, Messenia], and also of Asklepios."

IV) KORONE Village in Messenia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 4. 34. 6 :
"The gods who have temples here [at Korone, Messenia] are Artemis . . . Dionysos and Asklepios. The statues of Asklepios and Dionysos are of stone."

V) AULON Village in Messenia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 4. 36. 7 :
"In the depression of Aulon [in Messenia] there is a temple and statue of Asklepios Aulonios."


CULT IN ELIS (SOUTHERN GREECE)

I) KYLLENE Village in Ellis

Strabo, Geography 8. 3. 4 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Kyllene [in Elis] is a village of moderate size; and it has the Asklepios made by Kolotes--an ivory image that is wonderful to behold."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 6. 26. 5 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"In Kyllene [in Elis] is a sanctuary of Askelpios."

II) GORTYNA Village in Elis

Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 7. 1 :
"Gortyna [in Elis], where there is a sanctuary of Asklepios."

III) OLYMPIA Village & Sanctuary in Elis

Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 20. 2 :
"[Depicted on table made by Kolotes dedicated at Olympia :] On one side are Asklepios and Hygeia (Health), one of his daughters."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 26. 2 :
"Along the left side of the great temple [at Olympia] Mikythos dedicated other offerings: [statues of] . . . deities, Asklepios and Hygeia."

IV) Near SAUROS Hill in Elis

Pausanias, Description of Greece 6. 21. 3 :
"On crossing the river Erymanthos at what is called the ridge of Sauros . . . Forty stades beyond the ridge of Sauros is a temple of Asklepios, surnamed Demainetos after the founder. It too is in ruins."


CULT IN AKHAIA (SOUTHERN GREECE)

I) PATRAI Chief City of Akhaia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 7. 21. 3 :
"There is also at Patrai [in Akhaia] a sanctuary of Asklepios."

II) OLENOS City in Akhaia

Strabo, Geography 8. 7. 4 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Traces of the old settlement of the Olenians are shown between Patrai and Dyme [in Akhaia]; and here, too, is the notable temple of Asklepios, which is forty stadia distant from Dyme and eighty from Patrai."

III) AIGION Town in Akhaia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 7. 23. 7 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"[There is at Aegion in Akhaia] precinct of Asklepios, with images of him and Hygeia. In this sanctuary of Asklepios a man of Sidon entered upon an argument with me. He declared that the Phoinikoi (Phoenicians) had better notions about the gods than the Greeks, giving as an instance that to Asklepios they assign Apollon as father, but no mortal woman as his mother. Asklepios, he went on, is air, bringing health to mankind and to all animals likewise; Apollon is the sun, and most rightly is he named the father of Asklepios, because the sun, by adapting his course to the seasons, imparts to the air its healthfulness."

IV) PELLENE Town in Akhaia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 7. 27. 11 :
"[At Pellene, Akhaia] is a sanctuary of Asklepios, called Kyros, where cures of patients are effected by the god. Here too there is a copious supply of water, and at the larges of the springs stand the image of Asklepios."


CULT IN ARKADIA (SOUTHERN GREECE)

I) MEGALOPOLIS Chief City of Arkadia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 31. 1 :
"[At Megalopolis, Arkadia] is an enclosure sacred to the Great Goddesses . . . Carved in relief before the entrance are, on one side Artemis, on the other Asklepios and Hygiea."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 32. 4 :
"[At Megalopolis, Arkadia] there is a sanctuary of Asklepios, with images of the god and of Hygeia (Health)."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 32. 5 :
"Under this hill [in Megalopolis, Arkadia] there is another sanctuary of Asklepios Paidos. His image is upright and about a cubit in height, that of Apollon is seated on a throne and is not less than six feet high."

II) MANTINEIA Town in Arkadia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 9. 1 :
"The Maintineans [of Mantineia, Arkadia] possess a temple composed of two parts, being divided almost exactly down the middle by a wall. In one part of the temple is an image of Asklepios ... the other part is a sanctuary of Leto and her children."

III) KLEITOR Village in Arkadia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 21. 3 :
"[At Kleitor, Arkadia] the most celebrated sanctuaries of the Kleitorians are those of Demeter, Asklepios and, thirdly, Eileithyia."

IV) KAOUS Village in Arkadia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 25. 1 :
"Ruins of the village Kaous [in Arkadia], with a sanctuary of Asklepios Kaousios, built on the road."

V) THELPOUSA Village in Arkadia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 25. 3 :
"Thelpousa [in Arkdaia] has a temple of Asklepios."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 25. 11 :
"[Near Thelpousa, Arkadia is] a temple of Apollon Ogkaiatos, and on the right a sanctuary of Asklepios Paidos (Boy), where is the tomb of Trygon, who is said to have been the nurse of Asklepios. For the story is that Asklepios, when little, was exposed in Thelpousa, but was found by Autolaus, the illegitimate son of Arkas [early king of Arkadia in myth], who reared the baby, and for this reason Paidos Asklepios."

VI) ALIPHERA Village in Arkadia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 26. 5 :
"There are sanctuaries here [Aliphera, Arkadia] of Asklepios and Athena."

VII) GORTYS Village in Arkadia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 28. 1 :
"Here [Gortys, Arkadia] is a temple of Asklepios, made of Pentelic marble, with the god, as a beardless youth, and an image of Hygeia (Health). Skopas was the artist. The natives also say that Alexandros the son of Philippos dedicated to Asklepios his breastplate and spear."

VIII) TEGEA City in Arkadia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 46. 1 :
"On one side of the image of Athene [at Tegea, Arkadia] stands Asklepios, on the other Hygeia (Health), works of Skiopas of Paros in Petelic marble."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 54. 5 :
"On the road from Tegea [in Arkadia] to Argos come first a temple and image of Asklepios."

IX) R. LOUSIOS River in Arkadia

Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3. 21 (trans. Rackham) (Roman rhetorician C1st B.C.) :
"[Asklepios] is worshipped by the Arcadians; he is reputed to have invented the probe and to have been the first surgeon to employ splints . . . his tomb and grove are shown in Arcadia, not far from the river Lusius."


CULT IN BOIOTIA (CENTRAL GREECE)

I) TANAGRA Town in Boiotia

Suidas s.v. Alektryona athleten Tanagraion (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Alektryona athleten Tanagraion (A prize-fighting cock of Tanagra) : These aristocrats sing [this]. `He sends it to be a votive offering and a delight to Asklepios, as if the bird were an attendant or servant in the temple, that man of Aspendos.'"


CULT IN PHOKIS (CENTRAL GREECE)

I) TITHOREA Village in Phokis

Pausanias, Description of Greece 10. 32. 12 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Seventy stades distant from Tithorea [in Phokis] is a temple of Asklepios, called Arkhagetas (Founder). He receives divine honours from the Tithoreans, and no less from the other Phokians. Within the precincts are dwellings for both the suppliants of the god and his servants. In the middle is the temple of the god and an image made of stone, having a beard more than two feet long. A couch is set on the right of the image. It is usual to sacrifice to the god any animal except the goat."

II) ELATEIA Village in Phokis

Pausanias, Description of Greece 10. 34. 6 :
"A temple has been built [at Elateia, Phokis] to Asklepios, with a bearded image of the god."


CULT IN OZOLIAN LOKRIS (CENTRAL GREECE)

I) NAUPAKTOS Town in Ozolian Lokris

Pausanias, Description of Greece 10. 38. 13 :
"The sanctuary of Asklepios [at Naupaktos, Lokris] I found in ruins, but it was originally built by a private person called Phalysios. For he had a complaint of the eyes, and when he was almost blind the god at Epidauros sent to him the poetess Anyte, who brought with her a sealed tablet. The woman thought that the god’s appearance was a dream, but it proved at once to be a waking vision. For she found in her own hands a sealed tablet; so sailing to Naupaktos she bade Phalysios take away the seal and read what was written. He did not think it possible to read the writing with his eyes in such a condition, but hoping to get some benefit from Asklepios took away the seal. When he had looked at the wax he recovered his sight, and gave to Anyte what was written on the tablet, two thousand slaters of gold."


CULT IN THESSALIA (NORTHERN GREECE)

I) TRIKKE Town in Histiaiotis in Thessalia

Strabo, Geography 9. 5. 17 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"They call Histiaiotis and Dolopia Upper Thessalia . . . Now Trikke, where is the earliest and most famous temple of Asklepios, borders on the country of the Dolopians and the regions round Pindos."

Strabo, Geography 8. 6. 15 :
"Asklepios is believed to cure diseases of every kind and always has his temple [at Epidauros] full of the sick, and also of the votive tablets on which the treatments are recorded, just as at Kos and Trikke."

Strabo, Geography 8. 4. 4 :
"In Gerenia [in Messenia] is to be seen a temple of Asklepios Trikkaios, a reproduction of the one in the Thessalian Trikka." - Strabo, Geography 8.4.4

Strabo, Geography 14. 1. 39 :
"Trikke, where Asklepios is said to have been born."


CULT IN KOS (GREEK AEGEAN)

I) KOS Island in the South-Eastern Aegean

Strabo, Geography 14. 2. 19 :
"In the suburb [i.e. the town of Kos] is the Asklepïeion (Temple of Asklepios), a temple exceedingly famous and full of numerous votive offerings, among which is the Antigonos of Apelles."

Strabo, Geography 8. 6. 15 :
"Asklepios is believed to cure diseases of every kind and always has his temple [at Epidauros] full of the sick, and also of the votive tablets on which the treatments are recorded, just as at Kos and Trikke."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 23. 7 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Epidaurians of [the shrine of Asklepios] the Argolis touched at this point in Lakonia when sailing on public business to Asklepios in Kos."


CULT IN KRETE (GREEK AEGEAN)

I) LEBENE Village in Krete

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 26. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"From the one [cult centre of Asklepios] at Kyrene was founded the sanctuary of Asklepios at Lebene, in Krete."

Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 4. 34 (trans. Conybeare) (Greek biography C1st to 2nd A.D.) :
"He [the C1st A.D. philosopher Apollonios of Tyana, after visting Mount Ida in Krete,] passed on to the Lebenaion (Shrine of Leben). And this is a shrine of Asklepios, and just as the whole of Asia flocks to Pergamon, so the whole of Krete flocked to this shrine; and many Libyans also cross the sea to visit it, for it faces towards the Libyan Sea close to Phaistos, where the little rock keeps out a mighty sea. And they say that this shrine is named that of Leben, because a promontory juts out from it which resembles a lion, for here, as often, a chance arrangement of rocks suggests an animal form."


CULT IN THE TROAD (ASIA MINOR)

I) MELAINAI Village in the Troad

Strabo, Geography 13. 1. 44 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"The Heptaporos River [in the Troad], also called Polyporos, is crossed seven times by one travelling from the region of the Beautiful Pine to the village called Melainai and the Asklepieion (Temple of Asklepios) that was founded by Lysimakhos."


CULT IN TEUTHRANIA (ASIA MINOR)

I) PERGAMON Chief City of Teuthrania

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 26. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"When Arkhias, son of Aristaikhmos, was healed in Epidauria [in Greece] after spraining himself after hunting about Pindasos, he brought the cult to Pergamon. From the one at Pergamon has been built in our own day the sanctuary of Asklepios by the sea at Smyrna."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 24. 10 :
"The author of the epic The Little Iliad says that Makhaon [son of Asklepios] was killed by Eurypylos, son of Telephos. I myself know that to be the reason of the practice at the temple of Asklepios at Pergamon, where they begin their hymns with Telephos but make no reference to Eurypylos, or care to mention his name in the temple at all, as they know that he was the slayer of Makhaon."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 13. 3 :
"Those who sacrifice to Telephos at Pergamon on the river Kaikos; these too may not go up to the temple of Asklepios before they have bathed."

Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 4. 11 (trans. Conybeare) (Greek biography C1st to 2nd A.D.) :
"[The C1st A.D. prophet Apollonios of Tyana] made his way then to Pergamon, and being pleased with the temple of Asklepios, he gave hints to the supplicants of the god, what to do in order to obtain favourable dreams."

Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 4. 34 :
"The whole of Asia flocks to [to the shrine of Asklepios at] Pergamon."

Statius, Silvae 3. 4. 23 (trans. Mozley) (Roman poetry C1st A.D.) :
"The shrine [of Asklepios] at Pergamon, where the great helper of the sick is present to aid, and stays the hurrying fates and bends, a kindly deity, o’er his health-bringing snake."

Statius, Silvae 3. 1. 7 :
"The Emperor’s [the Roman Emperor Domitian’s] tresses . . . which he was sending to Asclepius at Pergamum, together with a mirror and a jewelled box."


CULT IN LYDIA (ASIA MINOR)

I) SMYRNA City in Aiolis / Lydia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 26. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"From the one [cult of Asklepios] at Pergamos has been built in our own day the sanctuary of Asklepios by the sea at Smyrna [in Lydia]."

II) ERYTHRAI Town in Ionia / Lydia

Pausanias, Description of Greece 7. 5. 9 :
"A sanctuary too of Asklepios [in Erythrai, Lydia] made by the Smyrnaians in my time between Mount Koryphe and a sea into which no other water flows."


CULT IN KILIKIA (ASIA MINOR)

I) AIGAI Town in Kilikia

Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 1. 7 (trans. Conybeare) (Greek biography C1st to 2nd A.D.) :
"[The C1st A.D. prophet Apollonios of Tyana, in his youth, moved] to the town of Aigai [in Asia Minor], which was close by [to Tyana], where he found . . . A temple of Asklepios, where that god reveals himself to men in person."

Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 1. 9 - 12 :
“[Apollonios of Tyana, in his youth, became a vegetarian and] let his hair grow long and lived in the Temple. And the people round about the Temple were struck with admiration for him, and the god Asklepios one day said to the priest that he was delighted to have Apollonios as witness of his cures of the sick; and such was his reputation that the Kilikioi (Cilicians) themselves and the people around flocked to Aigai to see him . . .
I should not pass over the life led in the temple by my hero, who was held in esteem even by the gods. For an Assyrian stripling came to Asklepios, and though he was sick, yet he lived the life of luxury, and being continually drunk, I will not say he lived, rather he was ever dying. He suffered from dropsy, and finding his pleasure in drunkenness took no care to dry up his malady. On this account then Asklepios took no care of him, and did not visit him even in a dream. The youth grumbled at this, and thereupon consulted the god, standing over him, said, `If you were to consult Apollonios you would be easier.’ He therefore went to Apollonios and said : `What is there in your wisdom that I can profit by? For Asklepios bids me consult you.’
And he replied : `I can advise you of what, under the circumstances, will be most valuable to you; for I suppose you want to get well.’
`Yes, by Zeus,’ answered the other, `I want the health which Asklepios promises, but never gives.’
`Hush’, said the other, `for he gives to those who desire it, but you do things that irritate and aggravate your disease, for you give yourself up to luxury, and you accumulate heavy meals upon your water-logged and worn-out stomach, and as it were, choke water with a flood of mud.’ . . .
And the sage restored the youth to health by a clear interpretation of wise law.
One day he saw a flood of blood upon the altar and there were victims laid out upon it, Aigyptian (Egyptian) bulls that had been sacrificed and great hogs, and some of them were being flayed and others were being cut up; and two gold vases had been dedicated set with jewels, the rarest and most beautiful that India can provide. So he went up to the priest and said : `What is all this; for some one is making a very handsome gift to the gods?’
And the priest replied : `You may rather be surprised at a man’s offering all this without having first put up a prayer in our fane, and without having stayed with us as long as other people do, and without having gained his health from the god, and without obtaining all the things he came to ask for here. For he appears to have come only yesterday, and yet he is sacrificing on this lavish scale. And he declared that he will sacrifice more victims, and dedicate more gifts, if Asklepios will hearken to him. And he is one of the richest men in existence .. . . And he is supplicating the god to restore to him one of his eyes that has fallen out.’
But Apollonios fixed his eyes upon the ground . . . and asked : `What is his name?’
And when he heard it, he said : `It seems to me, O Priest, that we ought not to welcome this fellow in the Temple; for he is some ruffian who has come here, and that he is afflicted in this way is due to some sinister reason : nay, his very conduct in sacrificing on such a magnificent scale before he has gained anything from the god is not that of a genuine votary, but rather of a man who is begging himself off from the penalty of some horrible and cruel deeds.’
This was what Apollonios said: and Asklepios appeared to the priest by night, and said : `Send away so and so at once with all his possessions, and let him keep them, for he deserves to lose the other eye as well.’
The priest accordingly made inquiries about the Kilikioan and learned that [he was living in sin with his step-daughter] . . . and the mother had surprised the two in bed, band had put out both her eyes and one of his by stabbing them with her brooch-pin.
Again he inculcated the wise rule, that in our sacrifices or dedications we should not go beyond the just mean, in the following way. On one occasion several people had flocked to the Temple, not long after the expulsion of the Kilikian, and he took the occasion to ask the priest the following questions. `Are then,’ he said, `the gods just?’
`Why, of course, most just,’ answered the priest. `Well, and are they wise?’
`And what,’ said the other, `can be wiser than the godhead?’
`But do they know the affairs of men, or are they without experience of them?’
`Why,’ said the other, `this is just he point win which the gods excel mankind, for the latter, because of their frailty, do not understand their own concerns, whereas the gods have the privilege of understanding the affairs of both men and of themselves.’
`All you answers,’ said Apollonios, `are excellent, O Priest, and very true. Since then, they know everything, it appears to me that a person who comes to the house of God and has a good conscience, should put up the following prayer : "O ye gods, grant unto me that which I deserve." For,’ he went on, `the holy, O Priest, surely deserve to receive blessings, and the wicked the contrary. Therefore the gods, as they are beneficent, if they find anyone who is healthy and whole and unscarred by vice, will send him away, surely, after crowing him, not with golden crowns, but with all sorts of blessings; but if they find a man branded with sin and utterly corrupt, they will hand him over and leave him to justice, after inflicting their wrath upon him all the more, because he dared to invade their Temples without being pure.’
And at the same moment he looked towards [the statue of] Asklepios, and said : `O Asklepios, the philosophy you teach is secret and congenial to yourself, in that you suffer not the wicked to come hither, not even if they pour into your lap all the wealth of India and Sardis. For it is not out of reverence for the divinity that they sacrifice victims and kindle these fires, but in order to purchase a verdict, which you will not concede to them in your perfect justice.’
And much similar wisdom he delivered himself of in this Temple, while he was still a youth.
This tale also belongs to the period of his residence at Aigai. Kilikia was governed at this time by a ruffian addicted to passion. No sooner did he hear of the beauty of Apollonios spoken of, than he cast aside the matters he was busy upon . . . and hurrying off to Aigai pretended he was sick and must have the help of Asklepios. There he came upon Apollonios walking alone and prayed him to recommend him to the god. But he replied : `What recommendation can you want from anyone if you are good? For the gods love men of virtue but welcome them without any introductions.’
`Because, to be sure,’ said the other, `the god, O Apollonios, has invited you to be his guest, but so far has not invited me.’
` Nay,’ answered Apollonios, `'tis my humble merits, so far as a young man can display good qualities, which have been my passport to the favour of Asklepios, whose servant and companion I am. If you too really care for goodness, go boldly up to the god and tender what prayer you will.’
`By heaven, I will,’ said the other, `if you will allow me to address you one first.’ [He then attempted to seduce Apollonios.]"


CULT IN EGYPT (NORTH AFRICA)

I) ALEXANDRIA Chief City of Ptolemaic Egypt (Greek Colony)

Aelian, On Animals 16. 39 (trans. Scholfield) (Greek natural history C2nd to 3rd A.D.) :
"Aigyptian histories relate that in the time of Ptolemy Philadelphos [historical Pharaoh of Egypt] there were brought from Aithiopia to Alexandria two live Drakones and that one of them was fourteen cubits long, the other thirteen; and in the time of Ptolemy Euergetes three were brought, one was nine cubits long, the second seven, and the third snake one cubit less. And the Aigyptians assert that they were tended with great care in the temple of Asklepios."


CULT IN LIBYA (NORTH AFRICA)

I) BALAGRAI Village in Kyrenaia in Libya (Greek Colony)

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 26. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"At Balagrai [near Kyrene, Libya] of the Kyreneans there is an Asklepios called Iatros (Healer), who like the others came from Epidauros. From the one at Kyrene was founded the sanctuary of Asklepios at Lebene, in Krete. There is this difference between the Kyrenieans and the Epidaurians, that whereas the former sacrifice goats, it is against the custom of the Epidaurians to do so."


CULT IN LATIUM (CENTRAL ITALY)

I) ROME Chief City of Latium

Strabo, Geography 12. 5. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"The Romans . . . in accordance with oracles of the Sibylla sent for the statue of the goddess [of Kybele in Dindymene]there, just as they did in the case of that of Asklepios at Epidauros."

Ovid, Fasti 1. 289 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"As I was allowed to learn from the Fasti (Calendar) themselves, the Fathers [of Rome] consecrated two shrines today [January 1st]. The son [Asklepios] of Phoebus [Apollon] and of Nympha Coronis settled on the island which the split river [Tiber] hugs. Jupiter [Zeus] has a share; the once place took them both. The grandson’s shrine joins his high grandfather."


CULT TITLES OF ASCLEPIUS

Asklepios had a variety of cult titles, some of which referred to his function as the god of medicine; others to cult locales, founders, religious stories and the cult idol.

Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Ιατρος Iatros Iatrus Healer, Physician
Ηπιος Êpios Epius Soothing
Κοτυλεως Kotyleôs Cotyleus Of the Hip-Joint
Φιλολαος Philolaos Philolaus Lover of the People
Αρχαγετας Arkhagetas Archagetas Founder
Κυρος Kyros Cyrus Supreme Authority
Παιδος Paidos Paedus Boy
Αγνιτας Agnitas Agnitas Of the Chaste-Tree

A number were derived from the locations of his cult:--

Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Αυλονιος Aulonios Aulonius Of Aulon
(town in Messenia)
Καουσιος Kaousios Causius Of Kaous
(town in Arkadia)
Ληβεναιος Lêbenaios Lebenaeus Of Lebene
(town in Krete)
Τρικκαιος Trikkaios Triccaeus Of Trikka
(town in Thessalia)
Γορτυνιος Gortynios Gortynius Of Gortyn ?
(town in Krete?
Αιγυπτιος Aigyptios Aegyptius Of Egypt,
the Egyptian
Δημαινετος Dêmainetos Demaenetus Of Demainetos
(Eleian hero)

Some general cult terms and festivals included:--

Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Ασκληπιειον Asklêpieion Aslcepieium Temple of Asklepios
Ληβεναιον Lêbenaion Lebenaeum Temple at Lebene
Επιδαυρια Epidauria Epidauria Festival of Epidauros

ENCYCLOPEDIA ASCLEPIUS TITLES

ARCHE′GETES (Arkhêgetês). A surname of Asclepius, under which he was worshipped at Tithorea in Phocis. (Paus. x. 32. § 8.)

AULO′NIUS (Aulônios), a surname of Asclepius, derived from a temple he had in Aulon, a valley in Messenia. (Paus. iv. 36. § 5.)

CAU′SIUS (Kaousios), a surname of Asclepius, derived from Caus in Arcadia, where he was worshipped. (Steph. Byz. s. v. Kaous; comp. Paus. viii. 25. § 1.)

DEMAE′NETUS (Dêmainetos), a surname of Asclepius, derived from the name of a temple of his on the Alpheius. (Paus. vi. 21. § 4.)

PAEAN (Paian, Paiêôn or Paiôn), that is, "the healing," is according to Homer the designation of the physician of the Olympian gods, who heals, for example, the wounded Ares and Hades. (Il. v. 401, 899.) After the time of Homer and Hesiod, the word Paian becomes a surname of Asclepius, the god who had the power of healing. (Eustath. ad Hom. p. 1494; Virg. Aen. vii. 769.) The name was, however, used also in the more general sense of deliverer from any evil or calamity (Pind. Pyth. iv. 480), and was thus applied to Apollo [rest of entry on Apollo].

PHILOLA′US (Philolaos), that is, friend of the people, was a surname of Asclepius, under which he had a temple in Laconia (Paus. iii. 22. § 7).

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.


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