The Cult of Asklepios

The Cult of Asklepios

BENJAMIN IDE WHEELER
CHARLES EDWIN BENNETT
GEORGE PRENTICE BRISTOL
ALFRED EMERSON
Volume: 3
Copyright Date: 1894
Published by: Cornell University Press
Pages: 144
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7591/j.cttq454j
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  • Book Info
    The Cult of Asklepios
    Book Description:

    Upon single features of the cult of Asklepios much has been written in German, in French, and in English; but no one has as yet attempted a general descriptive treatment of the cult as a whole. The aim of this work is to give in narrative form the results obtained by a careful comparison of material from the different localities, and also to show by means of indexes what material is used. The arrangement is topical and, so far as possible, chronological. At the end of the narrative are two indexes, one of allusions to Asklepios and his cult in Greek and Latin literature and inscriptions, and the second is a classification of the localities in which the cult is known or supposed to have existed. The aim has been to make them exhaustive so far as concerns the inscriptions and important authors. There is added an index of topics and names which refers both to the discussion and the main indexes.

    eISBN: 978-0-8014-6645-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. CHAPTER I. ASKLEPIOS AS KNOWN TO HOMER.
    (pp. 1-7)

    In Homer, Apollo and not Asklepios is the god of health, though only so far as to send or abate pestilences. The divine physician is Paian, the attendant of the gods, who heals Hades¹ and Ares.² In the Odyssey every physician is said to be of the race of Paian,³ which Arištarchus explains by saying that the physician’s art is from Apollo, but his descent from Paian. Hesiod makes a distinction between the two.4 Paian is occasionally mentioned later than Homer, but the name is used as an epithet of Apollo or of other deities who are connected with healing,...

  4. CHAPTER II. ASKLEPIOS AS AN EARTH SPIRIT.
    (pp. 8-35)

    The ritual and myths of Asklepios include many contradictory features, and a superficial consideration of the cult in its developed form shows a confusion out of which it seems difficult to select the original elements. In one locality Asklepios is worshipped with τράπεζα and ĸλίυη, and in another he is the god of light, Αίγλαήρ and ’Αγλαόπηʂ. Here he is the personification of healing in a water-cure establishment, there he is the patron god of a city. He has characteristics of almost all the gods, and to place him in any one of the categories of the deities of the...

  5. CHAPTER III. THE SANCTUARIES OF ASKLEPIOS.
    (pp. 36-46)

    The peculiar features of the Asklepieia had their origin in the fact that the temples served a double purpose. So far as they were places of worship, they differed little from the temples of other gods, for from the time when temples were erected to Asklepios he had lost to a large extent the characteristics of Chthonian gods, and only hints of the primitive status remained. His sanctuaries became health resorts, and as such were famous. Hence the most popular Asklepieion was that which was so contrived as to combine the advantages of a healthful location with the impressive administration...

  6. CHAPTER IV. ATTENDANTS OF THE TEMPLE.
    (pp. 47-56)

    The priest was responsible for the correct administration of the ritual. He was in charge of the buildings first of all, seeing each day that they were in order and ready for the services.¹ The decoration of the temple and other preparations for sacrifice were his duty.² In short, all the service of the day was in his care.³ He officiated at sacrifices, receiving and caring for the offerings of the suppliants.⁴ Of these gifts he kept a strict account and reported any loss or injury. Certain gifts have become old ;⁵ three drachmas have been lost.⁶ Some valuables the...

  7. CHAPTER V. MEDICAL PROCEDURE IN THE ASKLEPIEIA.
    (pp. 57-67)

    The relation of priests to physicians in the temple is a point in dispute which can be determined only by a study of the cult in different localities and at different times. This will show a variety of usage; where the emphasis was ritualistic, the physician was subordinate to the priest and even wanting in some instances, but if the treatment of suppliants was at all scientific, the priest left the suppliant at the door of the sleeping-room, and a physician took the charge. In some places the cult was a worship of the god Asklepios, while in others, the...

  8. CHAPTER VI. PUBLIC CEREMONIAL.
    (pp. 68-75)

    As the cult of Asklepios assumed greater proportions, it came more into the notice of the state as a whole, and like older and more important cults received the homage of the government. Nor is this unnatural, for the health of the community is a matter of general interest. The introduction of Asklepios into Rome was the result of state legislation on the occasion of a plague in that city. Expressions of public recognition of the cult come to hand more frequently in Athens than elsewhere, either because there the religion was under state control, or the evidence in other...

  9. CHAPTER VII. RITUAL OF THE INDIVIDUAL.
    (pp. 76-82)

    The fame and popularity of the Asklepios cult were due to its practical side. The same faith which even to this day impels hundreds to seek health at obscure wells said to have miraculous power, was more potent at the time when medical science was in its infancy and diseases were believed to be the work of a malignant demon. And this side of the cult continued long after the god Asklepios ceased to be. It is an accepted fact that many rites of the Christian church are adopted from the religious ceremonies of the people who in adopting the...

  10. EPITHETS OF ASKLEPIOS.
    (pp. 83-84)
  11. INDEX TO LITERATURE AND INSCRIPTIONS.
    (pp. 85-94)
  12. INDEX TO LOCALITY OF CULTS.
    (pp. 95-122)
  13. BIBLIOGRAPHY.
    (pp. 123-126)
  14. INDEX OF NAMES AND TOPICS.
    (pp. 127-136)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 137-137)