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13/05/2008

Aesculapium (Asclipieio)

Municipality of Argos


Under Construction

It is a temple of Aesculapius (Asclipios), religious centre for his worship and, at the same time, a cure centre, due to the characteristic of the God. All the curing abilities of the god, as we know them from information transmitted or revealed at Aesculapia were already mentioned in Pindaross poems: Aesculapius learned from Cheiron how to cure people, either by words causing miracles, or by medicines or by surgery.
At first at Aesculapia, the main cure method was katakoimisis (from koimoumai=to sleep), which was the patients lying in the temple, combined with a ritual of sacrifices and waiting for the god to visit the patients during their sleep in a dream. The god could indicate a treatment or cure the patient immediately during this visit. He often took the image of his beloved animals, like a snake or a dog.
The most important Aesculapium is the temple of Epidavros. But there were many other Aesculapia, about five hundred in the East basin of the Mediterranean (Kos, Athens, Messini, Argos, Pergamos, and Rome). Aesculapius was connected in Egypt to the similar god Sarapis or Serapis.




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