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ings the purpose of which is not entirely clear, although they may have been for the accommodation of visitors and for protection in inclement weather, or for the priests, while some may have been used as dormitories. One of these, the Colonnade of Kotys, was restored by the Roman senator Antoninus. There were two gymnasiums within the hieron, and they probably occupied such buildings. In the interior angle of one of these quadrangular structures nine rows of semicircular seats were found, this space being supposed to have been an odeion, or music hall, or for witnessing athletic sports. Adjacent to the large abaton was a building containing baths and supposed to have covered the sacred spring, especially as during the excavations to the east of the abaton, a well was found 144 feet in depth. The library, dedicated to Apollo Maleates and Asklepios, which has never been definitely located, is assumed to have been in this structure. Near this was a building of late construction, the Roman baths; and at right angles to it was another colonnade, or stoa, before which was an open aqueduct with basins. Lastly, situated somewhat apart from the general group, there was a large quadrangular building, 270 feet square, with four quadrangles and many rooms, which is supposed to have been a hostelry or a home for the priests.

Stadium and theater.

Outside the hieron to the west was the stadium, 600 feet long, with fifteen rows of marble seats on the north and south ends, seating from twelve to fourteen thousand persons; and on the slopes of Mount Kynortion, southwest of the hieron, was the theater of Dionysos, constructed by Polykleitos the Younger in the fifth century B.C. It was described by Pausanias (II, xxvii, 5) as the next in size to that of Megalopolis (which was the largest

in Greece), and of the most beautiful proportions, these statements being confirmed by the ruins, which are still in an unusually good state of preservation. The acoustics were perfect, and it is said that today a voice from the stage, a little above a whisper, may be heard in all parts of the auditorium. This open-air theater consisted of a semicircle of seats, fifty-five rows in all, divided in two sections, an upper and a lower, with thirteen stairways in the lower, and twenty-six in the upper section. The seating capacity was about nine thousand. The chorus-space was circular, and the stage rose twelve feet above it, while the proscenium was richly decorated with sculptures. The seats were placed on the incline of the mountain, the top row being seventy-four feet above the orchestra, and gave a commanding view of the valley, the hieron, and the surrounding mountains. On the top of Mount Kynortion, overlooking the hieron, stood the temple of Apollo Maleates, from which point of vantage the supreme divine healer gave his sanction to the benevolent activities of his son Asklepios. In this temple was a fine statue of the god.

The grounds.

Aristeides and other writers testify to the general attractiveness of the hieron and the air of sanctity which pervaded it. The large grove was artistically arranged with walks and semicircular seats, or exedra, under the trees, and was adorned with statues of friendly deities and heroes, busts and monuments to famous physicians, and steles and tablets reciting cures effected and gifts from former patients. Special efforts were made to preserve an atmosphere of hope and cheerfulness and to remove, so far as possible, evidences of suffering and sorrow. Births and deaths desecrated the holy precinct, and those threatened with either were ejected from the

hieron, whence, in the second century A.D., Antoninus provided a building outside the peribolos for these unfortunates (Pausanias, II, xxvii, 6).

The present ruins.

The present ruins of this great sanctuary merely outline and suggest its former greatness. In 86 B.C. Sulla robbed it of its treasures, and shortly afterward it was pillaged by Cicilian pirates; in the second century A.D. it was reconstructed and regained a large measure of its former splendor; but toward the end of the fourth century, when paganism was suppressed, the worship of Asklepios was suspended. In A.D. 396 Epidauros was sacked by the Goths under Alaric I; the library was burned and the temples were destroyed, and the materials were utilized for the construction of Christian churches. The earthquake of A.D. 552 completed its ruin.

The Asklepieion at Athens.

In the hope of checking a pestilence that was raging, the Athenians invited Asklepios to their city about 420 B.C., and he was 'affiliated' with Amynos or Alkon, an earlier healing hero of Athens, and was first worshipped at his temenos on the west slope of the Akropolis, while another shrine was being made ready." An inscription (CIA ii, 1649) gives a lengthy account of bringing the god from the Peloponnesos and the establishment of the Asklepieion on the south slope of the Akropolis. Sophokles, a former priest of Amynos, was largely instrumental in bringing the god to Athens, and on his arrival entertained him at his house." Hygieia is said by some to have come from Epidauros with the deity, though others

79 A. Körte, "Bezirk eines Heilgottes," in MAIA, 1893, xviii, 237; 1896, xxi, 311.

80 Walton, op. cit., pp. 29-30; also Thrämer, in ERE vi, 655.

deny this, asserting that she joined the divinity some fifty years later. The Asklepieion was known as "the sanctuary of Asklepios in the city" to distinguish it from that located at Peiraieus (Frazer, op. cit., ii, 237). The general character of the hieron was essentially the same as that at Epidauros. There was a temple to Asklepios and Hygieia, and possibly an older one near by (CIA ii, 1, addenda, 489 b); a holy well was sunk in an excavation of the rock and connected with the abaton, and there was a fountain sacred to Asklepios and Hygieia, as well as temples and shrines of friendly deities, Themis, Isis and Sarapis, Demeter and Persephone, Herakles, Hypnos, Panakeia, and others.81

The Asklepieion at Kos.



The Asklepieion at Kos, "the cradle of later medical science in Europe," was on an island on the Dorian coast (Strabo, XIV, ii, 19 p. 657 C), two miles inland and about 320 feet above the level of the sea. The buildings were distributed on three terraces of the northern slope of the mountain, which afforded a commanding view of the rich fertile valley below. On the highest terrace was a rather large, peripteral temple to the god, on three sides of which was an extensive porticoed abaton; on the next were sanctuaries and shrines of other deities, the sacred spring, altars, and a stoa (apparently designed for an abaton); and on the lowest were the propylaia and porticoed buildings with many rooms, which, it has been assumed, were used for consultations and treatment. According to tradition, this Asklepieion was established by a commission of priests sent from Epidauros (Herodotos,

81 Girard, L'Asclépieion d'Athènes d'après de récentes découvertes, 1881, xxiii, 6.

82 S. Reinach, "Les fouilles de Cos," in RA, 4 sér., 1904, iii, 127-131.

vii, 99). The sanctuary was destroyed by an earthquake, believed to be of A.D. 554.8 83

The Asklepicion at Pergamon.

The Asklepieion at Pergamon was established in the third century B.C. by a delegation from Epidauros at an exceptionally attractive spot on the coast of Asia Minor. Tradition has it that the worship of Asklepios was introduced here by one Archias, who had been healed in Epidauria of a strained limb, injured while hunting on Pindasos (Pausanias, II, xxvi, 8), or, as it is asserted, of convulsions. During the Imperial period of Rome this sanctuary became exceedingly popular and rivalled, if it did not surpass, the Epidauros of that age.

Administration of the Asklepieia, the Hiereus.


Miss Walton gives a list of upward of three hundred Asklepieia in Greece and its dependencies, not including Magna Græcia, but of the great majority of these very little is known. The larger shrines were administered by chief priests or hierophants. The Hiereus, or chief priest, had general charge of the sanctuary. He directed the order of the day, conducted the rituals and sacrifices, supervised the work of the assistant priests and minor officials, and presided over the ceremonies of the festivals. Having control of the buildings and of the entire property of the hieron, he was responsible for all receipts, gifts, and contributions; and at the end of his term of office, usually one year, he made a full report to the Council or governing body, with an inventory of property for his successor. If the report was satisfactory, he received a vote of praise, and the decree was recorded; and

83 For a history of Kos, see Paton and Hicks, The Inscriptions of Cos, pp. ix, xlviii.

84 Op. cit., pp. 95 ff.

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