Medicine and Cult


Medicine and Cult


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Throughout antiquity patients sought relief and healing from their afflictions in the sanctuaries of Asclepius, the God of healing. The Asclepian healing cult included sacrifices, ablutions and incubation. In their dreams, the patients received therapeutic instructions.

But not only miraculous cures occurred in the Asclepieia, nor were these sacred sites the last refuge of the seriously ill. Using selected examples from the Roman Imperial Period, Florian Steger outlines the healthcare provided in the prominent Asclepian sanctuaries – Epidaurus and Pergamum in particular – and demonstrates that this healthcare was on a par with the contemporary medical culture. Ancient epigraphic healing reports and the patient journal of the celebrated orator Publius Aelius Aristides paint a vivid picture of the daily treatments. The medicine of Asclepius clearly formed an integral part of the Roman Empire's multifaceted healthcare market.

„… an affordable, accessible methodical discussion of the close correlation of religion and medicine in the Asclepian healing cults in the Roman Empire.“

Georgia Petridou, Journal of Hellenic Studies 2018

"Eine äußerst gelungene Einführung in den medizinischen Alltag der römischen Kaiserzeit und den Kult des Asklepios aus Sicht einer fundierten Medizingeschichte. Es sei jedem Historiker, Studierenden und Interessierten der antiken Medizin ans Herzen gelegt."

Franzsika Weise, Tyche 32, 2017

"Steger succeeds in every way in presenting a well-researched and at the same time approachable piece of work. Overall, 'Asklepios: Medizin und Kult' is an engaging as well as informative read and it will surely appeal to readers from both academic and non-academic backgrounds."

Michaela Senkova, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2017.02.35

"The chapters are clearly laid out and the work has obviously been carefully researched. Its arguments are underpinned by a strong research base, making this book a good introduction to the medical practices which were undertaken within the cult as well as providing information about the historical backgrounds of various cults, for example at Epidaurus, Cos, and Pergamum."

Ghislaine van der Ploeg, Arctos 50, 2016
ISBN 978-3-515-12201-6
Media type eBook - PDF
Edition number 1.
Copyright year 2018
Publisher Franz Steiner Verlag
Length 166 pages
Illustrations 20 b/w figs.
Language English
Copy protection digital watermark