UCLA SNF Hellenic Center Conference on the Sanctuary of Asclepius in Epidaurus, October 16 | culture & arts, culture



LOS ANGELES – The Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture at UCLA’s Stavros Niarchos Foundation continues its series of lectures on Greek archeology via Zoom with Vassilis Lambrinoudakis, professor emeritus of the University of Athens, presenting the sanctuary From Asclepius to Epidaurus, Saturday, Oct. 16, 10 a.m. Pacific / 1 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. Athens.

The unexpected discoveries during recent excavations in the sanctuary of Asclepius at Epidaurus have shed new light on the origins, cult and function of Asclepius, the main divine healer of the Greco-Roman world. An astonishing ground floor building with a peristyle and rock-cut basement has been excavated at Tholos, the famous classic circular building with meander-shaped underground passages. He defines the very controversial and mysterious function of the Tholos as a place of worship of Chthonian Asclepius, and explains its presence in Epidaurus in the 7th century BC. A small portico, found under the last Abaton, preceded the latter like a primitive dormitory. It provides evidence of healing by incubation already at the beginning of archaic times. An altar of ashes and accommodations for ritual meals around it explain the parallel magical cure through the consumption of sacred food from the start of worship. The new discoveries enrich our knowledge of the history of the sanctuary and of general medicine in Antiquity.

Her Excellency Alexandra Papadopoulou, Ambassador of Greece to the United States, will deliver introductory remarks.

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