Ancients' feasts, games and rituals ASKLEPIEION OF EPIDAURUS (Ancient sanctuary) ARGOLIS - GTP - Greek Travel Pages

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Ancients' feasts, games and rituals (2)



Asclepiea. The Asclepiean games were conducted in Epidaurus in honor of the hero-doctor Asclepius, the son of Apollo, in the sanctuary dedicated to both father and son. The Asclepiea, already active since the beginning of the 5th century BC, took place every four years, nine days after the Isthmia and lasted from June to July. During the Roman years, the games were called Great Asclepiea in order to be distinguished from the Apolloneia, an annual celebration that took place during the same time. Naked races were performed during the games (stade, diaulos, hippios or four-stade race, hoplite race), jumping, discus-throwing, javelin, boxing, pankration and the equestrian contests, chariot races and finally music, singing and drama competitions. The first day began with a sacrifice to Asclepius and Apollo, which was followed by a banquet with the participation of the believers. The contests began the following day.

This text is cited June 2005 from the Foundation of the Hellenic World URL below, which contains images.

Asclepieia (asklepieia), the name of festivals which were probably celebrated in all places where temples of Asklepios (Aesculapius) existed. The most celebrated, however, was that of Epidaurus, which took place in the grove of Asklepios every fifth year, and was solemnised with contests of rhapsodists and musicians, and with solemn processions and games. The solemnity took place nine days after the Isthmian games (Schol. ad Pind. Nem. iii. 145; Paus. ii. 26,7). Asklepieia are also mentioned at Lampsacus (Bockh, Corp. Inscr. vol. ii. p. 1131), and at Athens (Aeschin. c. Ctesiph.67), which were probably, like those of Epidauros, solemnised with musical contests. They took place on the eighth day of the month of Elaphebolion.

This text is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited June 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

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