To the west of the Dionysiac theatre and quite close to the cliff of the Acropolis lies the Asklepieion, the sanctuary of the healing god Asklepios dated to 420 BC. Functioning pretty much as hospitals, the asklepieia were of immense importance in ancient Greece, the most popular being the Asklepieion of Epidaurus. Besides the usual facilities for sheltering the pilgrims, the core structures of the Athenian complex were the temple of the god and the enkoimeterion (dormitory). That was a large two-storey stoa for the enkoimesis of the patients, a dream-like and rather hallucinatory state of sleep induction, practised in those shrines. While in hypnotic state, the patients waited to receive a dream vision of the god who would either give medical advice or even miraculously cure them. Votive offerings that came to light from the site often depict healed body parts. Characteristic examples are on display in the Acropolis Museum.
Art & culture
Organized archeological site
Asclepieium: Classical period, 480-323 BC
Executives & Departments
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