CLAS 203 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Asclepius, Acrisius, Goat Cheese

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4 Aug 2016
Class 8:
Asclepios (continued from last class)
Associated with snakes, medicine (superseded Apollo as the main god of medicine)
At first a hero, and then became viewed as a god
Through incubation to heal people
Incubation sanctuaries are places where people would go to sleep in order to be visited
by the god in their sleep. Idea that Asclepios would come and tell you what to do dur-
ing your headache or whatever you were suffering from
Offering the cake to Themis who would ensure the validity of the dream
Worshipper had to refrain from sexual intercourse, goat meat, goat cheese before going
into the incubation centre
Ex-votos offered to Asclepios as a token of gratitude for cures. Take the shape of the
part of the body that the person desired to be cured.
Hygieiapersonification of health and one of the daughters of Asclepios. Some-
times the ex-votos would be offered to her too
Popularity of him endured into the Roman period. Only with the rise of Christianity
that the cult of Asclepios slowly lost ground to that religion
In the 4th century, Constantine personally saw to the destruction of the famous temple
of Asclepios. But the practice of incubation was carried on until much later
Heroes are human beings with extraordinary strengths and abilities, surpassing ordinary
humans but not matching gods
Deeply rooted in the collective identity of Greek community
Theseus for Athens certain Polis had their own national hero
Perseus is connected to the city of Argos
Acrisius manages to become king of Argos. He is brothers to Proetus. An oracle pre-
dicts to Acrisius that he will be killed by the son of the daughter of Proetus.
Proetus has a daughter called Danae. Acrisius locks Danae in a room in his palace
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