HIERON: Network for the Study of Greek Sanctuaries


2021 Spring Meeting – Asking about Asklepios

Asking about Asklepios: reconstructing the many faces of the healing god

Thursday, May 6

Asklepios was the healing god par excellence in the ancient Greek world. His sanctuaries are found all over Greece; varying in size and location in relation to the polis, they attracted diverse audiences, and in some instances, occupied a prominent role within the daily city life. When the Edelsteins published their extensive study on Asklepios in 1945, an age of academic interest in the cult(s) of Asklepios began. More than 75 years later, Asklepios continues to enthrall us. However, despite the longstanding academic interest and the many large volumes published, there still remain a lot of unanswered questions. Due to changing scholarly interests, new discoveries, revisitation of primary sources and theoretical advances in the field of ancient history, new interpretations of the god, his cult(s) and his sanctuaries can be made to this day. Our ongoing fascination with Asklepios can therefore be explained by the multifaceted nature of his cult(s) and sanctuaries, which in turn allows for many different ways to approach this topic.

The versatile nature of (the academic debate surrounding) Asklepios is also reflected in the upcoming HIERON Spring Meeting, Asking about Asklepios, on May 6th. With speakers from different universities throughout Europe in different stages of their careers but a shared interest in Asklepios, this workshop is set to evoke engaging discussions.


Programme (moderated by Judy Barringer, University of Edinburgh):

13:00-13:10    Introduction by Floris van den Eijnde (UU)

Religion and ritual

13:10-13:35    Saskia Peels (RUG), IC I 17.7: A Cult of Asclepius, the Nymphs and Acheloös

at Lebena (Crete)

13:35-14:00    Anne de Hoop (UUtr), Sacred and Secular Healing: The application of 

Hippocratic medicine in the cult of Asklepios (500 BCE – 200 CE)

14:00-14:20    Coffee break and Zoom-mingle in breakout rooms

People in/of the Asklepieia

14:20-14:45    Pim Schievink (RUG), Tracing multivocality in Hellenistic Asklepieia

14:45-15:10    Jean Vanden Broeck-Parant (UUtr), Building the temple of Asklepios at 

Epidauros: issues regarding the status of the contractors and the guarantors

15:10-15:30    Coffee break and Zoom-mingle in breakout rooms

Space and boundaries

15:30-15:55    Gunnel Ekroth (UpsU), On the right side of the fence. Demarcating and 

monitoring space at Epidauros

15:55-16:20    Christina Williamson (RUG), Deep-mapping the Asklepieion of Pergamon

16:20-17:00    Final thoughts, summing up and drinks