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Sanctuary of Asklepios at Athens

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Denitsa Dzhigova Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Jun 07, 2018 04:34 PM History
A major sanctuary complex located west of the Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus on the south slope of the Athenian acropolis.

37.9707798, 23.7264872

sanctuary (religious center), fountain, stoa, architectural complex


The south slope of the Acropolis between the theater of Dionysus and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus forms a terrace, which was accessible through the Peripatos from Dionysus theater only. This terrace is divided into three terraces, whose height level rises from the east to the west: The westernmost of which is not related to the Sanctuary of Asclepius. The numerous votive offerings and votive inscriptions of Asclepius and Hygeia guarantee the use of the area as a sanctuary of a healing god. The ionic hall on the north side of the central terrace has been interpreted by R. Martin and H. Metzger as Abaton. This building, used for the ritual of incubation, is essential for the establishment of an Asclepeion. The existence of the Abaton thus became the main argument of the thesis that the original foundation of Asclepius sanctuary took place on the central terrace. As the east terrace is seen as closed topographical unit other modern researchers represent more the thesis that the remains of all phases of the sanctuary are since its inception focused on the East Terrace.

The main sources about the sanctuary are the stele of Telemachos, the decree of Diokles and the around 350 BC. dated temple inventory that represents a t. a. q for the construction of the temple. The inscription of the stele speaks of a sanctuary with temples in the different stages of the construction. The text of the decree speaks of the original definition of the temenos by Telemachos. To this initial phase certainly belonged the sanctuary Peribolos, a Propylon, the source system, the Tholos and the Bothros on the northwest side of the east Terrace. The existence of an early temple is confirmed by the epigraphic and literary sources. The temple with an altar were very likely built with the foundation of the sanctuary at the end of the 5th century BC. and remodelled later in the 4th century BC. The remains of the ancient temple are found among the early Christian basilica that dominated the East terrace. Since the individual major structures such as the temple and the altar are still practically unpublished, research into the individual phases falls pretty hard.

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Denitsa Dzhigova, Jeffrey Becker, Tom Elliott, Brady Kiesling, and Gabriel Moss, 'Sanctuary of Asklepios at Athens: a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2018 <> [accessed: 03 October 2022]

            {{cite web |url= |title=Places: 954340915 (Sanctuary of Asklepios at Athens) |author=Dzhigova, D. |accessdate=October 3, 2022 2:05 am |publisher=Pleiades}}