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What Dreams May Come. An Incubation Relief from the Asklepieion of Epidauros

Panagiotis Konstantinidis
p. 233-261

Résumés

Des fouilles effectuées en 2009 dans la cour de l’église Aghios Ioannis Theologhos (fin xie – début xiie siècle), sur le site de Palio Ligourio, ont mis au jour le premier relief représentant une incubation, et le rêve qui lui est associé, provenant de l’Asklépieion d’Épidaure (musée d’Épidaure inv. no. 1305). Le relief date du début du ive siècle avant notre ère et fut probablement importé d’Athènes. Il représente une scène de rêve. Asclépios et sa femme, Épionè, accompagnent leurs fils, Podalire et Machaon, en train de guérir un homme couché sur un stibas, ce qui n’est pas autrement attesté jusqu’ici dans le sanctuaire d’Épidaure.

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This research is co-financed by Greece and the European Union (European Social Fund – ESF) through the Operational Program “Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning” in the context of the project “Reinforcement of Postdoctoral Researchers — 2nd Cycle” (MIS-5033021), implemented by the Greek State Scholarships Foundation (ΙΚΥ). I wish to thank the Director of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolida, Dr. A. Papadimetriou, for the permission to study and publish the relief. I further wish to thank Associate Professor of Classical Archaeology NKUA, St. Katakis, and Professor of Classical Archaeology Emerita NKUA, Olga Palagia for reading the initial version of the text.

To die; — to sleep; —
To sleep! perchance to dream! ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.
Shakespeare,
Hamlet, Act III, Scene I, l. 64–68.

  • 1 For the church and the site of Palio Ligourio, see Vasileiou (2009), p. 301, n. 12; Vasileiou (20 (...)
  • 2 Giamalidis (1913) passim; Melfi (2007), inscriptions nos. 2, 31, 62, 97–98, 145, 156, 174, 218, 2 (...)

1In June 2009, excavations at the courtyard of the late eleventh-/early twelfth-century-CE church of Aghios Ioannis Theologhos (Fig. 1) at the site of Palio Ligourio produced an important find, the first incubation relief from the renowned healing sanctuary of Apollo Maleatas and Asklepios in Epidauros. The small church is located c. 4 km to the north of the sanctuary, in a narrow valley at the foot of Mount Arachnaion.1 Although no spolia were used in the chapel’s construction, a significant number of antiquities from the Asklepieion, including inscriptions, is commonly found in the surrounding area usually used as building material in small churches.2

  • 3 Vasileiou (2009), p. 301–303 (tomb 6); Piteros (2010), p. 425 (second half of the 4th cent.; all (...)
  • 4 Width 0,03m. For the framing cf. Comella (2002), figs. 43, 49, 80, 114.
  • 5 Cf. Comella (2002), p. 51–53, 201, no. Atene 135, figs. 37–39; Sineux (2007a), p. 25–26, fig. 5 ( (...)

2The relief Epidauros Museum inv. no. 1305 (Figs. 2–4) served as the covering slab of a late byzantine cist-grave, part of a small cemetery of overall twenty tombs surrounding the church.3 It was found broken into two fragments, now put back together. Its dimensions are: h. 0.49m, w. 0.755m, th. 0.07m. The type of marble—white, fine-grained with a brown patina—seems to be Pentelic. The relief, framed by a simple taenia,4 is broken at the upper right corner, and the lower part of the back surface. At the front, the lower left part (where the tenon for the insertion to a pillar base would have stood)5 and a small triangular part at the upper left edge are also missing. Minor chips (especially along the upper edge) and abrasions are attested all over the marble’s surface, along with traces of weathering. The figures’ faces and hair—especially on the right fragment—are almost completely worn away. Roughly picked at the back, while smoothed with the claw chisel all around.

  • 6 On the sakkos (and the sphendone), see Leventi (2003), p. 62, with n. 110–111.

3Five figures are depicted in low relief, four in the same scale, and one smaller in size, forming two groups in two levels. On the left (Fig. 3), two figures, a man and a woman are depicted facing each other. Both are in three-quarter view, their heads in profile. The woman wears an Argive peplos, her hair bundled in a sakkos (only its rounded contour survives, Fig. 5a).6 Her left hand is raised, bent at the elbow, holding on her left shoulder the edge of the short himation falling along her back (otherwise not discernible). The man is bare-chested, with short hair and full beard. A himation, forming an overfold, covers the lower part of his body and his back, enveloping his right shoulder, and probably arm, with the exception of the hand. The bulk of the fabric is tucked underneath his left armpit, supported on a staff (Fig. 6c). The latter’s presence underneath the himation is suggested by the arrangement of the pleating. As in the case of the woman, the lower part of the figure is not preserved, from approximately knee height, broken away diagonally.

4On the right (Fig. 4), there is a group of three figures. Two young male figures in the same scale are depicted looking downwards, towards a smaller male figure with short hair and full beard, reclining swathed in a himation on what seems to be a rocky outcrop. The first figure on the left is depicted in profile, enveloped in a himation, except for the right part of his chest. He has short curly hair and no beard. The young man on the right is depicted wearing a himation, leaving only his right shoulder bare. He leans on a staff, placed underneath his armpit and held by his right arm. His body is tilted in a three-quarter stance towards the right, his head in profile and his legs crossed. His left hand rests upon his hip. Like his counterpart, he sports short curly hair and no beard.

  • 7 Ikaria relief NAM 3076, c. 420: Kaltsas (2002), cat. no. 253. Xanthippos relief, London, British (...)
  • 8 The style lingers in Epidauros, as attested by the architectural sculpture of the temple of Askle (...)
  • 9 Boulter (1970), esp. pls. 1–2, 19–20; Prignitz (2014), p. 203–205 (cf. esp. pls. 57.1 and 61).
  • 10 Karousou (1967), p. 144, no. 1841, and Comella (2002), p. 200 no. Atene 119, fig. 32, date the re (...)

5As typically in Classical votive reliefs, the overall composition is economic in structure with scale-differences for the figures. The soft, “fluent” drapery of the garments is close to parallels of the late fifth-early fourth century. More specifically, the drapery of the peplos of the female figure on the left closely resembles that of Hygieia on the incubation relief from Piraeus 5 (c. 400; Figs. 5b, 7), while that on the three male figures on her right is close to the male suppliant on the same relief. In addition, the torsions of the pleating in certain areas (along the chest of the young figure on the right, on the himation of the reclining figure, and the tucking of the fabric underneath the armpit of the mature male figure on the left; Figs6c, 8b–c) closely resemble late fifth-century Attic relief sculpture, such as the votive relief from Ikaria NAM 3076 (Fig. 8a), and the grave stele of the shoe-maker Xanthippos, today in the British Museum (Fig. 6a–b).7 A similar date can be argued based on the manneristic rendering of the vertical folds of the himation of the two young male figures on the right, again reminiscent of the Rich Style of the late fifth century,8 as attested in the Erechtheion frieze (408–406),9 but also present on the incubation relief from Athens 9, usually dated to the beginning of the fourth century.10 From the above, a dating in the decade 400–390 seems the most suitable for the Epidauros relief.

  • 11 The god follows no specific iconographic type. Cf. the relief of unknown provenance, now in Rome (...)
  • 12 Cf. also 5, and NAM 1402 (originally from Athens, found in Loukou in the Peloponnese: Kaltsas (20 (...)
  • 13 Cases of secure identification: LIMC Epione 1–10; Leventi (2003), p. 47–48 (her overall conclusio (...)
  • 14 Lambrinoudakis (2018), p. 107–108, pl. 66.19–20.
  • 15 Leventi (see n. 13) argues for the identification of Epione only in seated female figures in scen (...)
  • 16 LIMC Asklepiadai, p. 863, Epione, p. 809; Droste (2001); Katakis (2002), p. 227–229; Leventi (200 (...)

6As typically in votive relief vocabulary, the four larger-in-scale figures must be identified as belonging to the supernatural sphere (gods, semi-gods or heroes), while the smaller figure is a mortal. The male figure on the left must be Asklepios, bearded, with his staff underneath his left armpit.11 The female figure is either Hygieia, Asklepios’ daughter, or Epione, Asklepios’ wife. The gesture of the raised left arm, held at shoulder height, can be interpreted as a more restrained variant of the anakalypsis gesture (simple touch of the edge of the himation on the left shoulder, with no covering of the head), and is repeated on the incubation relief 8, where the figure is commonly identified as Hygieia (wearing a sakkos, although a chiton and himation instead of a peplos; Fig. 11).12 On the other hand, Epione also typically wears the peplos, although her identification can often prove difficult.13 Although the peplos and the anakalypsis gesture are interchangeable between Epione and Hygieia, and therefore not a criterion for secure identification, in Epidauros an identification with Epione seems to be preferable, judging from the significance the deity enjoyed in the sanctuary probably since the late seventh/sixth century (contrary to Athens), as documented by the latest excavational finds (fourth-century inscribed sealing stone of the older first phase of the ground altar of the chthonian Asklepios and Epione).14 In this case, Epione is depicted here standing,15 following Athenian iconographic norms of Hygieia; after all, iconographic appropriation is common among deities of the Asklepian cult circle,16 while, as will be pointed out below, the relief must have been brought to Epidauros ready made from an Athenian workshop. The two opposing figures on the left are depicted as in a parallel closed scene—in relation to the incubation scene on the right—although their overall presence can be construed as presiding over the whole composition.

  • 17 Pausanias II, 11, 6; Stafford (2000), p. 153; contra Krantz (2010), p. 4–11.
  • 18 For the deity see Shapiro (1977), p. 125–126; Aleshire (1989), p. 11–12; Parker (1997), p. 175; S (...)
  • 19 LIMC Hygieia, p. 555; Leventi (2003), p. 111–119.
  • 20 Krantz (2010), p. 60. Contra Leventi (2003), where it is argued that the cult of Hygieia was impo (...)
  • 21 Melfi (2007), inscription nos. 105–106 (beginning of the 4th cent.); cf. also the hymn to Hygieia (...)
  • 22 Melfi (2007), inscription no. 243.
  • 23 Kolde (2003), p. 302–333.
  • 24 = Peek (1969), no. 9.

7At this point a few words should be said on a controversial issue, the emergence of the cult of Hygieia in Epidauros and its relation to Athens. It seems that the cult of Hygieia probably already existed in certain Peloponnesian cities (Titane/Sikyon) and Olympia in the sixth/fifth century17 and the same could be true for Epidauros. Nevertheless, the lack of any mention of an independent Hygieia in the sanctuary prior to the beginning of the fourth century indicates that her cult—if existing in this early date—was of minor importance, probably considered as just one of the daughters of Asklepios and Epione (the latter as already mentioned a principal deity, and the god’s chthonian alter ego as indicated by both their names [> ἤπιος]). When Asklepios’ cult was imported to Athens from Epidauros at the end of the fifth century, and probably owning to the influence of the already existing Attic Athena Hygieia,18 the Epidaurian Asklepiad became the independent Hygieia, the second most important deity after Asklepios in the Athens Asklepieion, as documented by inscriptions and votive reliefs.19 It seems that in Epidauros, after this development, and under Attic influence,20 from the beginning of the fourth century onwards, the importance of Hygieia gradually grew, from the presence of only two small altars21 to the culmination of the cult’s prominence in the third century (and onwards), sponsored by the Achaian League.22 The fact that these developments coincide with the transformation of Asklepios’ cult into an internationally exportable “cultural product”, signaled by a major building program (c. 400 onwards; contemporary to the incubation relief), cannot be without importance. The same holds true for the absence of any mention of her in iamata accounts or in any local mythological tradition of the cult.23 Similarly, she is not mentioned as an independent entity—as one would expect if already the primary companion of Asklepios—in the sacred law IG IV2 1, 40–41+43 (c. 400).24

  • 25 LIMC Asklepios, p. 863, Machaon, p. 777. In Epidauros their cult is already attested in the 5th c (...)
  • 26 LIMC Machaon, p. 778; Droste (2001), p. 69–111.
  • 27 Cf. also 4 (Amphiaraos); NAM 1402 (Asklepios; see n. 12).
  • 28 According to the traditional interpretation, the healing power of Asklepios is personified as you (...)

8Returning to the iconographic analysis, on the right (Fig. 4), the two youths, sporting the same dress and coiffure, are two Asklepiads, two members of Asklepios’ family, most likely Machaon and Podaleirios. Both are known through literature to be renowned healers,25 and are well documented to be present in votive reliefs (including incubation scenes: 9?), together or separately, in identical or similar iconography, along with their father.26 Due to their interchangeable iconography who’s who between the two brothers cannot be determined, but the figure on the right repeats the stance of Asklepios on the relief NAM 1402 in the so-called “Eleusis type” (Fig. 9).27 Although both figures look downwards towards the reclining mature incubant, only one of the brothers is actively engaged towards him. As in a manner of magically transferring the power of healing,28 he leans towards him, with his staff placed diagonally behind his head, in a continuous line.

  • 29 Incubation and dormitories: Von Ehrenheim (2015); Renberg (2016). For the dormitory in Epidauros (...)
  • 30 Preliminary blood [holokautesis] and bloodless sacrifice: Petropoulou (1991); Melfi (2007), p. 28 (...)
  • 31 Iamata A14?, A17?, B3 (Troezen Asklepion); IG IV2 1, 125, l. 7 (c. 200) = Girone (1998), no. II.3 (...)
  • 32 Iamata A17, B19, B22, C1, C15. Sacred animals not mentioned in the context of dream narration: (a (...)
  • 33 Ιamata B15, C22.
  • 34 Iama B1; Von Ehrenheim (2015), p. 96; Renberg (2016), p. 615. For the controversial issue of scie (...)
  • 35 Iamata C5, C21. Cf. also IG IV2 1, 126 (c. 160 CE) = Girone (1998), no. II.4 = Prêtre — Charlier (...)
  • 36 Iamata (Lidonnici [1992]; Girone [1998], cat. nos. II.1–5; Renberg [2016], p. 168–182; Prêtre [20 (...)

9Typically, incubation scenes are illustrations of patients’ dreams (ὄψεις/ἐνύπνια), during the ritual sleep (ἐγκοίμησις) inside special-purpose buildings (dormitories – ἐγκοιμητήρια) in healing sanctuaries.29 The patient, after following a procedure with several ritual steps (including purification using water from the god’s sacred well and preliminary offerings),30 after sunset, came to enter the building of ritual sleep. As attested in Epidauros, during the latter he would dream of Asklepios, members of his family,31 or even a sacred animal, a snake,32 coming to his aid. Sometimes the patient dreamt of the god merely giving him instructions to be followed,33 and even cases of incubation by proxy are attested.34 The next day, the patient could wake up miraculously healed, and so paid a fee to the sanctuary (iatra), and later dedicated an offering to the god. In some cases, the patient remained in the sanctuary to follow an indicated further treatment, followed by a second incubation.35 All cases were documented on small wooden tablets (iamata), the archive of which probably helped the cult personnel to gradually build a corpus of practical healing knowledge. Beginning from the fourth century, the most “spectacular” healing incidents, perceived as miracles of the god, were commemorated on limestone stelai, erected in the area of the enkoimeterion.36

  • 37 See also n. 68.
  • 38 Comella (2002), p. 210–211. For a small number of additional fragments see Konstantinidis forthco (...)
  • 39 Lidonnici (1992), p. 41–42, 43 n. 15, 44–45, 50–52, 60–61; Van Straten (1995), p. 58–59, 63; Come (...)

10The tradition of illustrating on a marble votive relief what occurred during the patients’ sleeping state (incubation) seems to be purely Attic, since up to now only twenty securely identifiable examples of such scenes survive, all from Attica and neighboring Oropos, in Pentelic marble (Appendix).37 On the contrary, in Epidauros, votive reliefs are surprisingly rare. Only seven imported Attic examples dated to the late fifth/fourth century survive,38 indicating local predilections for perishable wooden votive tablets over marble reliefs.39

  • 40 See also n. 32.
  • 41 Pollitt (1986), p. 200ff.
  • 42 Cf. also the relief NAM 1426 (Kaltsas [2002], cat. no. 478; Despinis [2013], p. 101).
  • 43 Cf. iama A17. See also Despinis (2013), p. 78–79 with n. 262.
  • 44 See also n. 5.

11Incubation reliefs fall into two main groups: (a) those depicting a process of divine intervention, implied by the presence of the deity inside the dormitory and/or the χειρῷν ἐπίθεσις motif: 3, 5, 6?, 7?, 8?, 12, 15?, 16?, 17?, 18–20, and (b) those that probably depict or refer to an actual medical act illustrated as (1) performed by proxy (the sanctuary’s personnel overseen by the deity): 4, 9–11, 13?, or (2) performed by the deity itself and the snake: 1, 17?40 In the same scene, two or three separate but subsequent episodes can be illustrated, taking place both in reality and the supernatural sphere. The Archinos relief from Oropos (1; Fig. 10) is an eloquent example. The scene—in a rare anticipation of Hellenistic continuous narrative41—is composed by three consecutive “episodes”. Archinos is shown on the right before incubation praying as a suppliant of Amphiaraos (reality), at the center lying on a bed inside the dormitory (incubation/reality) dreaming of being licked by the sacred snake (dream/supernatural sphere), and on the right being treated by Amphiaraos performing surgery with the scalpel42 on his shoulder (parallel reality/supernatural sphere).43 The pair of eyes on the epistyle is both a symbol of divine epiphany during incubation (ὂψις) and apotropaic in nature. Lastly, the incubant’s promised dedication, the relief itself, set up after successful incubation, is depicted behind the bed (reality).44

  • 45 See n. 31.
  • 46 Sineux (2007a), p. 18; see also Von Ehrenheim (2015), p. 126, 129.
  • 47 For vows and prayers see Von Ehrenheim (2015), p. 73–74. In 15 a female suppliant is depicted kne (...)

12More specifically, in Attic incubation reliefs Asklepios (or Amphiaraos) is depicted: (a) touching the patient’s body (χειρῶν ἐπίθεσις motif as a reference to divine intervention, 5, 7?, 8?, 12, 15, 17?), (b) leaning above the incubant’s bed (6?, 8, 20), (c) visiting the dormitory (18–19), (d) performing a medical act (1), or (e) presiding over such an act, performed by members of the sanctuary’s medical or nursing personnel (moving patients, sitting in front of their beds etc.; 4, 6?, 10–11). In one case, Asklepios is replaced by an Asklepiad (or other minor healing deity, 4, 9).45 Hygieia is the typical companion of Asklepios/Amphiaraos (often in the anakalypsis motif; 2?, 5–6?, 8, 10, 19?), while the incubant/dedicant of the relief, alone or together with his family46 is typically depicted in smaller scale with his raised hand, praying (1, 5–6, 8–9, 12, 17–18).47

13In the Epidauros scene, we have a purely oneiric illustration of magical healing, as expected in a conservative sanctuary where, even if practical/rational medicine existed, was not emphasized. Both groups of figures are placed in the intersection between human and divine spheres, with Machaon or Podaleirios healing the incubant, while, probably Epione (in the guise of Attic Hygieia), and Asklepios preside over the whole scene.

  • 48 In the case of 12 and 14 the kind of the bed cannot be discerned. In 2, two incubants lie on the (...)
  • 49 See n. 30. In Epidauros no source documents incubation on animal skins, and no animal skin is dep (...)
  • 50 Wool (κνέφαλλα) or soft plants (γναφάλια) was commonly the filling of pillows and mattresses (Sta (...)
  • 51 Contrary to other healing sanctuaries (Von Ehrenheim [2015], p. 75–79; Renberg [2016], p. 259), m (...)
  • 52 For secrecy and seclusion during incubation see Lidonnici (1992), p. 19; Riethmüller (2005), vol. (...)
  • 53 See also Dillon (1994), n. 50 for a comparable case in Eleusis.
  • 54 See n. 52.
  • 55 Despinis (2013), p. 127.
  • 56 In Epidauros, incubation outdoors should probably only be considered at the first stages of the d (...)

14As the surviving Attic reliefs demonstrate, incubants typically lie or recline on simple wooden beds (1, 4, 10, 13, 15) or benches (2–3, 5–6, 9?, 11, 17),48 sometimes arranged in rows (4), occasionally with mattresses (13), covered by fabric (1, 6, 9–11, 15) or the skins of animals sacrificed during the prothysis (2–5),49 or sometimes by both (2, 13–14). Fluffy pillows are often an indispensable accoutrement (1–6, 9, 11–17).50 Patients are occasionally fully wrapped-up in their himations (2, 10, 14),51 but always placed inside the enkoimeterion, never in the open. Incubation in its full development was a ritual which had to take place in a supervised context (all the more if it involved practical medicine);52 in Epidauros, iama Α11 documents the secrecy of incubation, when a pilgrim, climbed into a tree in his attempt to see what took place inside the dormitory during incubation, injured himself landing on some stakes, a sign of divine punishment.53 Afterall, the word itself, ἐνκοιματήριον, literally means “sleeping inside54 and, furthermore, no one would expect the sick being treated or left to sleep out in the cold or in the rain during winter, or in the intense heat during summer.55 Thus, the possibility of the present scene taking place outdoors seems unlikely.56

  • 57 Kritzas — Mavrommatidis (1987), p. 15–20 (I. Mavrommatidis); Epidauros 1999, p. 28–33 (I. Mavromm (...)
  • 58 The “deposit slips” (graffiti on potsherds), found during the excavations of the foundation fill (...)

15Archaeological research has identified different functions for different spaces at the fourth-century incubation stoa.57 The latter was built in two phases. The eastern part is older (c. 375), having only a ground floor, while the western two-storey wing is later (late fourth century), built at a lower level, so that its storey is an extension of the older east wing. The south part of the east wing and the storey of the west wing have been tentatively identified as spaces for patient accommodation, while the northern (back) space of the east wing, and perhaps the ground floor of the west wing, as incubation areas.58

  • 59 For a different identification of Pausanias’ “Bath of Asklepios” see Melfi (2007), p. 102–106, 14 (...)
  • 60 The 5th-century stoa (in use until c. 375) replaced an older one (second half of the 6th cent.): (...)
  • 61 Pistacia lentiscus is a very common plant all over Greece (for its medicinal properties see Krug (...)
  • 62 Riethmüller (2005), vol. Ι, p. 384; Von Ehrenheim (2015), p. 86–88, 94; Renberg (2016), p. 258–25 (...)
  • 63 Habicht — Wörrle, no. 161, l. 15; Graf (1992), p. 189 and n. 156; Renberg (2016), p. 194–195.
  • 64 Architecturally monumentalized in the 4th-century Tholos, just opposite the dormitory, and its pr (...)

16Function separated space seems to already have existed at the enkoimeterion’s predecessor, the fifth-century stoa next to the sacred well, where the incubation scene takes place. The building had toilets attached to its west side and a kitchen space, and together with the adjacent sacred well and bath (earlier phase of Pausanias’ “Bath of Asklepios”),59 formed a complex, obviously, aiming to facilitate patient accommodation.60 Oddly enough, the incubant on the Epidauros relief is not depicted, as expected, on a bench or a bed, but close to the ground, reclining on a heap with irregular contours, reminiscent of a boulder or rocky outcrop. But no boulder or rocky outcrop has been found among the remains of the fifth-century incubation stoa, or inside the monumental fourth-century enkoimeterion. The heap must probably be identified as a stibas, i.e. a bed of straw, leaves or schinus branches,61 spread on a rocky outcrop or on some rough, low temporary infrastructure (bench). Stibades were common bedding material across Asklepieia.62 Along with the Pergamon lex sacra (daughter sanctuary of Epidauros),63 Aristophanes tells us this is the form of bed used in Wealth’s incubation (Ploutos, 540–541: πρὸς δέ γε τούτοις ἀνθ᾽ ἱματίου μὲν ἔχειν ῥάκος· ἀντὶ δὲ κλίνης στιβάδα σχοίνων κόρεων μεστήν, ἣ τοὺς εὕδοντας ἐγείρει). Stibades on other incubation reliefs are also depicted as rocky outcrops (8; Fig. 11), or as a low bench with irregular contours (20; Fig. 12), with the incubant reclining against them. On a symbolic level, the use of the stibas (low bedding directly on the ground or close to the ground) is well-suited to Asklepios’ theology; it enhances the intensity of the patients’ experience on a psychological level, lying in direct contact with the chthonian source of life, Asklepios’ subterranean dwelling.64

  • 65 C. 400–250: Melfi (2007), p. 31–63; Prignitz (2014), p. 184–249. See also n. 8.
  • 66 All surviving reliefs date to the period c. 400–330.
  • 67 Although standard Attic incubation vocabulary is used (e.g. in the case of Epione in the guise of (...)

17To sum up, the votive relief inv. no. 1305, although probably imported, is the first known example illustrating the ritual of incubation in the famous ancient healing center of Epidauros. It belongs to the first quarter of the fourth century (probably around the decade 400–390), contemporary to the beginning of the sanctuary’s monumental renovating building program.65 Marble, iconography, style, dating66 and the tradition of incubation reliefs in general, point to an Athenian workshop and probably an Athenian dedicant.67 The scene, as expected in the case of Epidauros, does not allude to practical or scientific medicine, but is set purely in the supernatural sphere of dream. Asklepios and his wife preside over their sons, conveying the power of healing to an ailing man, reclining on a stibas, hitherto otherwise not documented in Epidauros. The relief is the eloquent proof of his miraculous cure.

Abbreviations

Epidauros 1999

Το Ασκληπιείο της Επιδαύρου. Η έδρα του θεού γιατρού της αρχαιότητας. Η συντήρηση των μνημείων του, Περιφέρεια Πελοποννήσου — ΟΕΣΜΕ 1999.

NAM

National Archaeological Museum, Athens.

NKUA

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

Fig. 1. The church of Aghios Ioannis Theologos in Palio Ligourio.

Photo: author © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports — Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolida.

Fig. 2. Incubation relief, Epidauros Museum inv. no. 1305.

Photo: St. Katakis © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports — Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolida.

Fig. 3. Incubation relief, Epidauros Museum inv. no. 1305, left fragment.

Photo: author © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports — Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolida.

Fig. 4. Incubation relief, Epidauros Museum inv. no. 1305, right fragment.

Photo: St. Katakis © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports — Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolida.

Fig. 5(a). Epione from the Epidauros relief inv. no. 1305. (b). Hygieia from the incubation relief Piraeus Museum inv. no. 405.

(a) Photo: author © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports — Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolida. (b) Photo: author © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports — Archaeological Museum of Piraeus.

Fig. 6(a). Grave stele of Xanthippos, London, British Museum, inv. 1805,0703.183. (b). Detail of the Xanthippos relief. (c). Asklepios from the Epidauros relief inv. no. 1305, detail.

(a) Photo: author © The Trustees of the British Museum). (b) Photo: author © The Trustees of the British Museum. (c) Photo: author © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports — Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolida.

Fig. 7. Incubation relief, Piraeus Museum inv. no. 405.

Photo: author © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports — Archaeological Museum of Piraeus.

Fig. 8(a). Votive relief from Ikaria (Attica), NAM 3076. (b–c). Incubation relief Epidauros Museum inv. no. 1305, details. (b–c) Photo: author © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports — Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolida.

Fig. 9(a). Machaon or Podaleirios from the Epidauros relief inv. no. 1305. (b). Asklepios from the votive relief from Loukou NAM 1402.

(a) Photo: author © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports — Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolida. (b) Photo: Wikimedia commons © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports.

Fig. 10. Incubation relief from Oropos, the dedication of Archinos, NAM 3369.

Photo: E. Miari/NAM © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports.

Fig. 11(a). Incubation relief NAM 1340 (8). (b). Incubation relief NAM 1340 (8), detail of the stibas.

(a) Photo: NAM © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports. (b) Photo: NAM © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports.

Fig. 12. Incubation relief Library of Hadrian storeroom, inv. no. ΡΑ 282.

After Despinis [2013], fig. 53 © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports.

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Annexe

Appendix. Incubation reliefs catalogue68

Sanctuary of Amphiaraos in Oropos69

1. NAM 3369, c. 380. Dedication of Archinos; Fig. 10.

LIMC Amphiaraos 63 = Asklepios 111; Comella (2002), p. 132–133, 216, no. Oropos 5, fig. 134; Kaltsas (2002), cat. no. 425; Sineux (2007), p. 203–206; Sineux (2007a), p. 19–21; Despinis (2013), p. 78–79 with n. 261; Stampolidis — Tasoulas (2014), p. 190–193, cat. no. 70 (M. Salta); Renberg (2016), p. 272–274, 650, cat. no. Amph. Orop. 1, fig. 53.

2. 1st Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities, without inv. no., c. 375–350.

Despinis (2013), p. 96–97; Renberg (2016), p. 651–652, cat. no. Amph. Orop. 3, fig. 55.

3. Kalamos (Oropos), Amphiaraeion Museum, without inv. no., beginning of the 4th century.

LIMC Asklepios 111; Petropoulou (1985), p. 170, 173, no. 1, pl. 1; Comella (2002), p. 216 no. Oropos 2; Sineux (2007), p. 206–207, fig. 16; Sineux (2007a), p. 24–26, fig. 4; Sineux (2007b), p. 55, fig. 2; Renberg (2016), p. 651, cat. no. Amph. Orop. 2, fig. 54.

Sanctuary of Amphiaraos in Rhamnous70

4. NAM 1397+3141, beginning of the 4th century.

LIMC Amphiaraos 61; Comella (2002), p. 137, 220 no. Ramnunte 4, fig. 139; Despinis (2013), p. 96, 141–144, fig. 88; Stampolidis — Tasoulas (2014), p. 189–190, cat. no. 69 (E. Vlachogianni); Renberg (2016), p. 652–653, cat. no. Amph. Rhamn. 1, fig. 56.

Piraeus Asklepieion71

5. Piraeus, Archaeological Museum, inv. no. 405, c. 400; Fig. 7.

LIMC Asklepios 105, Hygieia 138; Comella (2002), p. 73, 219 no. Pireo 7, fig. 65; Despinis (2013), p. 82 with n. 270, 96; Stampolidis — Tasoulas (2014), p. 181–182, cat. no. 63 (St. Chryssoulaki); Renberg (2016), p. 635–636, cat. no. Ask. Peir. 1, fig. 29.

6. Once walled in a private house in Piraeus, c. 375–350 (?).

Van Straten (1995), p. 282, cat. no. R30, fig. 68; Von Eickstedt (2001), p. 35, fig. 19; Comella (2002), p. 220 no. Pireo 30; Renberg (2016), p. 636, cat. no. Ask. Peir. 2, figs. 30–31.

Athens Asklepieion72

7. NAM 1008, end of the 5th century.

Despinis (2013), p. 95–96, fig. 55; Renberg (2016), p. 643–644, cat. no. Ask. Ath. 8, fig. 41.

8. NAM 1340, c. 410; Fig. 11.

Comella (2002), p. 197 no. Atene 85; Leventi (2003), p. 57, 79, 122, 130, cat. no. R5, pl. 10 (eschara); Despinis (2013), p. 81–84 § 4.8, fig. 42; Renberg (2016), p. 644, cat. no. Ask. Ath. 9, fig. 42.

9. NAM 1841, beginning of the 4th century.73

LIMC Asklepios 54; Comella (2002), p. 200 no. Atene 119, fig. 32; Despinis (2013), p. 90–91, no. 10, fig. 50; Renberg (2016), p. 644–646, cat. no. Ask. Ath. 10, fig. 43.

10. NAM 2373+Storeroom 103, c. 400–375.

LIMC Asklepios 106, Hygieia 139; Comella (2002), p. 200 no. Atene 122, fig. 33; Kaltsas (2002), p. 142, cat. no. 274; Despinis (2013), p. 94–95, fig. 54; Renberg (2016), p. 637, 639, cat. no. Ask. Ath. 2, fig. 33.

11. NAM 2441, c. 375–350.

Comella (2002), p. 201 no. Atene 130, fig. 97; Despinis (2013), p. 85–86, no. 3, fig. 43; Stampolidis — Tasoulas (2014), p. 184–185, cat. no. 65 (Chr. Tsouli); Renberg (2016), p. 639, cat. no. Ask. Ath. 3, figs. 34–35.

12. NAM 2462+2472, c. 375–350.

LIMC Asklepios 109; Comella (2002), p. 201 no. Atene 134; Despinis (2013), p. 77–79, fig. 41; Renberg (2016), p. 640, cat. no. Ask. Ath. 4, figs. 36–37.

13. NAM 2488, c. 375–350.

LIMC Asklepios 110; Comella (2002), p. 201 no. Atene 136; Despinis (2013), p. 86–87, no. 4, fig. 44; Stampolidis — Tasoulas (2014), p. 186–187, cat. no. 66 (G. Despinis); Renberg (2016), p. 647, cat. no. Ask. Ath. 5, fig. 38.

14. NAM 2505, c. 375–350.

LIMC Asklepios 112; Comella (2002), p. 201 no. Atene 139; Despinis (2013), p. 87–88, no. 5, fig. 45; Renberg (2016), p. 641–642, cat. no. Ask. Ath. 6, fig. 39.

15. NAM 3325, c. 330.

LIMC Asklepios 108; Comella (2002), p. 202 no. Atene 144; Despinis (2013), p. 88–89, no. 6, fig. 46; Renberg (2016), p. 648, cat. no. Ask. Ath. 14, fig. 49.

16. ΝΑΜ 5045 (side b), c. 400–375.

Despinis (2013), p. 96, 170–171, fig. 124; Renberg (2016), p. 648–649, cat. no. Ask. Ath. 15, fig. 50.

17. Kassel, Staatliche Museen, Kunstsammlungen inv. no. Sk 44, c. 375.

Comella (2002), p. 203 no. Atene 164, fig. 96; Despinis (2013), p. 89, no. 7, fig. 47; Renberg (2016), p. 637, cat. no. Ask. Ath. 1, fig. 32.

18. Acropolis Museum inv. no. 2452 (side b), c. 350.

LIMC Asklepios 113; Despinis (2013), p. 89–90, no. 9, fig. 49; Renberg (2016), p. 649, cat. no. Ask. Ath. 16, fig. 51.

19. Acropolis Museum inv. no. 3005, c. 375–350.

Despinis (2013), p. 89, no. 8, fig. 48; Renberg (2016), p. 649–650, cat. no. Ask. Ath. 17, fig. 52.

20. Library of Hadrian storeroom, inv. no. ΡΑ 282, c. 400–375; Fig. 12.

Despinis (2013), p. 93–94, fig. 53; Renberg (2016), p. 642–643, cat. no. Ask. Ath. 7, fig. 40.

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Notes

1 For the church and the site of Palio Ligourio, see Vasileiou (2009), p. 301, n. 12; Vasileiou (2021), 32 with n. 70, fig. 8.

2 Giamalidis (1913) passim; Melfi (2007), inscriptions nos. 2, 31, 62, 97–98, 145, 156, 174, 218, 238, 241, 247, 290, 372, 402, 436A, 437, 442, 475, 485, 489, 574, 602, 633–634; Piteros (2010), p. 426–427, fig. 112; KritzasPrignitz (2020), p. 1 with n. 3. The neighboring village of Ligourio is usually identified as the site of the ancient settlement of Λήσσα, mentioned by Pausanias (ΙΙ, 25, 10; see also Papachatzis [1976], p. 197 with n. 1).

3 Vasileiou (2009), p. 301–303 (tomb 6); Piteros (2010), p. 425 (second half of the 4th cent.; all dates are BCE unless otherwise stated).

4 Width 0,03m. For the framing cf. Comella (2002), figs. 43, 49, 80, 114.

5 Cf. Comella (2002), p. 51–53, 201, no. Atene 135, figs. 37–39; Sineux (2007a), p. 25–26, fig. 5 (Telemachos relief; an incubation relief on a pillar base is depicted on side b); Despinis (2013), figs. 30, 36, 42, 53, 105. A votive relief on a pillar base is also depicted on the Archinos relief (1 [all numbers in bold refer to the Appendix catalogue]; Fig. 10).

6 On the sakkos (and the sphendone), see Leventi (2003), p. 62, with n. 110–111.

7 Ikaria relief NAM 3076, c. 420: Kaltsas (2002), cat. no. 253. Xanthippos relief, London, British Museum, inv. 1805,0703.183, c. 400: Dohrn (1957), p. 141–142, no. 51, pl. 27b (first quarter of the 4th cent.); Clairmont (1993), no. 1.630 (late 5th cent.).

8 The style lingers in Epidauros, as attested by the architectural sculpture of the temple of Asklepios (c. 400–390: Kaltsas [2002], cat. nos. 338–352; Prignitz [2014], p. 184–202 [contracted primarily to Attic workshops, perhaps those who had worked on the Erechtheion [see n. 9], as inferred from the style and the fact that payments to sculptors were calculated in Attic drachmae, whereas Aigenetean drachmae were otherwise used for the other parts of the construction]).

9 Boulter (1970), esp. pls. 1–2, 19–20; Prignitz (2014), p. 203–205 (cf. esp. pls. 57.1 and 61).

10 Karousou (1967), p. 144, no. 1841, and Comella (2002), p. 200 no. Atene 119, fig. 32, date the relief to the end of the 5th cent.

11 The god follows no specific iconographic type. Cf. the relief of unknown provenance, now in Rome LIMC Asklepios 73 (c. 300?; Asklepios seated, fully covered right arm, except for the hand, fully uncovered left arm, staff on the left).

12 Cf. also 5, and NAM 1402 (originally from Athens, found in Loukou in the Peloponnese: Kaltsas (2002), cat. no. 428, c. 360). The anakalypsis gesture (Leventi [2003], p. 67–69) is also present in the Attic reliefs from Epidauros NAM 1392 (Kaltsas 2002, cat. no. 270, early 4th cent.), and Van Straten (1995), cat. no. R33 (4th cent.).

13 Cases of secure identification: LIMC Epione 1–10; Leventi (2003), p. 47–48 (her overall conclusion that Epione emerged in art after c. 340–330, coinciding with the full development of the “Asklepian cult circle” in Attic votive reliefs, seems to be true only for Athens). In Epidauros, as recently documented (see n. 14), the cult of Epione has a much earlier history, and her rare depiction in art must be due to local predilections for perishable wooden votive tablets (see n. 39).

14 Lambrinoudakis (2018), p. 107–108, pl. 66.19–20.

15 Leventi (see n. 13) argues for the identification of Epione only in seated female figures in scenes with the simultaneous presence of Asklepios’ extended family.

16 LIMC Asklepiadai, p. 863, Epione, p. 809; Droste (2001); Katakis (2002), p. 227–229; Leventi (2003), p. 53–54; Jouanna — Lambrinoudakis (2011), p. 233–235 (J. Jouanna). The same is true for the minor Attic healing deity of Amphiaraos (cf. e.g. 1, 3–4, 9?; LIMC Amphiaraos, Asklepios 111), and the obscure hero deity of Deloptes (LIMC Asklepios 211 = Deloptes 2; Lawton [1995], cat. no. 47).

17 Pausanias II, 11, 6; Stafford (2000), p. 153; contra Krantz (2010), p. 4–11.

18 For the deity see Shapiro (1977), p. 125–126; Aleshire (1989), p. 11–12; Parker (1997), p. 175; Stafford (2000), p. 151–153; Kranz (2010), p. 12–15; Meyer (2017), p. 28–30.

19 LIMC Hygieia, p. 555; Leventi (2003), p. 111–119.

20 Krantz (2010), p. 60. Contra Leventi (2003), where it is argued that the cult of Hygieia was imported to Attica from Epidauros already fully developed and closely related to Asklepios, and not deriving from the local cult of Athena Hygieia (for a critical review of her conclusions see Kranz [2010]). On the issue see also LIMC Hygieia, p. 554–555; Clinton (1994), p. 24, n. 22; Stafford (2000), p. 147–171; Melfi (2007), p. 48–49; Kranz (2010); Jouanna — Lambrinoudakis (2011), p. 217–220 (J. Jouanna).

21 Melfi (2007), inscription nos. 105–106 (beginning of the 4th cent.); cf. also the hymn to Hygieia, tentatively dated to c. 400 (IG IV2 1, 132 = Wagman [1995], p. 159–172).

22 Melfi (2007), inscription no. 243.

23 Kolde (2003), p. 302–333.

24 = Peek (1969), no. 9.

25 LIMC Asklepios, p. 863, Machaon, p. 777. In Epidauros their cult is already attested in the 5th cent. (Machaon: altar IG IV2 1, 152, c. 500–450. Podaleirios: altar tentatively related with the prothysis [see n. 30]; Peek [1972], no. 28, 5th/4th cent.).

26 LIMC Machaon, p. 778; Droste (2001), p. 69–111.

27 Cf. also 4 (Amphiaraos); NAM 1402 (Asklepios; see n. 12).

28 According to the traditional interpretation, the healing power of Asklepios is personified as young women riding horses (Aurai; i.e. Breeze) serving as the acroteria of the west pediment of the temple of Asklepios, c. 400–390 (LIMC Aurai 16a–b; Yalouris [1992], p. 31–33, nos. 26–27, pls. 27–31; Kaltsas [2002], cat. nos. 344–345). They are alternatively identified as Nereides (LIMC Nereides 484; Mostratos [2013], p. 319–324). Nikai (“Victories” over illness or death), sometimes holding partridges (symbols of Asklepios’ healing capacity; see Yalouris [1992], p. 31, no. 25; Mostratos [2013], p. 302–303; Lambrinoudakis [2020], p. 149, 154–155) also served as the temple’s acroteria (Kaltsas [2002], cat. nos. 340–341, 352; Lambrinoudakis [2020], p. 155–156).

29 Incubation and dormitories: Von Ehrenheim (2015); Renberg (2016). For the dormitory in Epidauros see n. 56–57. Hypnos (the personification of sleep) was worshipped in Epidauros as one of the Theoi Epidotai in a separate shrine whose first architectural phase is dated to the late 4th/early 3rd cent. (Katakis [2002], p. 304–305; Lembidaki [2003], p. 68–145).

30 Preliminary blood [holokautesis] and bloodless sacrifice: Petropoulou (1991); Melfi (2007), p. 28–30, 37–38, 40, 44, 49, 495–496, 498; Renberg (2016), p. 254–255. See also n. 51.

31 Iamata A14?, A17?, B3 (Troezen Asklepion); IG IV2 1, 125, l. 7 (c. 200) = Girone (1998), no. II.3. The enumeration of 4th-century iamata follows Lidonnici (1992). See also n. 36.

32 Iamata A17, B19, B22, C1, C15. Sacred animals not mentioned in the context of dream narration: (a) dogs: iamata A20, B6; see also 2; Von Ehrenheim (2015), p. 58–59, 184, (b) geese: iama B23, (c) snakes: iama B13.

33 Ιamata B15, C22.

34 Iama B1; Von Ehrenheim (2015), p. 96; Renberg (2016), p. 615. For the controversial issue of scientific medicine during incubation see Renberg (2016), p. 226–229, esp. n. 280; Lambrinoudakis (2019).

35 Iamata C5, C21. Cf. also IG IV2 1, 126 (c. 160 CE) = Girone (1998), no. II.4 = Prêtre — Charlier (2009), p. 189–197.

36 Iamata (Lidonnici [1992]; Girone [1998], cat. nos. II.1–5; Renberg [2016], p. 168–182; Prêtre [2018]) fall into five distinct categories: (a) fantastic “miracles” of an advertising nature (see also Dillon [1994]), (b) realistic although exaggerated cures, (c) realistic cures (cases of practical medicine?), (d) tales of an intimidating, didactic nature, and (e) dream divinations. For the placement of the iamata stelai in the sanctuary, see recently Mavrommatidis (2021), p. 839–852.

37 See also n. 68.

38 Comella (2002), p. 210–211. For a small number of additional fragments see Konstantinidis forthcoming.

39 Lidonnici (1992), p. 41–42, 43 n. 15, 44–45, 50–52, 60–61; Van Straten (1995), p. 58–59, 63; Comella (2002), p. 159–160, 180–185 (Attic exports [including to Epidauros] and various local workshops); Von Ehrenheim (2015), p. 105–109, 134, 141 with n. 166, 184–185, 189–190, 197–198. As B. Holtzmann (LIMC Asklepios, p. 891) has convincingly argued, it was only in Athens, where the Acropolis building program had given rise to a large number of sculptors specialized in marble reliefs, funerary and votive, that the transfer of painted votive offerings (πίνακες) in stone came to dominate.

40 See also n. 32.

41 Pollitt (1986), p. 200ff.

42 Cf. also the relief NAM 1426 (Kaltsas [2002], cat. no. 478; Despinis [2013], p. 101).

43 Cf. iama A17. See also Despinis (2013), p. 78–79 with n. 262.

44 See also n. 5.

45 See n. 31.

46 Sineux (2007a), p. 18; see also Von Ehrenheim (2015), p. 126, 129.

47 For vows and prayers see Von Ehrenheim (2015), p. 73–74. In 15 a female suppliant is depicted kneeling, touching the hem of Asklepios’ himation (cf. Versnel [2011], p. 411–412: proskunesis).

48 In the case of 12 and 14 the kind of the bed cannot be discerned. In 2, two incubants lie on the same bench. See also Von Ehrenheim (2015), p. 92–94.

49 See n. 30. In Epidauros no source documents incubation on animal skins, and no animal skin is depicted on the Epidauros relief either. For sheepskins in the Oropos and Rhamnous Amphiaraeia (2–4), and sleeping on the skin of the sacrificed animal in general, see Von Ehrenheim (2015), p. 41, 66, 88–92.

50 Wool (κνέφαλλα) or soft plants (γναφάλια) was commonly the filling of pillows and mattresses (Stampolidis — Tasoulas — Kosmopoulou [2009], cat. no. 176 [D. Bosnakis]).

51 Contrary to other healing sanctuaries (Von Ehrenheim [2015], p. 75–79; Renberg [2016], p. 259), mandatory ritual garb or wreaths are not documented in Epidaurian iamata inscriptions, although members of the procession described in the hymn of Isyllos are dressed in white and sport laurel wreaths and olive branches (IG IV2 1, 128, lines 19–21; Kolde [2003], p. 83–85; Melfi [2007], p. 51–54). According to the prothysis inscription found in the Kynortion sanctuary, wreaths are among the necessary provisions for the prothysis before incubation that are to be purchased by the incubants from the priests of Apollo and Asklepios (in the case they hadn’t already brought them with them; Peek [1969], no. 336, lines 6, 10–11; Petropoulou [1991], p. 26). The incubant on the Epidauros relief doesn’t wear a wreath, although it could have been rendered in paint.

52 For secrecy and seclusion during incubation see Lidonnici (1992), p. 19; Riethmüller (2005), vol. I, p. 385; Lambrinoudakis (2014), p. 23–24; Von Ehrenheim (2015), p. 79–86, 112–125; Renberg (2016), p. 126, 127, n. 34, 131 (ibid. 8, 15–16 with n. 42 for the term abaton); Lambrinoudakis (2019), p. 138; Kritzas — Prignitz (2020), p. 50–51, esp. n. 299 (ibid. for the term abaton).

53 See also Dillon (1994), n. 50 for a comparable case in Eleusis.

54 See n. 52.

55 Despinis (2013), p. 127.

56 In Epidauros, incubation outdoors should probably only be considered at the first stages of the development of the cult, i.e. before the construction of the first 6th-century stoa next to the sacred well (see n. 60). The only iama that specifically mentions a cure on the road (the tale of Sostrata of Pherai; Β5[25]), doesn’t refer to a dream, but to a waking experience—the epiphany of the god looks or appears like a vision (Lidonnici [1992], p. 32, 67 with n. 62, 78).

57 Kritzas — Mavrommatidis (1987), p. 15–20 (I. Mavrommatidis); Epidauros 1999, p. 28–33 (I. Mavrommatidis); Riethmüller (2005), vol. I, p. 285; Melfi (2007), p. 42–43; Von  Ehrenheim (2009), p. 239–243; Renberg (2016), p. 126–133, 629; Kritzas — Prignitz (2020), p. 50–51; also recently Mavrommatidis (2021).

58 The “deposit slips” (graffiti on potsherds), found during the excavations of the foundation fill of the upper stoa of the enkoimeterion (Kritzas [2018]), come from other areas of the sanctuary and, therefore, do not indicate yet another function housed at the 5th-cent. incubation complex (headquarters of the sanctuary’s economic management).

59 For a different identification of Pausanias’ “Bath of Asklepios” see Melfi (2007), p. 102–106, 140; Trümper (2014), p. 212–216.

60 The 5th-century stoa (in use until c. 375) replaced an older one (second half of the 6th cent.): Lambrinoudakis (2002), p. 219–220; Lambrinoudakis (2006), p. 48; Jouanna — Lambrinoudakis (2011), p. 243, fig. 6D (V. Lambrinoudakis); Lambrinoudakis (2018), p. 100, 104, pl. 8.

61 Pistacia lentiscus is a very common plant all over Greece (for its medicinal properties see Krug [1985], p. 115).

62 Riethmüller (2005), vol. Ι, p. 384; Von Ehrenheim (2015), p. 86–88, 94; Renberg (2016), p. 258–259.

63 Habicht — Wörrle, no. 161, l. 15; Graf (1992), p. 189 and n. 156; Renberg (2016), p. 194–195.

64 Architecturally monumentalized in the 4th-century Tholos, just opposite the dormitory, and its predecessor building (late 7th cent., being excavated since 2017; Lambrinoudakis [2018], p. 108–110; Lambrinoudakis et. al. [03.02.2020]). Both wings of the 4th-cent. dormitory (see n. 57) have beaten-earth floors. For the earth as a chthonian symbol see Von Ehrenheim (2015), p. 151–152, 155–156, 174. According to Lambrinoudakis (2014), p. 24, the same “transfer” of Asklepios’ magical power (healing from his subterranean residence—chthonian hero—after being struck by Zeus’ lightning bolt), is alluded architecturally in Epidauros by the same height level between the basement of the Tholos (Asklepios’ symbolic chthonian dwelling) and the ground floor of the late 4th-century addition to the early 4th-century neighboring incubation stoa.

65 C. 400–250: Melfi (2007), p. 31–63; Prignitz (2014), p. 184–249. See also n. 8.

66 All surviving reliefs date to the period c. 400–330.

67 Although standard Attic incubation vocabulary is used (e.g. in the case of Epione in the guise of Hygieia), the scene—destined for the sanctuary of Epidauros—must be interpreted under the light of local cult tradition and practice (cf. the relief NAM 1426—see n. 42; in general Comella [2002], p. 177–178; Renberg [2016], p. 659). For Attic exports in Epidauros see n. 39.

68 An incubation relief on a pillar base is also depicted on side b of the Telemachos relief (early 4th cent.: see n. 5; also Renberg [2016], p. 187, fig. 11). The following Attic reliefs were excluded from the catalogue because they don’t depict incubants: (a) the marble thymiaterion NAM 2455+2475+Akropolis Museum 2665 (now lost): Despinis (2013), p. 201–206, figs. 159–167; Stampolidis — Tasoulas (2014), p. 183–184, cat. no. 64 (E. Vlachogianni); Renberg (2016), p. 646–647, cat. no. Ask. Ath. 11, figs. 44–46, (b) relief fragment NAM 2489: Despinis (2013), p. 91–92, fig. 51; Renberg (2016), p. 647, cat. no. Ask. Ath. 12, fig. 47, (c) relief fragment NAM 2925: Despinis (2013), p. 92–93, fig. 52; Renberg (2016), p. 647, cat. no. Ask. Ath. 13, fig. 48. Similarly, reliefs nos. VI.t (= Stampolidis — Tasoulas [2014], 178–179, cat. no. 60 [A.M. Nielsen]; Renberg [2016], p. 190, n. 177), VII.u (= Richter 1954, cat. no. 67) and VII.v (= Renberg [2016], p. 658–659, fig. 58) in Van Straten’s catalogue (Van Straten [1995], p. 68, n. 180) should also be excluded as their scenes are equally not related to incubation (see also Renberg [2016], p. 654–659). For incubation reliefs in general see Renberg (2016), p. 218–226 (ibid. 634–653 for illustrations of all reliefs in the catalogue).

69 Petrakos (1992); Riethmüller (2005), vol. Ι, p. 366–369; Sineux (2007), p. 97–109; Von Ehrenheim (2015), p. 191–192, 195–196; Renberg (2016), p. 272–292.

70 Petrakos (1999), p. 306–319; Sineux (2007), p. 109–115; Von Ehrenheim (2015), p. 191–192, 195–196; Renberg (2016), p. 293–295.

71 Von Eickstedt (2001); Riethmüller (2005), vol. II, p. 25–35; Lamont (2015).

72 Riethmüller (2005), vol. I, p. 241–273; Melfi (2007), p. 313–432; Renberg (2016), p. 133–138.

73 Despinis (2013), p. 91, argues in favor of a minor healing deity sanctuary as the original place of dedication of the relief.

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Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 1. The church of Aghios Ioannis Theologos in Palio Ligourio.
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Légende Fig. 2. Incubation relief, Epidauros Museum inv. no. 1305.
Crédits Photo: St. Katakis © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports — Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolida.
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Fichier image/jpeg, 496k
Légende Fig. 3. Incubation relief, Epidauros Museum inv. no. 1305, left fragment.
Crédits Photo: author © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports — Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolida.
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Légende Fig. 4. Incubation relief, Epidauros Museum inv. no. 1305, right fragment.
Crédits Photo: St. Katakis © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports — Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolida.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/kernos/docannexe/image/4246/img-4.jpg
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Légende Fig. 5(a). Epione from the Epidauros relief inv. no. 1305. (b). Hygieia from the incubation relief Piraeus Museum inv. no. 405.
Crédits (a) Photo: author © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports — Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolida. (b) Photo: author © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports — Archaeological Museum of Piraeus.
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Légende Fig. 6(a). Grave stele of Xanthippos, London, British Museum, inv. 1805,0703.183. (b). Detail of the Xanthippos relief. (c). Asklepios from the Epidauros relief inv. no. 1305, detail.
Crédits (a) Photo: author © The Trustees of the British Museum). (b) Photo: author © The Trustees of the British Museum. (c) Photo: author © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports — Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolida.
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Légende Fig. 7. Incubation relief, Piraeus Museum inv. no. 405.
Crédits Photo: author © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports — Archaeological Museum of Piraeus.
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Légende Fig. 8(a). Votive relief from Ikaria (Attica), NAM 3076. (b–c). Incubation relief Epidauros Museum inv. no. 1305, details. (b–c) Photo: author © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports — Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolida.
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Légende Fig. 9(a). Machaon or Podaleirios from the Epidauros relief inv. no. 1305. (b). Asklepios from the votive relief from Loukou NAM 1402.
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Légende Fig. 10. Incubation relief from Oropos, the dedication of Archinos, NAM 3369.
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Légende Fig. 11(a). Incubation relief NAM 1340 (8). (b). Incubation relief NAM 1340 (8), detail of the stibas.
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Légende Fig. 12. Incubation relief Library of Hadrian storeroom, inv. no. ΡΑ 282.
Crédits After Despinis [2013], fig. 53 © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports.
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Panagiotis Konstantinidis, « What Dreams May Come. An Incubation Relief from the Asklepieion of Epidauros »Kernos, 35 | 2022, 233-261.

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Panagiotis Konstantinidis, « What Dreams May Come. An Incubation Relief from the Asklepieion of Epidauros »Kernos [En ligne], 35 | 2022, mis en ligne le 01 février 2024, consulté le 29 février 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/kernos/4246 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/kernos.4246

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Panagiotis Konstantinidis

Department of History and Archaeology NKUA

panagiotis_konstantinidis@hotmail.com

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