Asklepieion of Athens

Athina, Greece

Asklepieion of Athens

The Asklepieion of Athens was the sanctuary built in honour of the gods Asclepius and Hygieia, located west of the Theatre of Dionysos and east of the Pelargikon wall on the southern escarpment of the Acropolis hill. It was one of several asklepieia in the ancient Greek world that served as rudimentary hospitals. It was founded in the year 419–18 BCE during the Peloponnesian War, perhaps as a direct result of the plague, by Telemachos Acharneas. His foundation is inscribed in the Telemachos Monument, a double-sided, marble column which is topped by reliefs depicting the arrival of the god in Athens from Epidaurus and his reception by Telemachos. The sanctuary complex consisted of the temple and the altar of the god as well as two galleries, the Doric Arcade which served as a katagogion for overnight patients in the Asklepieion and their miraculous (through dreams) healing by the god, and the Ionic Stoa that served as a dining hall and lodging for the priests of Asclepius and their visitors.

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