Sites & cities that bear the name of Asclepieion of Kos

Asclepieion of Kos

Today in : Greece
First trace of activity : ca. 4th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : 554 C.E
Recorded names : Ασκληπιείο Κω

Description : The Asclepieion of Kos is built on the slopes of a hill with lush vegetation and views of the sea and the coasts of Asia Minor . It is the most important archaeological monument of the island, but also one of the most famous asclepieces of antiquity. In ancient times it was a place of worship of the god Asclepius and a place of healing and teaching of Medicine . There Hippocrates , one of the most important representatives of medicine in antiquity, taught at the school he had founded in the area of ​​the Asclepieion. In contrast to the sanctuary of Asclepius in Epidaurus , in Kos scientific medicine was particularly developed. The Asclepieion of Kos, whose surviving ruins date back to the 4th century BC, is located southwest of the current city of Kos at a distance of about 3.4 km. It dates back to the Hellenistic era , a view reinforced by the exploitation of space represented by the three successive levels - an element of oriental architecture that penetrated Greek architecture with the conquests of Alexander the Great . A decisive event that happened in Kos during the reign of Ptolemy , in 260 BC, was the pan-Hellenic recognition of the right of immunity of the sanctuary of Asclepius for the establishment of the solemn celebration of the Great Asclepieion. The pursuit by the Keians of granting asylum to every persecuted person who sought protection in the Asclepieion shows how proud the Keians felt of its existence, at the same time considering the temple as the center of their city. The discovery of the Asclepieion was made in 1902 by the German archaeologist Rudolf Herzog and the Keio historian Iakovos Zarraftis, who even calculated and indicated the correct position of the sanctuary. The occasion to intensify the search for his find was the fourth mime of Herod "Women with vows and sacrifices in the Asclepieion", in which the author reveals his admiration and worship of Kos, but also describes the images and the statues from the Asclepieion. Excavations were continued by Laurenzi (1930) and Morricone (1937-38), along with restoration and restoration work. It is worth mentioning that many objects from the excavations fled to Rome and Constantinople .

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