AO 8:04, Jul/Aug 2005
Asklepios Appears in a Dream
Antiquity’s Greatest Healer
In the fourth century B.C. a man named Antikrates from Knidos, on the southwest coast of Anatolia, was struck in the face by a spear. The spearhead lodged so deeply in his head that it could not be removed. He lost his vision and lived with the spearhead in his face.
Antikrates probably consulted doctors, magicians, priests, drug vendors and root-cutters—all of whom may have stirred up poultices and (except for the doctors) spoken charms over him.
Eventually, he decided to visit a Greek healing god named Asklepios. The god’s most famous sanctuary was at Epidauros on the east coast of the Peloponnesus. Although the journey across the Aegean Sea and the Greek mainland was perilous and would have taken several days, so great was Antikrates’s desire to be healed that he made the long trip.