Society, Medicine and Religion in the Sacred Tales of Aelius Aristides

Mnemosyne, Supplements Band 341

Ido Israelowich

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Aelius Aristides was a devout worshipper of Asclepius while at the same time being a patient of some of the most distinguished physicians of his day. This title offers a textual analysis of the "Sacred Tales" in the context of the so-called Second Sophistic; medicine and the medical use of dream interpretation; and religion.

Ido Israelowich, D.Phil. (2008) in Ancient History, University of Oxford, is a lecturer of Classics at Tel Aviv University. He has published on various aspects of the work of Aristides and on medicine in the Graeco-Roman World.


Einband gebundene Ausgabe
Seitenzahl 206
Erscheinungsdatum 01.05.2012
Sprache Englisch, Griechisch
ISBN 978-90-04-22908-2
Verlag Brill Academic Publishers
Maße (L/B/H) 24.4/16.3/1.7 cm

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  • Introduction 2 Chapter one: Aelius Aristides and the Sacred Tales 14 Introduction 14 Section one: the composition of the Sacred Tales 18 Date of composition: 18 Method of composition 20 Motives for composition 24 Section two: The Sacred Tales as an autobiography 32 Section three: the ancient readers of the Sacred Tales 36 Section four: A narrative of redemption 41 Conclusion 48 Chapter two: Society, disease and medicine in the Sacred Tales of Aristides 49 Introduction 49 Section One - The Graeco-Roman health-care system 53 Towards a definition of a medical discourse 53 Medicine in the Graeco-Roman world 58 Roman medicine and its Greek influences: 75 Galen: 83 * * * 94 Dreams 95 Section two: The sick, medicine and physicians in the world of the Sacred Tales 116 I. The place of the sick in society 117 II. Medical discourse in the Sacred Tales 118 Medical authority: 118 Medical praxis: 123 Purgation: 124 Pharmakon 129 Dreams 133 Medical procedures and the physicians: 136 III. The physicians in the Sacred Tales 139 Section Three: Towards a medical history of Aelius Aristides 143 Falling ill 146 Aristides and Asclepius 153 Wider Contexts 165 Conclusion 179 Chapter three: Reconsidering private religions; religion and religious experience in the Sacred Tales of Aelius Aristides 185 Introduction 185 Section one: Theology 190 Section two: The myth of Asclepius 198 Section three: Divination, oracles and dreams 211 Dreams 217 Oracles 222 Section four: Visual culture and social forms of cult-organisation 226 Cult, festivals and games 226 The power of images 235 Conclusion 246 Conclusion 249 Bibliography 261