Antique medicine

Asclepios and Telesphoros (1)



About the origin of the healing god Asklepios and its close relationship to Apollo, the scholars argue. Asklepios cult sites in connection with thermal springs were particularly popular in Thrace. The etymology of the name and its Thessalian homeland, Trikka, could allude to a Thracian authorship of the deified Asclepius. Incidentally, his gnomish companion Telesphorus - "who brings it to the [good] end" - always in Thracian costumes with a hooded coat.


In Greek mythology (especially in Thrace), Telesforos (or Telesphoros) was a son of Asclepius. He was a close friend of his, Hygieia. He was a boy whose face was covered with a cowboy and a Phrygian cap Illus., as his name means "bringing fulfillment" in Greek. He is believed to have originated around 100 AD in Pergamon as part of the large Asclepian cult there places adopted his cult. Representations of him occur mainly in Anatolia and the area around the Danube. " (Wikipedia 2006).


Splintered into many tribes, Thracians from the Carpathians settled across the northern Aegean to Asia Minor, forming the heart of present-day Bulgaria. They were among the Indo-European peoples who immigrated to the Danubian-Balkan region during the second millennium BC. Only in the fifth century BC did the Odrysen king Teres succeed in founding a Thracian empire, which shortly thereafter lost to its neighbors. Afterwards, Persian and Celtic invasions weakened the country, until it was finally conquered by the Romans in 46 AD.



From the time of the Roman occupation of the country comes the votive tablet presented here: on the left in the picture the healing god ASKLEPIOS (say Aesculapius, since we are no longer in the Greek but in the Roman period), right next to him the barefoot TELESPHOROS in his typical cape coat ,



Lit .:
W. Deonna, De Telesphore au "moine bourru", Collection Latomus, vol.XXI, Berchem / Bruxelles 1955