Patients Sleeping in the Temple of Aesculapius at Epidaurus by Ernest Board (1877-1934). Wellcome Library, London, United Kingdom.
This is the day of the Epidauria, a festival honoring Asklepios at his temple at Epidaurus. The Asclepeion at Epidaurus, dating to the 5th century B.C.E., was one of the most famous healing centers in the ancient world. Patients were healed through the practice of incubation, in which they slept in a special dormitory and either received healing in their sleep directly from Asklepios, or received a message in their dreams which, interpreted by one of the physicians in conjunction with a review of their symptoms, indicated a treatment for the patient’s malady.