19/30 Days of deity devotion

Day Nineteen: What quality or qualities of this god do you most admire? What quality or qualities of them do you find the most troubling?

Asclepius is one of my favorite deities. He is compassionate and gentle. He does not discriminate. His only stipulation is that he be approached with purity of mind.

The only problem I have is with one of the practices of the cult of Asclepius in antiquity. No deaths or births were allowed in his temples, so no pregnant women or patients with terminal illnesses were accepted for care. That changed, at least at Epidaurus, when Antoninus Pius, who ruled as Roman Emperor from 138-161 CE, had an addition built at the sanctuary specifically to provide care for these patients.

Image: Asclepius Glienicke Park, Berlin. Photograph by Suse, 2005 via Wikimedia Commons.  This is part of The Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin UNESCO World Heritage Site.

30 days of deity devotion meme

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One Comment Add yours

  1. I wasn’t aware of Pius’ provisions in that regard–very nice, and thus all the more reason that he earned his “Pius” epithet! (/there really needs to be a non-ancient biography written about him…Trajan, Hadrian, and Marcus Aurelius all have great biographies published in a Roman Emperors series by Routledge (as well as many others), but not Antoninus Pius, sadly…

    In any case, thanks for this! Great to know! (And good job on this series generally!) 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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