Epidaurus (Epidavros in Greek) is basically set up as an all-inclusive health club and resort. This is where wealthy Greeks would come for treatment of certain diseases or just to obtain better overall health. The patron god of this town was Asclepios, the healing god. His priests were also doctors at the resort. I call it a resort because it wasn’t really a town of its own. Very few people actually lived there. Most people only came for short periods of time (a few months at most) and lived in hotel rooms of sorts.

They had everything there – Roman-style baths, gymnasiums, a track, a theater for entertainment (the most well-preserved ancient theater in the world, I might add). The theater was a masterpiece, accoustic perfection. Our tour guide gave a demonstration to show us just how amazingly sound could be carried. I and several others went to the very top of the theater and could hear everything as if our guide were just a few feet away. We could hear him crumple and rip a piece of paper, whisper, even breathe. It was incredible.

If you were sick back in the day, this was definitely the place to be. You would be pampered, spoiled, and entertained until whatever ailed you eventually left.

I do find it interesting that the Greeks had a practice of making plaster molds or small sculptings of whatever body part wasn’t well and they presented that as an offering to the god Asclepios. They have found thousands of stone or plaster eyes, ears, noses, fingers, hands, feet, and certain other body parts which I will leave unnamed. I guess in the days of the early church, “miraculous” healings were promoted by the priests, but it was a big deal when Paul, Peter, and other apostles could actually do it.

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