Αμαρτίες, αρρώστιες και γιατρειές στη Μικρά Ασία στους πρώτους μεταχριστιανικούς αιώνες
Sins, illness, and cures in Asia minor in the first centuries of the christian era
The Greek inscriptions are an important source for the history of ancientmedicine. The rows, the reports of miraculous healings, and the confessioninscriptions reveal the attitudes of simple people toward illness and cures. Thisarticle examines the confession inscriptions of Lydia and Phrygia (2nd-3rd cent.AD), which attest the belief that illness (especially oracular diseases and mentaldisorders) was a form of divine punishment, usually for a sacrilege. Althoughscientific medicine was not unknown in these areas, the high costs of medicaltreatment, the belief in the omnipotence of the local gods, and above all the beliefthat cure could be attained only through expiation brought the villagers to thelocal sanctuaries. There, the priests practiced a kind of «religious healing»,applying incantations, oracles, sacrifices, purifications, and the ritual transfer ofthe sin to a triad of animals. In this respect the confession inscriptions of AsiaMinor differ from the miraculour healings known from various Asklepieia(Lebena, Epidauros, Pergamon), since the latter are closely related to contemporaryscientific medicine.