Inscribed Votive Offering of antiquity / Αρχαία Ελληνικά τάματα για την Ίαση

Unique worldwide cart and science 108ollection of handmade Inscribed Votive Offering of antiquity.

Marble of Penteli (from the same marble built Acropolis of Athens)

This enduring custom passed into the cristian religion as well, and continues to this day in the form tamata (ex votos) which are dedicated to icon in the churches and represent the body part in need healing for which the faithful seek divine intervention

hand made by sculptor Skalkotos
a work of art sculpted by one of the most important contemporary Greek sculptor

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1. Inscribed Votive Offering Of Melos (150- 200 AD)

To eternal “thank you” to the Doctor or God for the successful outcome of human suffering. People of all ages knew to thank the important things in Life

art and science 111From Melos, formerly in the Collection of Louis Charles Pierre Casimir de Blacas d’Aulps, 2nd Duke of Blacas (1815-1866). London, British Museum,
A left leg is carved as if severed just above the knee and turned in profile towards the seven line inscription: Άσκλη-| πιω| καί|Ύγεία| Τύχη| εΰχορισ-| ιήριον.

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This marble relief served as an offering to Asklepios and Hygieia, for the cure or prevention from some unknown affliction of the left leg. It was used during the Hellenistic period. It was discovered during the excavations in Melos.
The inscription on the example in London from Melos reads ‘To Asklepios and Hygieia Tyche (luck or good fortune) as a thank offering’. There is, however, some confusion about what the word Tyche is referring to. Forsen (Forsen 1996, 103) and Cook concluded that Tyche was the name of the person offering the stele. Forsen added that the name was both a male and female name, but usually the latter. The relief was found in 1828 in the same location on Melos as a colossal marble head of Asklepios himself, now also in The British Museum. They were found buried in a cave with other items relating to the cult of Asklepios and Hygieia. The cave was either part of or close to a sanctuary of the healing deities.

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art and science 113The objects found within the cave may also have been taken there in late antiquity and formed part of a mini-shrine. The actual location of the cache of votive offerings is now uncertain, and thus has never been systematically excavated. A round votive altar was also found, inscribed with a dedication to Asklepios and Hygieia by a priest named Claudius Gallinus, dated to the first century AD. However, the altar, along with a number of associated fragmentary statuettes of Hygieia, was not acquired when the British Museum purchased the head and this relief in 1867. Some of the finds were published by Charles Lenormant in 1829 (Lenormant 1829). He proposed an interesting scenario for the cave and its offerings to Asklepios and Hygieia according to which Claudius Gallinus, the dedicator of the altar, was a priest of the god and gathered together broken remnants from a ruined sanctuary of the god, including the colossal head in London, and formed his own personal shrine. It is a charming supposition but one based on no tangible evidence…

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2. Inscribed votive relief, 2nd c. AD,
Two female breasts, dedicated to deties that protected pregnancy, childbirth and lactation

art and science 109Two female breasts are depicted in relief between the two lines of an incised inscription:

Διονυσία Ὑψίστῳ / εὐχὴν

The sanctuary of Zeus Hypsistos (most Hight) on the Pnyx was uncovered, during Lord Aberdeen‘s excavations in 1803.

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This particular relief comes from that excavation period, discovered in a newer fill approximately 20m. North of sanctuary.

It is impossible to determine the nature of the disorders from the depiction, since similar reliefs with female body parts were also frequently dedicated to deties that protected pregnancy, childbirth and lactation

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3. inscribed votive relief female Body from approximately the navel to mid – thigh, 2nd c. BC
Found in Chora, Kampos in the envinots of Samos airport

art and science 114Marble, quadrirateral slab, the main face has a relief depiction of a female Body from approximately the navel to mid – thigh. Heavy incisions define the vulva. A for line votive inscription iw incised on the upper abdominal area: Ζμαρά -/γδι[ο]ν ευχήν εὐχήν Ἀφροδίτῃ

According to the incised inscription, this marble slab was dedicated in the sanctuary of Aphrodite by a hetaera named Zmaragdi(o)n (the -ion ending indicated the names of hetaerae) to the goddess-patron of eros (love), perhaps in thanks for curing some illness resulting from her profession, perhaps dedicated to deties that protected pregnancy, childbirth.

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art and science 115Budin, S. (2008). The Myth of Sacred Prostitution in Antiquity. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Castagnoli, F., et al. (1975). Lavinium II: Le Tredici Are. Rome: De Luca.
Chaviara-Karahaliou, S. (1990). ‘Eye Votives in the Asklepieion of Ancient Corinth.’ Documenta ophthalmologica 135–139
Comella, A. (1978). Il materiale votivo tardo di Gravisca. Rome:Giorgio Bretschneider.
Comella, A. (1981). ‘Tipologia e diffusione dei complessi votive in Italia in epoca medio e tardo repubblicana: Contributo alla storia dell’artigianto antico.’ Mélanges de l’École française de Rome93: 717–803
Anatomical Votive Reliefs as Evidence for Specialization at Healing Sanctuaries in the Ancient Mediterranean World By Steven M. Oberhelman
Τurfa, J. M. (1994). ‘Anatomical Votives and Italian Medical Traditions.’In R. D. De Puma and J. P. Small (eds.), Murlo and the Etruscans: Art and Society in Ancient Etruria, pp. 224–240. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
Van Straten, F. T. (1981). ‘Gifts for the Gods.’ In H. S. Versnel (ed.), Faith, Hope and Worship. Aspects of Religious Mentality in the Ancient World, pp. 65–151.
Leiden: E. J. Brill.Versnel, H. (2011). Coping with the Gods: Wayward Readings in Greek Theology.
Leiden: E. J. Brill.Von Staden, H. (1992). ‘The Discovery of the Body: Human Dissection and its Cultural Contexts in Ancient Greece.’
Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine 65: 223–241.

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