Late Antique Symbols and Numerals on Altars in the Asklepieion at Epidauros

by Christopher A. Pfaff

Hesperia, Volume 87, Issue 2
Page(s): 387-428
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2972/hesperia.87.2.0387
Year: 2018


The Asklepieion at Epidauros has yielded numerous altars inscribed with symbols and alphabetic numerals in the 4th century A.D., but relatively little attention has been paid to these Late Antique markings in recent scholarship. This article reviews what is known about the symbols and numerals and explores how they may have been used. Since no similar usage of symbols and numerals is attested on altars elsewhere, it is suggested here that the marks on the Epidaurian altars responded to the specific liturgical requirements of the Asklepieion, which demanded the regular servicing of an unusually large number of altars.