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Bottle of medicinal water from temple of Asklepios at Epidaurus, Greece, collected 1930

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The typed label pasted to the side of the bottle on the right gives us its source – the well at the temple of Asklepios at Epidaurus, Greece. Asklepios was the Greco-Roman god of healing and medicine. At the temple, those experiencing illness were cured in their dreams by the god as they slept, or had their dreams interpreted to get a treatment that would cure them. This was known as incubation. Epidaurus, in southern Greece, was one of the most famous sites of a temple dedicated to Asklepios. Deserted since the 700s CE, the ruins can still be visited today. The bottle was collected by Captain P Johnston-Saint, one of Henry Wellcome’s collecting agents. The water is shown here with a similar example collected from the temple of Asklepios at Athens (A79498).

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Glossary: bottle

Vessels having a neck and mouth considerably narrower than the body, used for packaging and containing liquid and dry preparations

Glossary: medicinal water

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