LORD ASKLIPIOS FIGHTING ON A HORSE VOTIVE
This little votive offering, 3" x 3", depicts the God Asklipios (Aesculapius, Asclepius, or Esculapius; Gr. Ἀσκληπιός) fighting on a horse. The plaque appears to be ancient. There are four words on the sculpture, only two of which can be read with certainty: Asklipios and doureios, but the inscription likely reads as follows:
ΚΥΡΙΟΣ ΑΣΚΛΗΠΙΟΣ ΔΟΡΕΙΟΣ ΕΓΧΗ
KYRIOS ASKLIPIOS DOREIOS EGKHI
Asklipios is the son of Apollohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων,) and a great God of healing. The word doureios means 'fighting on a horse.' The words before Asklipios and after doureios are worn away and difficult to read. They appear to be Kyrios ('Lord') at the beginning of the inscription, and egkhi ('wish') at the end. The word egkhi and the diminutive size of the tablet indicate that this was most likely a votive offering, perhaps from someone who was ill and hoping to be healed by Asklipios.
Asklipios is usually, almost always, depicted in a form most gentle, walking, carrying the staff of healing. Therefore, the votive is peculiar. There is a story in Sparta (Gr. Σπάρτα), at the time when Philippos V'o Makæthohn (Philip II of Macedonia, father of Alæxanthros [Gr. Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Μέγας] the Great; Gr. Φίλιππος Β' ὁ Μακεδών) attacked the country, of a sick boy who went to Æpithavros (Epidaurus; Gr. Επίδαυρος) and had a dream of Asklipios. The boy prayed to the God, "Oh great Asklipios! I have no money to purchase a gift for you, but nonetheless have pity and heal me!" The God appeared, dressed in armor, and exclaimed to the child, "Take courage, boy, and be patient! I am in great haste to depart and protect the Lakethaemonians (ed. the Spartans), those mighty ones and your brethren, who keep the words of Apollohn with justice! When I return, I will see to you!" Asklipios went forth and saved the country, returned, and restored the boy to health. The Spartans upon hearing the story of this youth from thence forward worshiped Asklipios as a warrior.
HYMN OF ISYLLUS
"And of your power, Asclepius, you gave this example in those days when Philip, wishing to destroy the royal authority, led his army against Sparta. To them from Epidaurus Asclepius came as a helper, honoring the race of Heracles, which consequently Zeus spared. He came at the time when the sick boy came from Bosporos. Shining in your golden armor, you met him as he approached, Asclepius; and when the boy beheld you, he drew near to you, stretching forth his hand, and entreated you in suppliant words: 'I have no share in your gifts, Asclepius Paean; have pity on me.' Then you addressed these words to me clearly: 'Take heart, for I shall come to you in due time---just wait here---after I have rescued the Lacedaemonians from grievous doom because they justly guard the precepts of Apollo which Lycurgus ordained for the city, after he had consulted the oracle.' And so he went to Sparta. But my thoughts stirred me to announce the divinity's advent to the Lacedaemonians, everything in exact order. They listened to me as I spoke the message of safety Asclepius, and you saved them. And they called upon all to welcome you with honors due a guest, proclaiming you the Savior of spacious Lacedaemon. These words, O far the best of all the Gods, Isyllus set up for you, honoring your power, O Lord, as is seemly." 
 The words of Isyllus. 295. Inscriptiones Graecae, IV2, 1, no. 128, v, 57-79 [3rd c. B. C.] trans. Emma J. Edelstein and Ludwig Edelstein in the book ASCLEPIUS: Collection and Interpretation of the Testimonies, 1945, 1998 The John Hopkins Univ. Press (Baltimore MD USA and London England), pp. 143-145.
two Kosmogonic substances. The twelve stars represent the Natural Laws, the dominions of the Olympian Gods. In front of these symbols is the seven-stringed kithara, the . It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphefs (Orpheus).
PLEASE NOTE: Throughout the pages of this website, you will find fascinating stories about our Gods. These narratives are known as mythology, the traditional stories of the Gods and Heroes. While these tales are great mystical vehicles containing transcendent truth, they are symbolic and should not be taken literally. A literal reading will frequently yield an erroneous result. The meaning of the myths is concealed in code. To understand them requires a key. For instance, when a God kills someone, this usually means a transformation of the soul to a higher level. Similarly, sexual union with a God is a transformation.
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