SURGICAL KIT FROM THE ASKLEPIEION ON THE ACROPOLIS
Base of a votive offering depicting a surgical kit, from the Asklepieion on the Acropolis. End of 4th century BC. Acropolis Museum (NAM 1378)
In 430 BC, Athens was ravaged by one of the fiercest epidemics in antiquity, described by Thucydides as the “plague of Athens”. Around that time, Hippocrates, the most famous physician in ancient times, came to Athens and taught his medical theories and practices. In 420 BC, a sanctuary was built to Asklepios in a prominent location on the southern slope of the Acropolis. Among the votive offerings was this 4th century BC base featuring, in relief, a surgical kit containing scalpels and bone levers and flanked by bronze cupping vessels.