Scripta Antiquitatis Posterioris ad Ethicam REligionemque pertinentia
Schriften der späteren Antike zu ethischen und religiösen Fragen

Im Auftrag der Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen herausgegeben von

Reinhard Feldmeier, Heinz-Günther Nesselrath (Sprecher), Rainer Hirsch-Luipold

Sapere-Zitat für den Monat September

Ἐπάνειμι δὲ ὅθεν ἐξέβην, ἐπὶ τοὺς ἀρχηγέτας τε καὶ τοὔνομα πρώτους λαβόντας τὸ τῶν Ἀσκληπιαδῶν. οἱ δὲ ἕως μὲν ἦσαν ἐν ἀνθρώποις, στρατείαις καὶ ὁμιλίαις καὶ γενέσει παίδων πρεπόντων ἑαυτοῖς, καὶ συλλήβδην ἁπάσῃ τῇ πολιτικῇ δυνάμει τὰς πόλεις ὠφέλουν, οὐ μόνον τὰς τοῦ σώματος νόσους ἐξαιροῦντες, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰ τῶν πόλεων νοσήματα ἰώμενοι, μᾶλλον δὲ οὐδ’ ἐγγίγνεσθαι τὴν ἀρχὴν ἐῶντες, ἀπ’ ἀμφοῖν σώζοντες τοὺς ὑπηκόους, καὶ τῇ τέχνῃ τὴν ἀρχὴν ἀκόλουθον κατασκευασάμενοι. ἐπεὶ δὲ κρείττους ἦσαν ἢ παρ’ ἡμῖν μένειν, οἱ δὲ ὑπὸ τοῦ πατρός τε καὶ τῶν προγόνων ἀποδύντες τὰ σώματα εἰς ἕτερον θεσμὸν ἔρχονται, οὐχ ὥσπερ Μενέλεώς τε καὶ ὁ ξανθὸς Ῥαδάμανθυς, εἰς τὸ Ἠλύσιον πεδίον καὶ τὰς ἔξω νήσους, ἀλλ’ ἀθάνατοι γενόμενοι τὴν γῆν διέρχονται, τοσοῦτον τῆς ἀρχαίας φύσεως ἀποστάντες ὅσον τὴν ἡλικίαν φυλάττουσι.

I return now to the point from which I digressed, to the founders and those who first took the name of ‘Asclepius’ children’. While they dwelt among men, they were of service to their cities in military campaigns, in social intercourse, in producing children worthy of themselves, and, in a word, in their whole function in society. Not only did they eradicate bodily diseases, but they also healed the sicknesses of cities, or rather prevented them from taking hold in the first place, saving their subjects from both evils by making their rule accord with their art. But since they were too good to remain among us, thanks to their father and their ancestors, they have sloughed off their bodies and gone to another jurisdiction – not like Menelaus and ‘fair-haired Rhadamanthus’ to Elysian fields and far off islands, but becoming immortal and traversing the earth, departing from their former nature just so far as to preserve their youth.

Aelius Aristides, In Praise of Asclepius, SAPERE-Bd. 29, S. 36f. (Or. 38.19-20).

Tim-Fabian Wilke, 07.09.2016