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EUNOMIA IN LATO SENSU: SPACE, PLANNING AND HEALTH IN ANCIENT GREECE. THE CASE OF THE SANCTUARY OF ASCLEPIUS IN CORINTH (5th-4th centuries BC).

Grant number: 23/07315-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2024
Effective date (End): January 31, 2026
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Archeology - Historical Archaeology
Principal Investigator:Maria Cristina Nicolau Kormikiari
Grantee:Mariana Figueiredo Virgolino
Host Institution: Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia (MAE). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Since 2020, we have been experiencing a global pandemic that forces us to transform everyday habits and social interactions. However, this is not the first health crisis to change the course of humanity. Through the study of ancient societies, we can find out how human groups managed to adapt and reorganize the spaces where they lived in order to survive adversity. This project intends to investigate the urban sanctuary of Asclepius, Greek god of medicine, in the city of Corinth during the classical period (5th and 4th centuries BC). Based on ideas such as sanitary urbanism, built environment, and eunomia (good order), we intend to scrutinize the uses and practices experienced in that place to understand how the Corinthian oligarchy acted in ordering the public space of the polis and how medicine, in Ancient Greece, was a discourse of order connected more with political ideals than with biological investigations. Through the analysis of architectural remains and votive objects rescued by archaeology, we believe in the possibility to understand the sanctuary of Asclepius not only as a place to cure physical ailments, but as a privileged locus for the Corinthian elite's exposure of power, combining body health and entertainment. This also leads us to want to investigate how and if the less well-off population could enjoy the amenities offered by that religious complex.

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