Within the ancient ruins of the temple, dedicated to the roman god of medicine, Asclepius, in Elea-Velia (Ascea) a great marble statue and several inscriptions were found (currently they're stored in the superintendence's depository next to the archeological site).They recall the ancient medical school, which referred to a famous greek philosopher, Parmenides. In fact, he was named by the city "Physikòs and Ouliàdes" (Physician and Healer), but also regarded, during the medieval age, as one of the most famous ancient doctors.1
A very important school was instituted about two thousand years ago, laying the foundations for the later one in Salerno. Even Claudius Galen , probably the most influential doctor of the ancient time, paid specific attention to the value of this wide scientific and medical centre, as relevant as the ones in Kos and Knidos2. The poet Horace and the historian Plutarch underlined the virtues of its thermal baths, as a place where one could find rest and recovery.345
The inscriptions on the steles report the doctors' fathers name (Euxinos, Ieronymos, Ariston): in times past doctor career was trasmitted from father to son and, therefore, it was fundamental to write his own familiar reference as sign of fame. The stones also present the epithet of “oùlis”, related to the god Apollo (“Oùlios”, healer) and even the sign “iatròs phòlarcos” (teaching doctor), which is another evidence of the importance of this place.
"Oùlis 'Euxinos Iatròs Phòlarxos" statue
On the marble is carved: "ΟΥΛΙΣ ΕΥΞΙΝΟΥ ΥΕΛΗΤΗΣ ΙΑΤΡΟΣ ΦΩΛΑΡΧΟΣ ΕΤΕΙ ΤΟΘ"
(teacher-doctor from Elea, son of Euxinos, healer, in the year 379)
"Oùlis 'Ariston Iatròs Phòlarxos" memorial stone
On the marble is carved: "ΟΥΛΙΣ ΑΡΙΣΤΩΝΟΣ ΙΑΤΡΟΣ ΦΩΛΑΡΧΟΣ ΕΤΕΙ ΣΠ"
(teacher-doctor, son of Ariston, healer, in the year 280)
"Oùlis Ierònymos Iatròs Phòlarxos" memorial stones
On the marble is carved: "ΟΥΛΙΣ ΙΕΡΩΝYΜΟY ΙΑΤΡΟΣ ΦΩΛΑΡΧΟΣ ΕΤΕΙ ΥΜΣ"
(teacher-doctor, son of Ieronymos, healer, in the year 456)
- Photos and main text by Antonio Todisco ti.supmacla|ocsidot.oinotna#| (January 2015)
- Photos published under concession n.63/2014 by the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo - Soprintendeza per i Beni Archeologici di SA, AV, BN e CE.
- Locate the item on this Google Map