Incubation, or the Cure of Disease in Pagan Temples and Christian Churches

    Abstract

    “IN the ancient science of divination, four working niethods were commonly practised. Revelations of the future were deduced from natural portents, from the flight of birds, from the entrails of sacrificial victims, or from dreams... Incubation was the method by which men sought to entice such dreams.” These sentences from the introduction indicate the substance of this work. The book is divided into three parts:—(1) incubation in pagan temples, e.g. the cult of Asklepios at Epidauros, Rome, Athens, &c., and at the Oracles, Amphiaraos, and others; (2) incubation in Christian churches during the Middle Ages; and (3) the practice of incubation during modern times in Italy, Austria, Greece, and the Greek islands. Translations are given of the various stele which describe the cures wrought and the methods employed in procuring them. The book forms a useful summary of the subject, valuable both to archologists and to historians of medicine.

    Incubation, or the Cure of Disease in Pagan Temples and Christian Churches.

    By Mary Hamilton. Pp. 223. (London: W. C. Henderson and Son; Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Co., 1906.) Price 5s. net.

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    Incubation, or the Cure of Disease in Pagan Temples and Christian Churches . Nature 75, 366 (1907) doi:10.1038/075366a0

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