Milena Melfi


This study consists in the examination of the sculptural material found in the Asklepieion of Lebena at the time of the earliest excavation campaigns (1900 and 1911), as recorded in two photographs taken by Federico Halbherr and Luigi Pernier respectively. Most of these sculptures are presently lost, but the identification of their iconographic types allows interesting insights on the Hellenistic and Roman phases of the cult at Lebena. The statue of Artemis confirms a role of the goddess as figure auxiliary to Asklepios and is completely understandable on the basis of the comparison with the sanctuary at Epidauros. The herm of Pan and the possible representation of a Nymph link with a pre-existing cult devoted to deities presiding over nature and water – the Nymphs,Acheloos and Hermes – and attests its survival even in the Roman imperial phases of the sanctuary. Finally, the presence of the statue of a boy provides a welcomed addition to the dedicatory pattern from Lebena, since the practice of dedicating votives for children is widespread in Greek Asklepieia, but was not known yet from our site. All these elements enrich our knowledge of both the pantheon and the cult of Lebena, and contribute to inserting the site in the more general history and developments of the sanctuaries of Asklepios in Greece.

Parole chiave

Crete; Lebena; Asklepieion;Deities sculptures; Iconography

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