The author presents the epigraphic record of the countryside in the region Sacidava–Axiopolis (Lower Moesia). The population is not attested as living in organized structure like uici. However, the presence of military forces indicates a civilian population living in the proximity of military camps. The mention of Thracians recruited in the Roman army demonstrates that there was an indigenous organization before the Roman conquest. The veterans are also installed in the region, like Roman citizens inhabitants of Durostorum and Tomis, who had bought rural properties. Axiopolis was a harbour, and the existence of an association of nautae implies a quite cosmopolite population in the rural milieu of this town.
Neoplatonic Asclepius: Science and religion at the crossroads of Aristotelian biology, Hippocratic medicine and Platonic theurgy
In the first part of the paper, I will briefly discuss certain peculiarities of the medical profession in antiquity. In his Philosophical History (fr. 80–84 Athanassiadi) Damascius narrates about a philosopher, named Asclepiodotus, whose interests ranged from Platonic philosophy to Aristotelian natural sciences. Asclepiodotus’ instructor in medical matters, a son of a doctor from the island of Rhodos, Iacobus, is pictured by Damascius as an exemplary figure (fr. 84), who, unlike many of his contemporaries, always tested the opinions of others and gained a reputation of an extremely successful physician, although the methods of treatment, ascribed to him by Damascius, are highly reminiscent of those presented as the Pythagorean by Iamblichus (On the Pythagorean way of life 244). In this respect both Iacobus and Asclepiodotus are conformed to the best standards of medical ethics, and pass the test set by Galen in his “On examination by which the best physicians are recognized”, except perhaps by the fact that they preferred to base their activities on such authorities as Aristotle and the Methodist Soranus rather than on a list of the “dogmatists” proposed by Galen. In the second part of the paper, dedicated to the cult of Asclepius in Late Antiquity, I will look at various kinds of evidence taken from the Neoplatonic philosophers. Having discussed first the principal philosophical interpretations of Asclepius found in Apuleius, Aelianus, Macrobius, Julian, Porphyry, Iamblichus, Proclus, Damascius, etc., we turn to Proclus’ attitude to Athena and Asclepius as reflected in Marinus’ Vita Procli and finally discuss the cult of Eshmun as found in Damascius. The textual data are supported by archaeological evidence from the “House of Proclus” in Athens.
This new ethnoarchaeological research project focuses on the inner-Carpathian area of Romania. The archaeological and ethnographic vestiges of salt exploitation in this area are among the most consistent in Europe. They are closely interconnected and reveal the continuity of salt exploitation in the same locations from prehistory to the present. From the methodological point of view, the project avail itself of the experience gained and validated by the projects carried out under the aegis of the “Al. I. Cuza” University of Iași and of the National Museum of the Eastern Carpathians in collaboration with prominent research centres from France, UK, US, and Germany. The new project will tackle a number of new issues, including the reconstruction of the prehistoric salt-exploitation techniques that employed wooden installations such as those unearthed in a number of archaeological sites from northern Transylvania and Maramureș, the transport of salt along streams with limited discharges, and others. New research methods will also be tested, such as the virtual simulation of certain salt-exploitation technological processes.