Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

The architecture of access: ramps at ancient Greek healing sanctuaries

  • Debby Sneed (a1)

Abstract

Ancient Greece is well known for its many temples and sanctuaries, including several dedicated to healing and associated cults. Informed by disability studies, this article analyses the architecture of public spaces and facilities, alongside epigraphic, iconographic and literary evidence, to argue that the ancient Greeks sought to ensure the accessibility of healing sanctuaries. Even without a framework of civil rights as we understand them today, the builders of these sites made architectural choices that enabled individuals with impaired mobility to access these spaces. It is hoped that this research may stimulate further investigations into accessibility at other sites in the Classical world and beyond.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The architecture of access: ramps at ancient Greek healing sanctuaries
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The architecture of access: ramps at ancient Greek healing sanctuaries
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The architecture of access: ramps at ancient Greek healing sanctuaries
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All
ADA. 1990. Americans with Disabilities Act. Public Law 101–336. 108th Congress, 2nd session (July 26, 1990). Available at: https://www.ada.gov/pubs/adastatute08.htm (accessed 1 June 2020).
Andrić, I. 1959. The bridge on the Drina. New York: Macmillan.
Barnes, C. 2012. Understanding the social model of disability: past, present and future, in Watson, N., Roulstone, A. & Thomas, C. (ed.) Routledge handbook of disability studies: 1229. London & New York: Routledge.
Bliquez, L.J. 1996. Prosthetics in classical antiquity: Greek, Etruscan and Roman prosthetics, in Temporini, H. & Haase, W. (ed.) Aufstieg und niedergang der Römischen Welt II (Principat): 2640–76. Berlin & New York: Walter de Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110809008-009
Brownson, C.L. 1918. Xenophon. Hellenica, volume 1: books 1–4 (Loeb Classical Library 88). Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.
Burford, A. 1969. The Greek temple builders at Epidaurus: a social and economic study of building in the Asklepian sanctuary, during the fourth and early third centuries B.C. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
DDA. 1995. Disability Discrimination Act. Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1995/50/contents (accessed 1 June 2020).
Draycott, J. (ed.). 2019. Introduction, Prostheses in antiquity: 128. London & New York: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351232395-1
Edwards, M. 1997. Constructions of physical disability in the ancient Greek world: the community concept, in Mitchell, D.T. & Snyder, S.L. (ed.) The body and physical difference: discourses of disability: 3550. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Eichholz, D.E. 1962. Pliny. Natural history, volume X: books 36–37 (Loeb Classical Library 419). Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.
Eliopoulos, S.M. 1940. The ramp of the Temple of Asklepios at Epidauros. American Journal of Archaeology 44: 222–24. https://doi.org/10.2307/499415
Fagles, R. 1990. Homer: the Iliad. New York: Penguin.
Gissen, D. 2014. The path to the Acropolis: a reconstruction. Log 31: 9699.
Halbherr, F. & Guarducci, M.. 1935. Inscriptiones Creticae, volume 1. Rome: Liberia dello Stato.
Jones, W.H.S. 1918. Pausanias: description of Greece, volume 1: books 1–2 (Attica and Corinth) (Loeb Classical Library 93). Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.
Kirchner, J. 1913–1940. Inscriptiones Graecae, vol. II et III: inscriptiones Atticae Euclidis anno posteriors. Editio altera. Berlin: De Gruyter.
Lang, M. 1977. Cure and cult in ancient Corinth: a guide to the Asklepieion. Princeton (NJ): American School of Classical Studies at Athens.
LiDonnici, L.R. 1995. The Epidaurian miracle inscriptions: text, translation, and commentary. Atlanta (GA): Scholars.
Liston, M. 2017. Human skeletal remains, in Papadopoulos, J.K. & Smithson, E.L. (ed.) The Athenian Agora. Volume XXXVI: the Early Iron Age: the cemeteries: 503–60. Princeton (NJ): American School of Classical Studies at Athens.
Malamidou, D. 2006. Les nécropoles d'Amphipolis: nouvelles données archéologiques et anthropologiques, in Guimier-Sorbets, A.M., Hatzopoulos, M.B. & Morizot, Y. (ed.) Rois, cités, nécropoles: institutions, rites et monuments en Macédoine. Actes des Colloques de Nanterre (Décembre 2002) et d'Athènes (janvier 2004): 199208. Athènes: Centre de recherches de l'Antiquité grecque et romaine, Fondation Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique.
Most, G.W. 2018. Hesiod: theogony. Works and days. Testimonia (Loeb Classical Library 57). Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.
Oliver, M. 2004. The social model in action: if I had a hammer, in Barnes, C. & Mercer, G. (ed.) Implementing the social model of disability: theory and research: 1831. Leeds: Disability Press.
Oliver, M. 2016. Rewriting history: the case of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Disability & Society 31: 966–68. https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2016.1213054
Pedley, J. 2006. Sanctuaries and the sacred in the ancient Greek world. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Persons with Disabilities Empowerment Act, B.E. 2550. 2007. Available at: http://ilo.org/dyn/natlex/natlex4.detail?p_lang=en&p_isn=78643&p_country=THA&p_count=441 (accessed 1 June 2020).
Petridou, G. 2016. Demeter as an ophthalmologist? Eye votives and the cult of Demeter and Kore, in Draycott, J. & Graham, E. J. (ed.) Bodies of evidence: ancient anatomical votives past, present and future: 95111. London & New York: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315096193-6
Pierattini, A. 2019. Interpreting rope channels: lifting, setting and the birth of Greek monumental architecture. Annual of the British School at Athens 114: 167206. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0068245419000030
Potter, P. 2010. Hippocrates. Coan prenotions. Anatomical and minor clinical writings (Loeb Classical Library 509). Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.
Rackham, H. 1935. Aristotle. Athenian constitution. Eudemian ethics. Virtues and vices (Loeb Classical Library 285). Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.
Roebuck, C. 1951. The Asklepieion and Lerna: Corinth 14. Princeton (NJ): American School of Classical Studies at Athens. https://doi.org/10.2307/4390689
Rose, M.L. 2003. The staff of Oedipus: transforming disability in ancient Greece. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. https://doi.org/10.3998/mpub.17745
Samama, E. 2017. La médecine de guerre en Grèce ancienne. Turnhout: Brepols.
Smith, T.J. 2009. Komastai or ‘Hephaistoi’? Visions of comic parody in archaic Greece. Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 52: 6992. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2041-5370.2009.tb00747.x
Sneed, D. 2018. The life cycle of disability in ancient Greece. Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles.
Sporn, K. 2015. Rituale im griechischen Tempel: Überlegungen zur Funktion von Tempelrampen, in Panagiotopoulos, D., Kaiser, I. & Kouka, O. (ed.) Ein Minoer im Exil: Festschrift für Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier (Universitätsforschungen zur Prähistorischen Archäologie 270): 349–74. Bonn: Rudolf Habelt.
Strassler, R.B. 2008. The landmark Thucydides: a comprehensive guide to the Peloponnesian Wars. New York: NY Free Press.
Strassler, R.B. 2009. The landmark Herodotus: the histories. New York: Anchor.
Straus, J.N. 2013. Autism as culture, in Davis, L.J. (ed.) The disability studies reader (4th edition): 460–84. London & New York: Routledge.
Todd, S.C. 2000. Lysias. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Tomlinson, R.A. 1969. Two buildings in sanctuaries of Asklepios. Journal of Hellenic Studies 89: 106–17. https://doi.org/10.2307/627471
Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation. 1976. Fundamental principles of disability. London: Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation.
Vince, C.A. & Vince, J.H.. 1926. Demosthenes. Orations, volume II: orations 18–19: De Corona, De Falsa Legatione (Loeb Classical Library 155). Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.
Withington, E.T. 1928. Hippocrates. On wounds in the head. In the surgery. On fractures. On joints. Mochlicon (Loeb Classical Library 149). Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.
World Health Organization. 2011. World report on disability. Available at: https://www.who.int/disabilities/world_report/2011/report.pdf (accessed 1 June 2020).
Ziskowski, A. 2012. Clubfeet and Kypselids: contextualizing Corinthian padded dancers in the Archaic period. Annual of the British School at Athens 107: 211–32. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0068245412000093

Keywords

The architecture of access: ramps at ancient Greek healing sanctuaries

  • Debby Sneed (a1)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.