Inspired by Apollo and Asclepio's Sons in Homer and Virgil

Rosamaria Lentini Merlino


Important passages of the Homeric and Virgilian epic are regarding the art of divination and the medical science, and underline contextually the figures of the fortuneteller and that of the physician. Two roles are associated to one matrix: heroic-aristocratic or royal-sacerdotal. In Homer's epic it is possible to single out surgical and phytotherapeutic knowledge together with remedies for diseases aroused by a solar god, like Apollo is, gods' physician. Pitiful divinities comfort those who have been struck by demoniac and mysterious forms. On the contrary, in Virgil's epic a symbiosis is carried out between the physician's figure and the priest's one, with the very vague outlines of the two arts and however, overloaded by factors which are tipically Virgilian. Unusual form of incubation of the Greek rituals has been translpanted in the Latin matrix; and moreover there is a constant recall of words used in their most antique meaning. 

Key words: Mantic - Medicine - Homer - Virgil 

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