II sec. d.C.

PAUSANIA, Guida della Grecia, II, 11, 7 – 12, 1; II, 26, 1-7; IV, 3, 2

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II, 11, 7 – 12, 1

[In the sanctuary of Asklepios at Titane in Sikyonia :] There is also a wooden image of Koronis, but it has no fixed position anywhere in the temple. While to the god are being sacrificed a bull, a lamb, and a pig, they remove Koronis to the sanctuary of Athena and honor her there. The parts of the victims which they offer as a burnt sacrifice, and they are not content with cutting out the thighs, they burn on the ground, except the birds, which they burn on the altar . . . In Titane there is also a sanctuary of Athena, into which they bring up the image of Koronis.

[N.B. Pausanias does not say what type of bird was sacrificed to Asklepios. The removal of the statue of Koronis might suggest ravens or crows. Although the usual bird offering to the god was the rooster, cf. Plato.]


II, 26, 1-7

The land [of Epidauros] is especially sacred to Asklepios is due to the following reason. The Epidaurians say that Phlegyas came to the Peloponnesos, ostensibly to see the land, but really to spy out the number of the inhabitants, and whether the greater part of them was warlike. For Phlegyas was the greatest soldier of his time, and making forays in all directions he carried off the crops and lifted the cattle. When he went to the Peloponnesos, he was accompanied by his daughter [Koronis], who all along had kept hidden from her father that she was with child by Apollon. In the country of the Epidaurians she bore a son [Asklepios], and exposed him on the mountain called Titthion (Nipple) at he present day, but then named Myrtion. As they child lay exposed he was given milk by one of the goats that pastured about the mountain, and was guarded by the watch-dog of the herd. And when Aresthanas, for this was the herdsman’s name, discovered that the tale of the goats was not full, and that the watch-dog also was absent from the herd, he left, they say, no stone unturned, and on finding the child desired to take him up. As he drew near, he saw lightning that flashed from the child, and, thinking that it was something divine, as in fact it was, he turned away.Presently it was reported over every land and sea that Asklepios was discovering everything he wished to heal the sick, and the he was raising dead men to life. There is also another tradition concerning him. Koronis, they say, when with child with Asklepios, had intercourse with Iskhys, son of Elatos. She was killed by Artemis to punish her for the insult done to Apollon, but when the pure was already lighted Hermes is said to have snatched the child from the flames. The third account is, in my opinion, the farthest from the truth; it makes Asklepios to be the son of Arsinoe, the daughter of Leukippos. For when Apollophanes, the Arkadian, came to Delphoi and asked the god if Asklepios was the son of Arsinoe and therefore a Messenian, the Pythian priestess gave this response:

“O Asklepios, born to bestow great joy upon mortals, pledge of the mutual love I enjoyed with Phlegyas’’ daughter, lovely Koronis, who bare thee in rugged land, Epidauros.”

The oracle makes it quite certain the Asklepios was not a son of Arsinoe, and that the story was a fiction invented by Hesiod, or by one of Hesiod’s interpolators, just to please the Messenians.

IV, 3, 2

They say that the sons of Asklepios who went to Troy were Messenians, Asklepios being the son of Arsinoe, daughter of Leukippos, not the son of Koronis, and they call a desolate spot in Messenia by the name of Trikka.