Brill’s New Pauly

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(618 words)

[German version]

(from the Latin incubare; Greek ἐγκοιμᾶσθαι/enkoimâsthai, ‘to sleep in a temple’). The term for a method, practised in many religions, for receiving revelations: the sleep in a sacred place, during which the superhuman occupant of the place appears, gives information and advice (even in the comic fracture of Aristoph. Plut. 698-747 Asclepius himself appears). In Graeco-Roman antiquity, just as in Byzantine Christianity, incubation was particularly practised in the  healing cults, above all in the cults of  Asclepius and  Isis, but also, for example, of  Amphiarau…

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Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH), “Incubation”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 27 July 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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