The shrine of the Athena Hygieia and Hygieia in Propylaia of Athens Acropolis

Southeast to the central building of the Propylaia is situated a small shrine dedicated both to Athena Hygieia (Health) and Hygieia, the daughter of Asklepeios, who was the god of medicine. The cult of Athena Hygieia on the Acropolis is dated since 6th cent.B.C., according to epigraphical testimoinia, whereas the cult of Hygieia is dated around 420 B.C.

In the shrine, part of the rectangular altar and the cylindrical marble base of a bronze statue of Athena Hygieia made by the Athenian sculptor Pyrrhos are preserved. According to tradition (Plutarchus, Life of Perikles 13.7-8) the statue was dedicated for the salvage of a workman who had suffered an accident during the contruction of the Propylaia. However, it is more likely that the demos (people of Athens) dedicated the statue in relation to the plague that stroke the city at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War (429-427 B.C.).

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