The Plague of Athens and the Cult of Asclepius: A Case Study of Collective Behavior and a Social Movement

  title={The Plague of Athens and the Cult of Asclepius: A Case Study of Collective Behavior and a Social Movement},
  author={Harry Perlstadt},
  journal={Sociology and anthropology},
  • H. Perlstadt
  • Published 2016
  • Sociology
  • Sociology and anthropology
During the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, several waves of a plague killed an estimated one-third of the civilian Athenian population and one-fourth of its army. Thucydides account of the plague (430-426 BCE) and the subsequent rise of the cult of Asclepius can be examined as perhaps the earliest case study of collective behavior and a social movement. In his account of the plague, Thucydides reveals a sociological imagination and concepts including anomie and escalating stages of… Expand

Tables from this paper


Pericles and the Plague: Civil Religion, Anomie, and Injustice in Thucydides*
This paper examines thc problems of "civil rcligion,""anfvmie," and injustice in Athenian society as presented in Thucydides's narrative of the Peloponnesian war. Thucydides juxtaposes Pericles'sExpand
Religion in Hellenistic Athens
Until now, there has been no comprehensive study of religion in Athens from the end of the classical period to the time of Rome's domination of the city. Jon D. Mikalson provides a chronologicalExpand
Epidemics and ideas: Epidemic, ideas and classical Athenian society
My focus of attention is the great plague of Athens. However, before analysing the impact of the plague upon contemporary Athenian society, I should like, if I may so describe it, to examine AthenianExpand
Asclepius and temple medicine in aelius Aristides' Sacred Tales.
If the activities attributed to Asclepius in the tablets of Epidaurus are compared with Aelius Aristides' report of the god's miracle working upon him, the reader is struck by one considerableExpand
Religious syncretism: The new gods of greek tragedy
A S one scholar has recently expressed the matter, "Greek tragedy is about nothing if not religion."' It is therefore fitting that the study of gods and rituals has stood at the centre of much recentExpand
Asklepios: Ancient Hero of Medical Caring
  • J. Bailey
  • Medicine
  • Annals of Internal Medicine
  • 1996
The Asklepian myth illustrates an ancient understanding of physicians' duties for providing care to the underserved, which historians have previously underemphasized. Expand
Magic and Rationality in Ancient Near Eastern and Graeco-Roman Medicine
For the first time, medical systems of the Ancient Near East and the Greek and Roman world are studied side by side and compared, focusing on the degree of " rationality" or "irrationality" in the various ways of medical thought and treatment. Expand
Civil religion in America
WmxE some have argued that Christianity is the national faith, and others that church and synagogue celebrate only the generalized religion of "the American Way of life," few have reahzed that thereExpand
DNA examination of ancient dental pulp incriminates typhoid fever as a probable cause of the Plague of Athens.
The results of this study clearly implicate typhoid fever as a probable cause of the Plague of Athens. Expand