In Truly Beyond Wonders Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis investigates texts and material evidence associated with healing pilgrimage in the Roman empire during the second century AD. Her focus is upon one particular pilgrim, the famous orator Aelius Aristides, whose Sacred Tales, his fascinating account of dream visions, gruelling physical treatments, and sacred journeys, has been largely misunderstood and marginalized. Petsalis-Diomidis rehabilitates this text by placing it within the material context of the sanctuary of Asklepios at Pergamon, where the author spent two years in search of healing. The architecture, votive offerings, and ritual rules which governed the behaviour of pilgrims are used to build a picture of the experience of pilgrimage to this sanctuary. Truly Beyond Wonders ranges broadly over discourses of the body and travel and in so doing explores the place of healing pilgrimage and religion in Graeco-Roman society and culture. It is generously illustrated with more than 80 drawings and photographs, and four colour plates.
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