THE CULT OF ASCLEPIUS IN WEST EUROPEAN AND NORTH AMERICAN HISTORICAL SCIENCE
The last quarter of the XIX century was marked by significant archeological discoveries started by G. Shliman. It was they, that awakened a wave of interest of the scientific community in the ancient history. One of the directions, that scientists were interested in was the history of religion. In particular, the interest of researchers attracted the cult of the healing deity Asclepius, which had previously been studied more on the basis of narrative sources. Archaeological excavations conducted at the sites of the temples of Asclepius brought to the historical science a new, previously unexplored complex of material sources, which opened up new opportunities for scientists to study this cult. In the last quarter of the XIX century the methodological approaches to scientific research changed, as the authors began to rely on material sources in their works. The peculiarity of studying of the cult of Asklepius at that time was the fact, that this problem was interdisciplinary. Representatives of different sciences studied various aspects of the cult of the healthy deity. Publications began to appear from excavation sites, where archaeologists presented new findings, the essence and purpose of which became the subject of debate in scientific circles. A significant contribution to the study of the cult of Asklepius in the 19th century was made by classical philologists, who translated and interpreted epigraphic inscriptions found during archaeological excavations. They were the first to raise the question about the origin of the cult of Asklepius. In this period, the cult of Asklepius began to be studied from the standpoint of the history of religion, the first dissertations on the complex study of this cult with the involvement of new sources appeared. This problem was not left without attention of doctors who considered the methods of treatment in Asklepion, polemized on how rational were the above-mentioned methods. The peculiarity of this period was, that for the scientific environment of that time, there were significant limitations, not only concerning the direct results of archaeological excavations, but even publications of scientists (representatives of different sciences), who covered individual aspects of almost any problem (including the cult of Asklepios).