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Hellenic Polytheism is not just about the worship of the Twelve Olympians, but, on the contrary of a great number of divinities capable to have a straightforward and personal contact with the supplicant. One such divinity is Telesphorus, son of Asclepius. The interesting element of the God is that still today there is a debate of His origin, which is been discussed briefly at the Genius Cucullatus Exhibition online presentation here. In short there are two main hypotheses for Telesphorus origins; the Gallatian and the Greco-Roman hypothesis. Unfortunately, this online presentation - which of course provides a great amount of information, mainly in favour of Telesphorus Gallic origin - overlook the 1976 archaeological report by James Wiseman and Djordje Mano-Zissi in Journal of Field Archaeology, where Telesphorus terracotta figurines have been discovered in graves, dated on the 2nd century BC (p. 278-279). An additional artefact depicting Telesphorus is available at the Science Museum London collection dated in between 500 to 200 BC possibly originated from Boeotia (see here). Regardless of the scholarly debate, the worship and ritualistic importance of the Hero, Telesphorus, is very interesting.
|Frieze from Roman Philippopolis (3rd AD),|
from left to right: Luna, Iaso, Telesphorus, Asclepius,
Panacea, Epione, Machaion, Padaleirios.
© Archaeological Museum in Plovdiv,
Bulgaria (RAM – Plovdiv)