Ritual sleep in a sanctuary in order to obtain a dream, mostly for healing. Incubation is known from sanctuaries of Asclepius, but also from other healing sanctuaries like the Amphiaraion at Oropus. Such sanctuaries mostly had specific halls where patients slept during the night, with high walls to prevent prying. Aristophanes in Plutus gives a detailed description of a night in the Asclēpiēum in Piraeus, while the healing inscriptions from Epidaurus, Rome, and Pergamum although directly aimed at promoting the cult, allow some insights into the nature of the dreams, as does the diary of Aelius Aristides.
See healing gods.
Subjects: Classical Studies.