This article explores the origins and early development of the cult of Asclepius. Most of the relevant materials are found in classical literature, although archaeology can also help to shine some light on certain areas. Unsurprisingly, the origins of the cult are quite obscure. A number,of places in ancient Greece competed for the honour of being his birthplace, and there is no conclusive reason for deciding in favour of any of them. One thing that is constant in the stories told about him is that Apollo was usually his father. Another constant in the history of the cult is the practice of incubation. It seems likely that the cult brought together and combined elements of several healing cults that were originally quite separate. The cult emerged at the same time that Hippocratic medicine was developing. A new understanding of the nature of the soul, and the relationship between it and the body was also taking root. It is reasonable to believe that these facts are related, although harder to say exactly how.
This article compares the typological exegesis promoted by E. B. Pusey (1800–82) and his colleagues John Henry Newman and John Keble with that of their eighteenth-century Hutchinsonian predecessor William Jones of Nayland (1726–1800). Building on Peter Nockles’s argument that Jones’s emphasis on the figurative character of biblical language foreshadows the Tractarian application of the sacramental principle to exegesis, this article shows how this common approach differs from the more cautious one displayed by the High Church luminaries William Van Mildert and Herbert Marsh. At the same time, both Pusey’s criticism of the mainstream apologetics of his day and his more explicit application of the doctrine of the Incarnation to exegesis resulted in bolder interpretations and a greater emphasis on the necessity of figurative readings (of both the Bible and the natural world) than Jones generally proposed. A shared appreciation of the principle of reserve may explain both these differences and the Tractarian emphasis on a patristic, rather than a Hutchinsonian, inspiration for their approach.