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Stamp

Issue

ARQUEOLOGÍA MEDITERRÁNEA. EMISIÓN CONJUNTA ESPAÑA-GRECIA

  • Issue date: 13/09/2007
  • Printing Process: Huecograbado
  • Paper: Estucado, engomado, fosforescente
  • Size of stamp: 33,2 x 49,8 mm. (verticales)
  • Size of block sheet: 120 x 76 mm. (horizontal)
  • Sheet effects: 50
  • Postal value of the stamps: 0,30 y 0,58 €
  • Print run: 500.000
  • Dented: 13 3/4

The Spain-Greece joint issue depicts the statue of Asclepius, Greek god of medicine and the art of healing, son of Apollo and Coronis. The images of the sculptures depicted in the stamps belong to the Museum of Ampurias in Gerona (Spain) and the National Museum of Archaeology in Athens.

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Apollo, since the time of the decimvir, was known in Rome as the god who kept away illness. According to mythology, he is the son of Apollo who also has a daughter Hygieia, who is the goddess of health. The cult of Asclepius grew very popular all over Greece and his most famous sanctuary was in Epidaurus in Northeastern Peloponnese. The importance of the cult to Asclepius is made evident with the coins issued in the IV century with his effigy. Asclepius is depicted with the centaurs Chiron at his side, being this latter responsible for teaching him the healing properties of different substances, with a serpent entwined around his arm. Rome introduced the cult to Asclepius in the year 292 B.C. As a result of a plague epidemic, the Romans, after consulting the Sybilline books, commissioned an embassy to Epidaurus to consult the serpent of Asclepius. In acknowledgement to Asclepius, he was dedicated a shape boat temple built in the island of Tiberina. The statue of Asclepius, found in Ampurias, is made out of two blocks of marble, one from the island of Paros and the other from the quarries of Penteli. Asclepius appears dressed in a tunic and sandals; his left hand must have been holding a rod whilst the other held a bowl. Both the style and technique leads us to think that this artwork is from the IV century B.C. It was found in Ampurias in 1909, in the big water tank situated in front of the temple. In this tank took place at the time the healing and ritual ablutions of the ill who visited the sanctuary of Asclepius. Ampurias is located in the gulf of Rosas, besides L’Escala (Girona), and was founded by the Greeks of Massalia (Marseille). It is the most important Greek colony found in Spain and in this issue, the symbol of the close relationship between the two countries.

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