The pavement in the interior of the Tholos

In the interior, the pavement consisted of a ring of limestones, which lay on the foundations already described, followed by a black ring on which 14 small circles can still be detected. On those circles 14 elaborate Corinthian columns formed a circular colonnade.

On the 26 blacks dots, at the exterior of the monument, the 26 Doric columns were erected and had no constructional correlation with the 14 Corinthian ones. Why, from the architectural point of view, should the two colonnades not be related to each other? The answer to this puzzling question will be given later.

In the interior an elaborate design, drawn with a compass, alternates black and white rhomboidal slabs, which terminate in a second, smaller black ring containing the white, circular stone.

Today for the first time in the history of Epidaurus, it is revealed that the circular building of the Tholos was a complete astronomical monument.

The fact that it was located in the main therapeutical center of the ancient world seems strange, though. Perhaps one day we will understand the reason why an astronomical monument was located in a sanctuary meant for curing, a place where health was the only concern.

Maybe this is the reason why, during a period of more than a century since the archeaoloigist Pan. Kavvadias first conducted the excavations, no scientist engaged in astronomical studies and mathematics – an astronomer, a space physicist, a mathematician etc. – hasn’t thought of correlating architectural and sculptural elements, internal and external ones, those on the floor, the ceiling and the wall painting, in order to identify the astronomical features of the monument.

Except for the underground labyrinth of the Tholos, the rest of the building bears the seal of Apollo, father of Asclepius, healer of the Gods and God of spiritual light. The representative of Apollo in the universe is the sun. The relation between the Sun/physical body and Apollo/spiritual light is explained in Plutarch’s work “About the EI in Delphi”, 21.

by ALTANI, Researcher

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