Publius Granius Rufus from Lebena’s sanatio
Account of a sanatio (miraculous healing) carved on a fragmentary marble slab coming from the sanctuary of Asclepius in Leben, Crete. The inscription, conceived as a dedication to the god, was made by the Roman Publius Granius Rufus, who appears to have been an influent personality in the nearby town of Gortyn. He applied to the sanctuary in order to cure a form of pulmonary tuberculosis that had been affecting him for almost two years, and that maybe the ʻnewʼ Hippocratic medicine had not been able to handle. The therapy, probably inspired by the mystic sleep of the incubatio, was quite elaborate, implying the consumption of herbs, spicy wine, a bread bun, sacred ash, an egg, resins, a vegetable decoction and figs. The existence itself of the epigraph makes sure that this treatment was successful, and allowed Publius Granius to honour the deity and to ʻpubliciseʼ its ability. Basing on the other known records of the gens Grania, the stone may be approximately dated between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD.