In the year 292 B.C., in consequence of a pestilence in Rome, an embassy was sent to Epidaurus to bring back the statue of the god Aesculapius. The embassy returned the next year, bringing, not the statue, but a serpent from Epidaurus, which abandoned the ship and swam to the island. A temple to Aesculapius was at once erected and the whole island consecrated as its temenos. It became therefore sacra, and did not pass into private possession. The island was also known as insula Aesculapii, insula serpentis Epidauri, and inter duos pontes. The temple was restored, probably about the time when the pons Fabricius was built, and its site is now occupied by the church of S. Bartolomeo. Some of the columns of the nave belonged probably to the temple or to the neighboring porticus.
Quondam © 2015.07.28