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Argos, Mycenae and Tiryns, a little further to the south, were thriving centers of culture during the later Minoan or Mycenaean Age about 1600 B.C. These centers in time developed into city states and the inhabitants, who were seafaring people, made voyages to many far-off places and were greatly influenced by the higher type of culture they found in the more advanced centers such as Crete. They built their cities on hilltops and fortified them with huge masonry walls which must have reached as high as sixty feet. The lower part of the walls was of Cyclopean Masonry i.e. huge, slightly dresses stones which weigh as much as ten tons each.

At Epidaurus we have another place of great archeological importance. This was the place where the ancients had built a temple to Asclepius, the physician, the god of Medicine and Healing. Here we find the stadium for the physical recreation and exercise and the theater for amusement. The theater here is the largest and best preserved in all Greece. Hippocrates of Cos, the celebrated physician, began his medical studies here as a priest to Asclepius. In times, the temples assumed scientific importance and became hospitals where maladies of every type were treated. Today, the theatre is still the venue a popular festival of ancient drama.

 


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