Telesphorus was a child-god of healing. He was the son of Asclepius and frequently accompanied his sister Hygeia. He was depicted as a dwarf whose head was always covered with a cowl hood or cap.

Statue of Telesphorus. Nimes Archaeology Museum. (c) DBachmann

Telesphorus is assumed to have been a Celtic god in origin, who was taken to Anatolia by the Galatians in the 3rd c. BC, where he would have become associated with the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius, perhaps in Pergamon and spread again to the West due to the rise of the Roman Empire.

Due to the dedications found, it is assumed that he was primarily a healing god of children. He has also been associated with the Genii Cucullati due to his appearance.

Altar to Telesphorus from Budapest. Aquincum Museum.

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