a1 National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh
The fourth of Herodas is entitled in the papyrus —a title which very well describes the beginning and end of the poem, but disregards the middle, the most important part. The poem divides naturally into sections as follows: (i)1–20a;(2) (i)20b–38, (ii) 39–563, (iii) 56b–78; (3) 79–95.
In (1) we hear one of the women of the title carrying out the offering to the god. This section has been examined in detail by R. Wünsch, ‘Ein Dankopfer an Asklepios’, Arch. Rel. Wiss. vii (1904), 95 ff., who shows that it corresponds closely to the form of prayer used in real life, starting with the invocatio of the god, comprising greeting () and mention of his dwelling-places (Trikka, Kos, Epidauros), family (parents, Koronis and Apollo;