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Home>Catalog>CollectingThemes>Gods,Non-Olympian>HygieiaorSalus PAGE 1/3123»»»

Hygieia or Salus

Hygieia is usually said to be a daughter of Asklepios, along with her sisters, Panacea and Iaso. Hygieia, though, was the most important of the attendants of Asklepios and was thought by some in antiquity to be not his daughter but his wife. She was more important than other members of the family and more on par with Asklepios himself. Hygieia is remembered today in the word, "hygiene." She appears on numerous coins, usually depicted feeding the sacred snake from a patera. Salus was the Roman goddess of health, identified by the Romans with the Greek Hygiea.


Nemausus, Gaul, c. 40 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Colonia Nemausus was founded as a colony by Tiberius Claudius Nero in 45 or 44 B.C. for veterans that had served Julius Caesar under his command in Gaul and the invasion of Egypt. He was the first husband of Livia and was persuaded or forced by Octavian to divorce her. At the wedding he gave her in marriage to Octavian "just as a father would."
GB67907. Bronze semis, RPC I 520, SNG Cop 692, SNG Munchen 431, CCC BM III 231, De la Tour 2735, VF, weight 1.565 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 180mo, Nemausus (Nimes) mint, c. 40 B.C.; obverse helmeted and draped bust right, S (mark of value) behind; reverse NEM COL (downward on right), Salus standing, patera in right over two snakes, left elbow on column behind; $250.00 (€187.50)

Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.
Click for a larger photo
RS68718. Silver denarius, RIC II Vesp 1084, RSC II 384, BMCRE II Vesp 265, VF/F, weight 3.473 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 79 A.D.; obverse CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS COS VI, laureate head right; reverse PRINCEPS IVVENTVTIS, Salus standing left, legs crossed, leaning against column, feeding snake from patera; $170.00 (€127.50)

Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one serpent bringing another healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RS69939. Silver denarius, RIC IV 32, RSC III 239, BMCRE VI 117, cf. SRCV II 7894 (TR P COS, 222 A.D.), EF, toned, weight 2.690 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 223 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P II COS P P, Salus seated left, with right feeding snake coiled around altar, left elbow resting on chair; ex Heritage auction 231402, lot 64149; ex Freeman and Sear; $165.00 (€123.75)

Maximinus I Thrax, 20 March 235 - late May 238 A.D.
Click for a larger photo RIC notes a specimen of this type from the L. A. Lawrence Collection, well struck on a large heavy flan, but without S C in the exergue. Numismatica Ars Classica auction 46, lot 641 is this type on a 16.87 gram medallic flan, with S C in the exergue (5,800 CHF plus fees). Our example is not quite that large or "medallic" but it is well struck on broad, overweight flan.
RB69008. Copper as, RIC IV 87, BMCRE VI 180, Cohen 93; cf. NAC auction 46, lot 641, VF, some roughness, scratches and edge flaking, weight 12.610 g, maximum diameter 30.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 236 - 237 A.D.; obverse MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG GERM, Laureate and draped bust right; reverse SALVS AVGVSTI, Salus seated left, from patera in right, feeding snake rising from altar at feet on left, S C in exergue; $150.00 (€112.50)

Maximinus I Thrax, 20 March 235 - Late May 238 A.D., Ancient Counterfeit
Click for a larger photo  
RS65174. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. RSC III 85a, RIC IV 14, BMCRE 21, SRCV III 8304 (official, silver, Rome mint, Mar 235 - Jan 236 A.D.), VF, weight 2.978 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial mint, obverse IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SALVS AVGVSTI, Salus seated left, from patera feeding snake coiled around altar, left elbow resting on back of throne; near full centering, great chin; $130.00 (€97.50)

Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one serpent bringing another healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RS65175. Silver denarius, RIC IV 32, RSC III 239, BMCRE VI 117, cf. SRCV II 7894 (TR P COS, 222 A.D.), gVF, weight 2.642 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 223 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P II COS P P, Salus seated left, with right feeding snake coiled around altar, left elbow resting on chair; $130.00 (€97.50)

Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain.
RB59856. Copper as, RIC II 669, SRCV II 3681 var, VF, excellent portrait, weight 8.565 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 125 - 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate head right; reverse COS III, S - C, Salus standing right, holding and feeding snake from patera in left; ex FORVM 2011; $130.00 (€97.50)

Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one serpent bringing another healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RB69678. Bronze dupondius, RIC III 834; Cohen 556; BMCRE IV 1012, cf. SRCV II 5042 (TR P XXV), aVF, weight 13.886 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, Dec 161 - Dec 162 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M AVREL ANTONINVS AVG P M, radiate head right; reverse SALVTI AVGVSTOR TR P XVI, Salus standing slightly left, feeding snake from patera in right, snake coiled around altar at feet on left, short scepter vertical in left, S C across field, COS III in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $120.00 (€90.00)

Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius and Minerva.
RB63619. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 345, F, weight 17.020 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 182 A.D.; obverse M COMMODVS ANTONINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse SALVS AVG TR P VII IMP V COS III S C, Salus (goddess of health) standing left, feedings snake raising from altar; $105.00 (€78.75)

Lucilla, Augusta c. 164 - 182 A.D., Wife of Lucius Verus
Click for a larger photo In 166 A.D., an epidemic known as the Antonine Plague (possibly small pox) spread from the East throughout the Roman Empire. This coin was likely dedicated to Salus to plea for her aid against the outbreak. Salus was slow to act . In 169, Lucilla's husband, Lucius Verus, fell ill with symptoms attributed to food poisoning and died after a few days. He may actually been a victim of the plague. The plague continued for roughly twenty years.
RB65161. Orichalcum as, RIC III 1760, BMCRE IV 1222, Cohen 66, RSCV II 5521, VF, well centered, nice patina, weight 13.387 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 315o, Rome mint, c. 166 - 169 A.D.; obverse LVCILLA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse SALVS S C, Salus seated on throne left, with patera in right, feeding snake rising from altar, left elbow on back of chair; $100.00 (€75.00)



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Catalog current as of Wednesday, April 23, 2014.
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Hygieia or Salus