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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Personifications ▸ HealthView Options:  |  |  |   

Health (Hygieia or Salus)

Hygieia (also Hygiea or Hygeia, in Latin Hygea or Hygia), was the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. She was the goddess of health, cleanliness and sanitation. While her father was more directly associated with healing, she was associated with the prevention of sickness and the continuation of good health. Her name is the source of the word "hygiene." She was imported by the Romans as the Goddess Valetudo, the goddess of personal health, but over time she was increasingly identified with the ancient Italian goddess of social welfare, Salus.


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

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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. In 169, Marcus' co-emperor, Lucius Verus, fell ill with symptoms attributed to food poisoning and died after a few days. He may have actually been a victim of the plague. Salus was slow to act. The plague continued for roughly twenty years.
RB77308. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 979, BMCRE III 1376, MIR 18 182-6/30, Cohen III 547, Hunter III 137, cf. SRCV II 4998 (TR P XXIII), aVF, rough, weight 26.549 g, maximum diameter 30.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 169 - Dec 170 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXIIII, laureate head right; reverse SALVTI AVG COS III, Salus standing facing, head left, from patera in right hand feeding snake rising from altar at feet on left, long scepter vertical in left hand, S - C flanking low across field; $60.00 (53.40)


Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.

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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.
RB48408. Silvered antoninianus, MER-RIC 3368, BnF XII 1653, Venra 1307 - 1328 (LV 1859), RIC V 158 corr., VF, perfect centering, some silvering, some earthen encrustation, weight 3.991 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 1st emission, Nov - Dec 275 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SALVS AVG, Salus seated left, feeding snake rising from altar, T in exergue; $45.00 (40.05)


Gallic Empire, Victorinus, Summer to November 268 - mid 271 A.D.

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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.
RA73905. Billon antoninianus, RIC V 67, Schulzki AGK 21c, Mairat 321, Elmer 732, Zschucke 258, SRCV III 11179, VF, ragged flan, porosity, die wear, weight 1.996 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 135o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 2nd emission, late 269 - mid 270 A.D.; obverse IMP C VICTORINVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse SALVS AVG, Salus standing right, feeding snake held in her arms; $28.00 (24.92)




  



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Catalog current as of Saturday, December 03, 2016.
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Health