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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Medical & Health||View Options:  |  |  | 

Medical & Health on Ancient Coins
Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Cotiaeum, Phrygia

|Other| |Phrygia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Cotiaeum,| |Phrygia|, |tetrassarion|
Asklepios is the Greek god of medicine. Hygieia is the goddess of health and Askelpois' daughter. Telesphoros is Asklepios' assistant. Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake 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.
RP91190. Bronze tetrassarion, SNG Munchen 333; SNGvA 3791; SNG Hunterian 2048; BMC Phrygia p. 177, 95 var. (exergue in two lines...Ω/N); SNG Cop -; SNG Righetti -, Choice VF, well centered, dark patina, highest points flatly struck, small edge split, central depressions, weight 6.308 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 180o, Cotiaeum (Kutahya, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AYT K Π ΛIK OYAΛEPIANON, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse EΠI Π AI ∆HMHTPIANOY IΠΠ (P. Ailios Demetrios, archon and hipparchos), Hygieia, on left, standing right, feeding serpent in right hand from patera in left hand; Asklepios, on right, standing facing, head left, leaning with right hand on serpent-entwined staff; Telesphoros between them, standing facing, ΛP/X in two lines above center, KOTIAEΩN in exergue; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.; EQVITI Series III of Ticinum, V | * TXXI

|Probus|, |Probus,| |Summer| |276| |-| |September| |282| |A.D.;| |EQ<u>V</u>ITI| |Series| |III| |of| |Ticinum,| |<u>V</u>| ||| |*| |TXXI|, |antoninianus|
Ticinum mint EQVITI series III - click "EQVITI" to read the NumisWiki article, "Coins of Probus with Coded Markings of EQVITI Embedded in the mint mark." The letter "V" in the reverse field is the third letter of the codeword EQVITI. The letter "T" in the exergue indicates this coin was struck by the third officina (mint workshop). The star indicates this is from the third Ticinum series. The letters of the word EQVITI are coded in the mint marks of coins from all the officinae of the mint, with the specific letters of the codeword assigned to each officina in order corresponding with their officina numbers. This codeword probably refers to cavalry. It may be AEQVITI truncated because there were only six officinae in operation.
RA87598. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV 162 (also third officina), RIC V-2 499; Pink VI/1, p. 67; Cohen VI 577; SRCV III -, Choice EF, well centered, much silvering, areas of porosity, bumps and marks, edge crack, weight 3.788 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 282 A.D.; obverse IMP C PROBVS AVG, radiate and mantled bust left holding eagle-tipped scepter; reverse SALVS AVG (the health of the Emperor), Salus standing right feeding snake held in arms, V left, * right, TXXI in exergue; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

|Commodus|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.|, |denarius|
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 snake bringing another snake 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. 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."
RS94701. Silver denarius, RSC II 762b; Hunter II 13; SRCV II 5702; RIC III M649 var. (draped); BMCRE IV p. 503, M780 (draped), VF, nice young portrait, flow lines, slight porosity, uneven tone, edge ragged with cracks, weight 3.011 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 177 - Dec 178 A.D.; obverse L AVREL COMMODVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse TR P III IMP II COS P P, Salus seated left, branch extended in right hand, left arm rests on chair, snake rising up from the ground before her; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

|Carausius|, |Romano-British| |Empire,| |Carausius,| |Mid| |286| |-| |Spring| |or| |Early| |Summer| |293| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
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 snake bringing another snake 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. This coin, dedicated to the health of the emperor, probably indicates the emperor was at the time suffering from some disease, and sacred rites had been performed for his recovery.
RA73475. Billon antoninianus, Beaujard and Huvelin 36, Webb Carausius 739, RIC V-2 666 (R), Hunter IV -, SRCV IV -, F, well centered on a tight flan, over-cleaned, porous, ragged edge, closed flan crack, weight 2.673 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 225o, Rotomagus (Rouen, France) mint, 2nd emission, c. 1st half 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front, continental portrait type; reverse SALVS AVG (the health of the Emperor), Salus standing slightly left, head left, from patera in right hand feeding snake rising from altar, cornucopia in left hand, no mintmarks; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; very rare; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

|Carausius|, |Romano-British| |Empire,| |Carausius,| |Mid| |286| |-| |Spring| |or| |Early| |Summer| |293| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
Although the exergue is off flan, based on the portrait style, it is likely this is an early issue without a mintmark (unmarked). It may have been struck at a mint traveling with Carausius or perhaps at London.
RA73490. Billon antoninianus, cf. RIC V-2 983, Webb Carausius 1102, Hunter IV 75, Cohen VII 310, Linchmere Hoard 1102 (1 spec.), King Unmarked 13, SRCV IV -, Bicester -, F, nice green patina, centered on a crowded flan, minor edge chipping, weight 2.590 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 45o, London(?) mint, c. mid 286 - 287 A.D.; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped (and cuirassed?) bust right, early reign 'moustache' portrait; reverse SALVS AVG (the health of the Emperor), Salus standing slightly left, head left, from patera in right hand feeding snake rising from altar, long scepter vertical in left hand; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; $95.00 SALE |PRICE| $85.50


Trebonianus Gallus, June or July 251 - July or August 253 A.D.

|Trebonianus| |Gallus|, |Trebonianus| |Gallus,| |June| |or| |July| |251| |-| |July| |or| |August| |253| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
In 251 A.D., a fifteen-year plague began in the Roman Empire. In Roman Coins and Their Values III, David Sear notes, "This unusual reverse type doubtless represents an appeal to the god of healing for deliverance from the pestilence which was afflicting Rome."
RS91605. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 32 (S), RSC IV 20, SRCV III 9627, Hunter III -, VF/F, toned, flow lines, porous, frosty surfaces, weight 3.207 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 252 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse APOLL SALVTARI (Apollo the Healer), Apollo standing left, nude, laurel branch in right hand, leaning with left on lyre set on rock; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection, ex Numismatique Archeologie, M. Platt (Paris); scarce; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

|Philip| |I|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
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 snake bringing another snake 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. This coin, dedicated to the health of the emperor, probably indicates the emperor was at the time suffering from some disease, and sacred rites had been performed for his recovery.
RB87451. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 186a, Cohen V 211, Hunter III 75, SRCV III 9017, VF, excellent portrait, irregularly shaped flan (typical of the period), light corrosion, cracks, weight 15.469 g, maximum diameter 31.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 244 - 245 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse SALVS AVG (the health of the Emperor), Salus standing slightly right, head right, feeding snake held with her right arm from patera in her left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; $75.00 SALE |PRICE| $67.50


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
The Greeks and Romans did not view snakes as evil creatures but rather as symbols and tools for healing and fertility. Asclepius, the son of Apollo and Koronis, learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake 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.
RA89970. Billon antoninianus, GŲbl MIR 1649g, RIC V-1 S632, RSC IV 140, Hunter IV S208, SRCV III 10193, gVF, much silvering, nice portrait, full legends, broad round flan, weight 3.819 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 260 - 268 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONSERVATOR AVG, Aesculapius standing facing, head left, leaning on snake entwined staff; $45.00 SALE |PRICE| $40.50


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 133 - 16 B.C.

|Pergamene| |Kingdom|, |Pergamon,| |Mysia,| |c.| |133| |-| |16| |B.C.|, |AE| |18|
Asclepius, one of Apollo's sons, was the Greek god of medicine, sharing with Apollo the epithet Paean (the Healer). Pilgrims flocked to the Asclepieia, his healing temples, where the physicians and attendants were known as the Therapeutae. Ritual purification would be followed by offerings or sacrifices to the god, and the supplicant would then spend the night in the holiest part of the sanctuary, the abaton, where the non-venemous snakes slithered around freely on the floor. Any dreams or visions would be reported to a priest who would interpret the dreams and prescribe the appropriate therapy. The rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today.
GB94443. Bronze AE 18, BMC Mysia p. 128, 155; SNG BnF 1828 ff., SNG Cop 370 ff.; SNGvA 1373; Waddington 7097, SGCV II 3968, aF, green patina, porous, weight 3.235 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 133 - 16 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Asklepios right; reverse AΣKΛHΠIOY ΣΩTHPOΣ (to Asklepios the Savior), snake-entwined Asklepian staff; $30.00 SALE |PRICE| $27.00







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