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Home>Catalog>CollectingThemes>Gods,Non-Olympian>HygieiaorSalus

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)

Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.; EQVITI Series III of Ticinum, V * TXXI
Click for a larger photo 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.
RB51517. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V 499, gVF, weight 3.862 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, obverse IMP C PROBVS AVG, radiate and mantled bust left holding eagle-tipped scepter; reverse SALVS AVG, Salus standing right feeding snake held in arms, V left, TXXI in ex; excellent centering, strong reverse; $70.00 (€52.50)

Tacitus, 25 September 275 - 12 April 276 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.
RB48408. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V -, Venθra Hoard 1307-1328 (LV 1859), VF, weight 3.991 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, 1st emission, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, c. Oct - 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 ex; type unlisted in RIC; rare; $60.00 (€45.00)

Roman Republic, D. Junius L.f. Silanus, 91 B.C.
Click for a larger photo In 91 B.C., the tribune Marcus Livius Drusus proposed extending Roman citizenship to allied Italian cities. He was assassinated, leading to the Social War.
RR69284. Silver denarius, RSC I Junia 18, Crawford 337/2c, BMCRR Rome 1842, Sydenham 645, SRCV I 223, F, weight 3.522 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, 91 B.C.; obverse head of Salus right, SALVS (AL ligate) below, reversed C (control mark) below chin, torque as border; reverse Victory in a biga right holding reins and palm frond, ROMA below, D SILANVS L F in exergue; from the Andrew McCabe Collection; $60.00 (€45.00)

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. Her fatther 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.
RS68590. Silver denarius, RIC II 267, RSC II 1334, BMCRE III 715, SRCV II 3540, F, scratches, encrustation, weight 3.293 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 135o, Rome mint, 137 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, bare head right; reverse SALVS AVG, Salus standing right feeding snake coiled around altar; $45.00 (€33.75)

Gallienus, August 253 - 24 March 268 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. 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."
RS41929. Silver antoninianus, RIC V 397, SRCV III 10352, VF, weight 3.376 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 0o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 259 - 260 A.D.; obverse IMP GALLIENVS P AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SALVS AVGG, Salus standing left, with right feeding snake raising from altar, long scepter in left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $40.00 (€30.00)

Trebonianus Gallus, June or July 251 - July or August 253 A.D.
Click for a larger photo After Hostilian died from the plague in 251, Trebonianus Gallus' elevated his son Volusian to the throne. This coin is dedicated to Salus and the health of the two emperors. Apparently Salus did keep them safe from the plague but that did not keep them alive. Father and son were both killed by mutinous troops in 253, the same year this coin was struck.
RS65477. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 46a, RSC IV 117, SRCV III 9649, F, flan crack, nice toning, weight 3.386 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jan - Jul/Aug 253 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SALVS AVGG, Salus standing left, from patera in right feeding serpent coiled around altar, long scepter vertical behind in left; rare; $40.00 (€30.00)

Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Philippopolis, Thrace
Click for a larger photo 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. She was often identified with Salus, an old Roman goddess.
RP62989. Bronze assarion, Varbanov III 1786 (R4), Mouchmov Philip 541, BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, SNG Fitzwilliam -, SNG Hunterian -, SNG Milan -, Lindgren -, F, obverse and reverse slightly off center on a tight flan, weight 4.183 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Philippopolis (Plovdiv, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AYT K M AYP ANTΩNEINOC, laureate head right; reverse ΦIΛIΠΠOΠOΛEITΩN NEΩKOPΩN, Hygieia standing right, feeding snake in right from phiale in left; USA import restricted type, from the old stock of a retiring Ohio dealer acquired by Forum in 2012; scarce; $38.00 (€28.50)

Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Philippopolis, Thrace
Click for a larger photo 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. She was often identified with Salus, an old Roman goddess.
RP62991. Bronze assarion, Varbanov III 1747 corr. (same dies) and 1786, Mouchmov Philip 541, BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, SNG Fitzwilliam -, SNG Milan -, SNG Greece, Lindgren -, F, porous, weight 4.047 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, Philippopolis (Plovdiv, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AVT K M AVP ANTΩNEINOC, laureate head right; reverse ΦIΛIΠΠOΠOΛEITΩN NEΩKOPΩN, Hygieia standing right, feeding snake in right from phiale in left; USA import restricted type, from the old stock of a retiring Ohio dealer acquired by Forum in 2012; rare; $38.00 (€28.50)

Severus Alexander and Julia Mamaea, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Marcianopolis, Moesia Inferior
Click for a larger photo Severus Alexander was only 13 when he became emperor. His mother, Julia Mamaea, governed the Empire with the help of Domitius Ulpianus and a council of 16 senators. Although military command rested in the hands of his generals, Severus Alexander and Julia Mamaea both went to Syria for the campaign against Persia. After heavy losses on both sides, a truce was signed accepting the status quo. In 233, Alexander celebrated a triumph in Rome to commemorate his "victory." Mutinous soldiers led by Maximinus I murdered both Severus Alexander and his mother.
RP63351. Bronze pentassarion, AMNG I/I 1084, Varbanov I 1853 corr. (R4), H-J Marcianopolis -, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, F, weight 11.20 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 0o, Markianopolis (Devnya, Bulgaria) mint, consular legate Fir. Philopappus, 229 - 235 A.D.; obverse AYT K M AYΠ CEYH AΛEΞAN∆ΠOC [KAI IYΛIA] MAMAIA, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Severus Alexander right, confronting diademed and draped bust of Julia Mamaea left; reverse YΠ ΦIP ΦIΛOΠAΠΠOY MAΠKIANOΠO,ΛITΩN (ending in exergue), Hygieia standing right, feeding snake in arms from patera, E left; USA import restricted type, from the old stock of a retiring Ohio dealer acquired by Forum in 2012; rare; $38.00 (€28.50)

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.
BB69304. Copper as, RIC II 678, F, pitting, corrosion, weight 9.636 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 125 - 128 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate head right; reverse SALVS AVGVSTI COS III, S - C, Salus standing left, feeding snake raising from altar; $36.00 (€27.00)

Diadumenian, mid May - 8 June 218 A.D., Nicopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior
Click for a larger photo Hygieia (Salus to the Romans) was the goddess of health. She was the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her fatther 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.
BB63330. Bronze AE 26, AMNG I/I 1854 (same reverse die), Varbanov I 3766 (R3), Nikopolis 2012 8.25.21.6 var (legends, R6), SNG Cop, F, weight 10.79 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 0o, Nicopolis ad Istrum mint, consular legate Statius Longus, 217 - 8 Jun 218; obverse K M OΠEΛ ANTΩN ∆IA∆OYMENIANOC, bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse YΠ CTATIOY ΛONΓINOY NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC IC,TP−Ω (end across field), Hygieia standing right, feeding snake in right from patera in left; rare; $35.00 (€26.25)

Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In 281, Probus returned to Rome and celebrated his triumph over the Vandals and the usurpers (Bonosus, Julius Saturninus and Proculus).
RB62361. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V 500, Cohen 584, aVF, weight 3.541 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 280 - 281 A.D.; obverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG, radiate, helmeted and cuirassed bust left, spear in right over shoulder, shield on left arm; reverse SALVS AVG, Salus standing right feeding snake held in arms, V left, * right, TXXI in ex; $2.49 (€1.87)



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Catalog current as of Thursday, April 24, 2014.
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Hygieia or Salus