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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Gods, Non-Olympian ▸ Hygieia or SalusView Options:  |  |  | 

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.


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Odessos, Moesia Inferior

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As first noticed by von Sallet in the Berlin Catalogue, the obverse die of this coin was also used to strike medallions for Marcianopolis and Tomis (see AMNG Marcianopolis 1098 note).
SH85459. Bronze medallion, hexassarion; Varbanov 4434 (R8, same dies), AMNG I/II 2315 (4 specimens), EF, nice dark green patina, well centered on a broad flan, marks and scratches, weight 25.655 g, maximum diameter 36.8 mm, die axis 180o, Odessos (Varna, Bulgaria) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AVT K M ANT ΓOP∆-IANOC AVΓ, radiate, draped, cuirassed bust left, almost half-length, seen from front, raising right hand in greeting, globe in left hand; reverse O∆HC-C-EITON, On the left, Hygeia standing right, holding phiale in her left hand from which she feeds snake held in her right; to right, Asklepios standing left, holding serpent-entwined staff in his right hand; ex Stack's NYINC auction (9 Jan 2015), lot 261; ex Heritage Long Beach Signature Sale (25 Sep 2013), lot 23297; ex Heritage-Gemini VIII (14 Apr 2011), lot 406; $810.00 (€688.50)
 


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

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To celebrate his escape from the Pisonian conspiracy and assassination attempt in 65 A.D., Nero constructed a temple to Salus, the Roman goddess of health and safety, and honored her on the reverse of his coins.
RS86479. Silver denarius, RIC I 67, RSC II 318, BMCRE I 90, BnF II 237, Hunter I 30, SRCV I 1945, VF, centered on a tight flan, weight 3.368 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 66 - 67 A.D.; obverse NERO CAESAR AVGVSTVS, laureate head right; reverse Salus enthroned left, patera in extended right, left elbow on throne, SALVS (health) in exergue; $500.00 (€425.00)
 


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

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References list numerous Carausius varieties with Pax reverse legends but depicting Salus and also types with Salus reverse legends but depicting Pax. The references provided for comparison list a PAX AVG, with Salus type, without controls or a mintmark; David Sear attributes to London, 286 - 287 A.D. References do not list our variety but other types with F - O across the field and ML in the exergue are attributed to London, c. 289 - 290 A.D. This is the only example of this variant known to Forum.
RA73904. Billon antoninianus, Apparently unpublished; cf. RIC V, part 2, 930 ff. (no mintmarks); Webb Carausius 1031 ff. (same); SRCV IV 13661 (same, London, 286 - 287), aVF, nice green patina, overstruck or double-struck, tight flan cutting off parts of legends and mintmark, weight 2.615 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 315o, Londinium(?) or unofficial(?) mint, 289 - 290 A.D.; obverse IMP CARAVS[IVS P AVG] (or similar), radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PAX AVG[GG?], Salus standing half left, head left, feeding snake rising from altar at left from patera in her right hand, vertical scepter in left hand, [F?] - O flanking across the field, M[L?] in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; possibly unique!; $180.00 (€153.00)
 


Aelia Flaccilla, Augusta 19 January 379 - 386 A.D., Wife of Theodosius I

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Aelia Flaccilla, like her husband Theodosius, was of Hispanian-Roman descent. She may have been the daughter of Claudius Antonius, Prefect of Gaul, who was consul in 382. Her marriage with Theodosius probably took place in the year 376, when Theodosius' father fell into disfavor and he withdrew to Cauca in Gallaecia.
RL84859. Bronze maiorina, RIC IX Antioch 62 (S), LRBC II 2760, SRCV V 20621 corr. (mislabeled Cyzicus), Cohen VIII 6, VF, nice portrait, attractive patina, light porosity, weight 4.522 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 135o, 5th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 25 Aug 383 - 386 A.D.; obverse AEL FLACCILLA AVG, draped bust right with an elaborate head dress, necklace and mantle; reverse SALVS REIPVBLICAE (health of the Republic), Aelia Flaccilla standing facing, head right, arms folded on breast, ANTE exergue; ex Colosseum Coin Exchange; scarce; $160.00 (€136.00)
 


Nemausus, Gaul, c. 40 B.C.

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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."
RP85841. Bronze semis, RPC I 520, SNG Cop 692, SNG Munchen 431, CCCBM III 231, De la Tour 2735, VF, green patina, scratches, tight flan, earthen encrustation, weight 1.760 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Nemausus (Nimes, France) mint, c. 40 B.C.; obverse helmeted and draped bust right, S (mark of value) behind; reverse Salus standing half left, patera in right hand, over two snakes, left elbow on column behind, NEM COL (downward on right); ex Moneta Numismatic Services; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

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In 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius spawned a deadly cloud of volcanic gas, stones, ash and fumes to a height of 33 km (20.5 miles), spewing molten rock and pulverized pumice at the rate of 1.5 million tons per second, ultimately releasing a hundred thousand times the thermal energy released by the Hiroshima bombing. The towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum were obliterated and buried underneath massive pyroclastic surges and lava. An estimated 16,000 people died from the eruption. Historians have learned about the eruption from the eyewitness account of Pliny the Younger, a Roman administrator and poet.
RS86168. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, Vespasian 1084; RSC II 384; BMCRE II Vespasian 265; BnF III 237; SRCV I 2642, F, light toning, well centered on a tight flan, a few bumps and scratches, edge cracks, weight 3.120 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 79 A.D.; obverse CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS COS VI, laureate head right; reverse PRINCEPS IVVENTVTIS (the first of youths), Salus standing left, legs crossed, leaning against column, feeding snake from patera; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


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

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Salus was the Roman goddess of health. According to Strack III, p. 129, the idea behind the type is that the safety of the state is dependent on the health of the emperor. "For that reason Salus holds the rudder of Fortuna in some of these types, as an indication that the fate of the empire rests in her hands."
RB73723. Orichalcum sestertius, SRCV III 9016, Hunter III 76, Cohen V 206, RIC IV 187(a) var. (scepter vice rudder), VF/F, excellent portrait, grainy surfaces, light corrosion, weight 18.695 g, maximum diameter 30.1 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 facing, head left, feeding snake coiled around altar, rudder vertical vertical behind in left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


Hierapolis, Phrygia, c. 218 - 268 A.D.

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Telesphorus was a son of Asclepius. He frequently accompanied his sister, Hygieia. He was a dwarf whose head was always covered with a cowl hood or cap. He symbolized recovery from illness, as his name means "the accomplisher" or "bringer of completion" in Greek. Representations of him are found mainly in Anatolia and along the Danube. Telesphorus is assumed to have been a Celtic god in origin, who was taken to Anatolia by the Galatians in the 3rd century B.C., where he would have become associated with the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius, perhaps in Pergamon (an Asclepian cult center) and spread again to the West due to the rise of the Roman Empire, in particular during the 2nd century A.D., from the reign of Hadrian.
RP77250. Bronze AE 23, Johnson Hierapolis 70 (3 spec.); BMC Phrygia p. 242, 86; SNG Cop 445; SNGvA -; SNG Tub -; SNG Mun -; SNG Hunt -; et al. -; c/m Howegego 278, aF, attractive for grade, weight 6.085 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 180o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, pseudo-autonomous, c. 218 - 268 A.D.; obverse IEPA CY-NKΛHTO-C, draped bust of the senate right; countermark: male figure standing, an uncertain object in right hand, scepter or spear in left hand, letter(s) in field, irregularly shaped punch; reverse IEPAΠOΛEITΩN NEΩKOP,ΩN (last two letters in left field), Hygieia seated left, kalathos on head, from phiale in her right hand, feeding snake rising before her, resting left elbow on cushion(?), small Telesphoros behind; very rare; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


Hierapolis, Phrygia, c. 218 - 268 A.D.

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Telesphorus was a son of Asclepius. He frequently accompanied his sister, Hygieia. He was a dwarf whose head was always covered with a cowl hood or cap. He symbolized recovery from illness, as his name means "the accomplisher" or "bringer of completion" in Greek. Representations of him are found mainly in Anatolia and along the Danube. Telesphorus is assumed to have been a Celtic god in origin, who was taken to Anatolia by the Galatians in the 3rd century B.C., where he would have become associated with the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius, perhaps in Pergamon (an Asclepian cult center) and spread again to the West due to the rise of the Roman Empire, in particular during the 2nd century A.D., from the reign of Hadrian.
RP77260. Bronze AE 25, Johnson Hierapolis 70 (3 spec.); BMC Phrygia p. 242, 86; SNG Cop 445; SNGvA -; SNG Tub -; SNG Mun -; SNG Hunt -; et al. -; c/m Howegego 278, aF, area of reverse flattened by countermarking, weight 6.382 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 180o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (near Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, pseudo-autonomous, c. 218 - 268 A.D.; obverse IEPA - CVNKΛHTO-C, draped bust of the senate right; countermark: Male figure standing, uncertain object in right hand, scepter or spear in left hand, letter(s) in field, irregularly shaped punch; reverse IEPAΠOΛEITΩN NEΩKOP,ΩN (last two letters in left field), Hygieia seated left, kalathos on head, from phiale in her right hand, feeding snake rising before her, resting left elbow on cushion(?), small Telesphoros behind; very rare; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


Nemausus, Gaul, c. 40 B.C.

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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."
RP74283. Brass semis, RPC I 520, SNG Cop 692, SNG Munchen 431, CCCBM III 231, De la Tour 2735, VF, weight 2.108 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 270o, Nemausus (Nimes, France) mint, c. 40 B.C.; obverse helmeted and draped bust right, S (mark of value) behind; reverse NEM COL (downward on right), Salus standing half left, patera in right hand, over two snakes, left elbow on column behind; $70.00 (€59.50)
 


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 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. 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.
RS71509. Silver denarius, RIC III 305, RSC II 741, BMCRE IV 988, SRCV II 4106, VF, nice portrait, toned, edge cracks, weight 3.372 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 159 - 160 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXIII, laureate head right; reverse SALVTI AVG COS IIII, Salus standing left, from patera in right hand, feeding snake coiled around altar at feet on left, long scepter vertical behind in left; $65.00 (€55.25)
 


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

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In 270, the Empire suffered an economic crisis due to usurpations, partition of the empire, invasions, and sackings of the countryside and cities. Agricultural and industrial productions were significantly decreased, and mines went unused. A monetary crisis ensued. Inflation was up to 1,000% in some areas of the empire.q
RA84435. Billon antoninianus, Schulzki AGK 21b, Cunetio 2564, Elmer 703 (Trier), RIC V 65, SRCV III 11180 var. (same), Cohen VI 114 var. (same), VF, nice portrait, slightly ragged flan, weight 2.978 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 225o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 269 A.D.; obverse IMP C PIAV VICTORINVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse SALVS AVG (the health of the Emperor), Salus standing right, feeding snake in right hand from patera in left hand; $65.00 (€55.25)
 


Gallic Empire, Postumus, Summer 260 - Spring 269 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.
RS64679. Billon antoninianus, RIC V 328, RSC IV 350a, Elmer 414, Schulzki AGK 86, Cunetio 2423, Hunter IV 90, SRCV III 10989, VF, nice portrait, well centered on a tight flan, small edge crack, weight 3.459 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 225o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 266 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse SALVS POSTVMI AVG, Salus standing left, feeding snake held in right hand, from patera in left hand; $60.00 (€51.00)
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

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This coin shares the same types and legends with denarii struck at the Rome mint, but the fabric and style are those of an uncertain eastern mint. This Eastern mint type is not in the standard references, and certainly a lot scarcer than the similar Rome mint denarii, but examples do turn up with some regularity.
RS73910. Silver denarius, Unpublished in major references; cf. RIC IV 14c; RSC III 218; BMCRE VI p. 118, 34; Hunter III 7; SRCV II 7489 (Rome mint), F, well centered, dark black toning, earthen fill, weight 2.673 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 135o, uncertain eastern mint, c. 222 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P COS P P, Salus seated left, feeding snake coiled around altar from patera held in right hand, left elbow resting on throne; scarce; $60.00 (€51.00)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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Nicopolis ad Istrum was founded by Trajan around 101 - 106, at the junction of the Iatrus (Yantra) and the Rositsa rivers, in memory of his victory over the Dacians. Its ruins are located at the village of Nikyup, 20 km north of Veliko Tarnovo in northern Bulgaria. The town reached its peak during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, the Antonines and the Severan dynasty.
RP73901. Bronze assarion, Varbanov 2517 (R3), H-H-J Nikopolis 8.14.21.10 (R2) var. (...ICT), AMNG I/I 1348 var. (same), Moushmov 1020, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, VF, weight 2.530 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 45o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse AV KAI CE - CEVHPOC, laureate head right; reverse NIKOΠOΛ−IT ΠPOC IC, Hygieia standing right feeding snake in her arms, from a patera in her left hand; $45.00 (€38.25)
 


Gallic Empire, Postumus, Summer 260 - Spring 269 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.
RS64675. Silver antoninianus, Schulzki AGK 79, RIC V 85, RSC IV 339, Cunetio 2392, Elmer 301, Hunter IV 28, SRCV III 10987, VF, well centered, porous, weight 3.768 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 315o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 262 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SALVS AVG (the health of the Emperor), Salus standing facing, head left, patera in right hand, feeding a snake rising from small altar at feet left, rudder in right hand; $40.00 (€34.00)
 


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 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.
RB48408. Silvered antoninianus, MER-RIC 3368, BnF XII 1653, Ven่ra 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 (the health of the Emperor), Salus seated left, feeding snake rising from altar, T in exergue; $36.00 (€30.60)
 







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Hygieia or Salus