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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.


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 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.
RS77389. Silver denarius, RIC II 137a, RSC II 1326, Strack II 80, BMCRE III 314, Hunter II 112, SRCV II 3539 var. (laureate, draped, and cuirassed), EF, superb portrait, fine style, light rose toning, light marks, slightly ragged flan, weight 3.473 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 123 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right; reverse P M TR P COS III, Salus seated left, feeding snake rising from altar with patera in right hand, resting left elbow on chair, SALVS AVG in exergue; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00


Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Wife of Marcus Aurelius

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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.
RS75220. Silver denarius, BMCRE II p. 404, 148; RSC II 195; SRCV II 5262; RIC III MA689 var. (no stephane); Hunter II 8 var. (same), Choice VF, excellent centering, toned, weight 2.655 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, struck under Marcus Aurelius, 161 - 175 A.D.; obverse FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, wearing stephane and earring, bun in the back; reverse SALVS, Salus seated left, feeding snake rising up from altar, from patera in right hand, resting left elbow on throne, feet on footstool; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


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.
RS77074. Silver denarius, RIC III 305, RSC II 741, BMCRE IV 988, SRCV II 4106, VF, well centered, slight porosity, light marks, small deposits, small edge cracks, weight 3.270 g, maximum diameter 18.0 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; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 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."
RS77086. Silver denarius, RIC III 181, RSC II 281, BMCRE IV 670, SRCV II 4075, Choice VF, nice portrait, toned, small edge cracks, weight 3.206 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 148 - 149 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XII, laureate head right; reverse COS IIII, Salus standing left, from patera in right hand, feeding snake coiled around altar, rudder on globe in left hand; $145.00 SALE PRICE $131.00


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 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."
RS77095. Silver denarius, RIC III 181, RSC II 281, BMCRE IV 670, Hunter II 69, Strack III 195, SRCV II 4075, VF, elegant style, nice portrait, toned, weight 3.383 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 148 - 149 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XII, laureate head right; reverse COS IIII, Salus standing left, from patera in right hand, feeding snake coiled around altar, rudder on globe in left hand; $145.00 SALE PRICE $131.00


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.
RS77349. Silver denarius, RIC I 71 (R), BMCRE I 98, RSC II 316, Mac Dowall WCN 66, BnF II 242, cf. SRCV I 1945 (obv leg, 66 - 67), F, well centered, toned, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.181 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 67 - 68 A.D.; obverse IMP NERO CAESAR AVG P P, laureate head right; reverse Salus seated left on facing high-back throne, patera in right hand, left hand at side, SALVS in exergue; rare; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 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.
RA71411. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1354i, RIC V S512, Cohen V 932, SRCV III -, EF, no wear but small areas of light corrosion, well centered on tight flan, weight 3.373 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 267 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SALVS AVG, Salus standing right, feeding snake in right from patera in left, MS in exergue; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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The motto Salus Generis Humani, meaning safety of the human race and the health of humanity, is engraved on a pin presented to graduates at Columbia University who have successfully completed the masters degree in nursing.
RS73529. Silver denarius, RIC IV 350, SRCV II 6883, BMCRE V 701, RSC III 558a, VF, tight flan cuts off part of the reverse legend, weight 2.914 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 200 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVGVSTVS, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SAL GEN HVM (Salus Generis Humani), Salus standing left, extending right hand to kneeling woman, long vertical snake-wreathed scepter in left; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Barbaric Imitative

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Tribal peoples outside the Empire struck coinage imitative of Roman types beginning in the second century B.C. and continued to strike imitative types even after the Western Empire ceased to exist. Several official issues used this reverse type, but the style is exotic and crude. These legends were never used on any official issues.
RS90412. Silver denarius, for possible prototype: cf. RIC IV 497a, RSC III 642 (Roman official, Laodicea ad Mare mint, 198 A.D.), VF, double struck, reverse off center, weight 2.603 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial mint, obverse [...] CAE L SEP SEV PERP IWC (or similar, blundered), laureate head right; reverse [...]TAS AVG P P (blundered, S reversed), Salus seated left, with patera in her right hand feeding snake rising from altar at her feet, cornucopia in left; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


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, Salus standing facing, head left, feeding snake coiled around altar, rudder vertical vertical behind in left, S - C flanking low across field; $115.00 SALE PRICE $104.00


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

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In Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume III, David Sear notes this type was issued for the wedding of Gordian and Tranquillina.
RS75205. Silver denarius, RIC IV 129A (R), RSC IV 325, Hunter III 62, SRCV III 8681, VF, excellent portrait, reverse struck a little flat, some light marks and scratches, weight 3.154 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 30o, Rome mint, 241 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SALVS AVGVSTI, Salus standing right, draped, from patera held in left hand, feeding snake held in right hand; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


Hierapolis, Phrygia, c. 211 - 249 A.D.

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Hierapolis (Greek: "Holy City") was located on hot springs in Phrygia in southwestern Anatolia. Its ruins are adjacent to modern Pamukkale in Turkey and are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hot springs have been used as a spa since the 2nd century B.C., with many patrons retiring or dying there. The large necropolis is filled with sarcophagi.
GB78005. Bronze AE 28, cf. SNG Mnchen 233; BMC Lycaonia p. 236, 57; SNG Cop 437; SNGvA 3626; Johnston Hierapolis -; SNG Leypold -; SNG Tire -, F, rough, scratches, weight 9.188 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 0o, Phrygia, Hierapolis (Pamukkale, Turkey) mint, c. 211 - 249 A.D.; obverse ΛAIPBHNOΣ, radiate and draped bust of Helios Lairbenos; reverse IEPAΠOΛEITΩN, Hygieia seated left on throne without back, wearing kalathos on head and chiton, feeding snake rising up before her from phiale in right hand, left arm resting on a tympanum or cushion; Telesphoros behind standing facing wearing hooded coat; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; very rare; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


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, 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; $95.00 SALE PRICE $85.50


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 Mnchen 431, CCC BM III 231, De la Tour 2735, VF, weight 2.108 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 270o, 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; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


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.
RS77547. Silver denarius, RIC I 67, RSC II 318, BMCRE I 90, BnF II 237, Hunter I 30, SRCV I 1945, aF, toned, marks and scratches, weight 2.550 g, maximum diameter 18.4 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 hand, left elbow on throne, SALVS in exergue; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


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; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


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; $65.00 SALE PRICE $58.50


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D.

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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 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.
RS64693. Silver antoninianus, Gbl MIR 825c, RIC V 253 (S), RSC IV 202b, SRCV III 9974, Hunter IV - (p. xxxvii), Cunetio 774 (4 spec.), VF, weak centers, weight 3.402 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 0o, Viminacium (near Stari Kostolac, Serbia) mint, 2nd emission, 253 - 254 A.D.; obverse IMP VALERIANVS P AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse SALVS AVGG, Salus standing right, feeding snake in right hand from patera in left hand; scarce; $55.00 SALE PRICE $49.50


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 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 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; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00


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

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On 13 March 222, Severus Alexander became emperor when he was only 13 years old. His mother, Julia Mamaea, governed the Roman Empire with the help of Domitius Ulpianus and a council composed of 16 senators.
RB73910. Silver denarius, RIC IV 14c; RSC III 218; BMCRE VI p. 118, 34; Hunter III 7; SRCV II 7489, F, well centered, dark black toning, earthen fill, weight 2.673 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 135o, Rome mint, early 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; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00


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 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 Hoard 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 SALE PRICE $40.50


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 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.
RS64688. Silver antoninianus, Gbl MIR 29d, RIC V 121, RSC IV 197, Hunter IV 13, SRCV III -, VF, well centered and struck obverse, toned, dark spots, reverse struck with a worn die, weight 3.280 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 45o, 1st issue, Rome mint, Oct 253 - Aug 254 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SALVS AVGG, Salus standing slightly left, head left, from patera in right hand, feeding snake rising from altar at feet on left, long scepter vertical in left hand; $36.00 SALE PRICE $32.40


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 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 and Minerva.
RS74160. Silver denarius, RSC III 530d, RIC IV 178, BMCRE VI 77, SRCV II 7925, Hunter III -, VF, nice portrait, well centered reverse, uneven toning, small earthen encrustations, weight 2.397 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 222 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SALVS PVBLICA, Salus seated left on throne, feeding snake rising from altar from patera in right hand, left arm on back of throne; $28.01 (24.93) ON RESERVE


Philip II, July or August 247 - Late 249 A.D., Tomis Moesia

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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.
RP63002. Bronze tetrassaria, Varbanov I 5796 (R4), AMNG I/II 3601, Moushmov 2337, SNG BM -, SNG Stancomb, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, F, near black patina with flake on reverse, centration dimples, weight 11.56 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 225o, Tomis (Constanta, Romania) mint, as caesar, c. Feb/Mar 244 - Aug 247 A.D.; obverse MAP IOUΛIOC ΦIΛIΠΠOC, KAICAP (ending below busts), bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust of Philip II (on left) right, from behind, confronting draped bust of Serapis left, kalathos on his head; reverse MHTPO ΠONTOY TOMEΩC, Hygieia standing right, feeding snake in right hand from patera in left hand; $30.00 SALE PRICE $27.00


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.
RB73905. 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 SALE PRICE $25.20







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Hygieia or Salus