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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.


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.
RS79774. Silver denarius, RIC I 67, RSC II 318, BMCRE I 90, BnF II 237, Hunter I 30, SRCV I 1945, F, toned, scratches, marks, light corrosion, weight 2.665 g, maximum diameter 17.8 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; $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, GŲbl 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 ĎSalus Generis Humani,í 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 masterís 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


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 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.
RS76105. Silver denarius, RIC III 207, RSC II 543, BMCRE IV 494, Hunter II 47, cf. SRCV II 4927 (TR P XXIIII), VF, well centered, toned, porous, some light scratches, weight 3.184 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 168 - 169 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXIII, laureate head right; reverse SALVTI AVG COS III, Salus standing left, feeding snake rising from altar from patera in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 Dec 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, 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.
RB78072. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 512; BMCRE IV p. 816, 617; Szaivert MIR 18 746; Hunter II -; Cohen III -, F, well centered, light corrosion, closed flan crack, weight 22.745 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, Rome mint, 186 - 187 A.D.; obverse M COMMODVS ANT P FELIX AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P XIII IMP VIII COS V P P, Salus seated left on a throne, from patera in right hand, feeding a snake rising up from an altar at feet on left, left forearm on back of throne, S - C across field at center; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $130.00 SALE PRICE $117.00


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


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 MŁnchen 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


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Marcianopolis, Moesia Inferior

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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.
RP77446. Bronze tetrassaria, H-J Marcianopolis 6.32.21.9 (R3, unlisted dies), Varbanov I 1722 (R3, noted as unpublished var.), AMNG I/I 1028.4, Moushmov 724, SNG Cop -, BMC -, VF, excellent portrait, well centered, right side of reverse legend unstruck, weight 11.131 g, maximum diameter 26.05 mm, die axis 45o, Markianopolis (Devnya, Bulgaria) mint, consular legate Umbrius Tereventinus, 225 - 229; obverse AVT K M AVR CEVH AΛEΞAN∆POC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse HΓ OVM TEPEBENTEINOV MAPKIANOΠOΛIT,ΩN (OV's ligate, ΩN letters in exergue), Hygieia standing right, feeding serpent held in right hand, from patera in left hand; ραρε ϖαριετψ; $75.00 SALE PRICE $67.50


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


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, VenŤra 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


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