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Home>Catalog>CollectingThemes>Personifications>Health PAGE 1/2«««12

Health (Hygieia or Salus)

Hygieia (also Hygiea or Hygeia, in Latin Hygea or Hygia), was 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." She was imported by the Romans as the Goddess Valetudo, the goddess of personal health, but over time she was increasingly identified with the ancient Italian goddess of social welfare, Salus.


Trebonianus Gallus, June or July 251 - July or August 253 A.D.
Click for a larger photo 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."
RS65482. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 32, RSC IV 20, SRCV III 9627, F, well centered, rose toning, weight 3.269 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 45o, 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 standing left, branch in right, leaning with left on lyre set on rock; scarce; $45.00 (€33.75)

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)

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)



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Catalog current as of Wednesday, April 23, 2014.
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Health