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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Medical & Health||View Options:  |  |  | 

Medical & Health on Ancient Coins
Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.

|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.||denarius|
In Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume III, David Sear notes this type was issued for the wedding of Gordian and Tranquillina.
RS112530. Silver denarius, RIC IV 129A (R), RSC IV 325, Hunter III 62, SRCV III 8681, Choice EF, full borders on a broad flan, flow lines, dark black toning, weight 3.462 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 241 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse SALVS AVGVSTI (to the health of the Emperor), Salus standing right, draped, from patera held in left hand, feeding snake held in right hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 129 (4 Jun 2023), lot 607; $200.00 (184.00)


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

|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.||denarius|
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.
RS112400. Silver denarius, RIC IV 32, RSC III 239, BMCRE VI 117, cf. SRCV II 7894 (TR P COS, 222 A.D.), aEF, well centered, weight 2.723 g, maximum diameter 19.20 mm, Rome mint, 223 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right, seen from behind; reverse P M TR P II COS P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for two years, consul, father of the country), Salus seated left, with right hand feeding snake coiled around altar, left elbow resting on chair; $160.00 (147.20)


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

|Other| |Phrygia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Cotiaeum,| |Phrygia||tetrassarion|
Asklepios is the Greek god of medicine. Hygieia is the goddess of health and Asklepios' daughter. Telesphoros is Asklepios' assistant. Asklepios 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.
RP110209. Bronze tetrassarion, SNG Hunt 2048; SNG Mu 333 var. (rev. leg.); SNG Cop 337 var. (same) BMC Phrygia p. 177, 94 var. (bust); SNGvA 3791 var. (Telesphoros in center), VF, dark near black patina, light deposits, near centered, die wear, small rev. die crack/breaks, weight 7.089 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 195o, Cotiaeum (Kutahya, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AVT K Π ΛIK OVAΛEPIANON, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse EΠ Π AIΛ ΔHMHETPIANOY IΠ (P. Ailios Demetrios hipparchos, HM ligate), Hygieia, on left, standing right, feeding serpent in right hand from patera in left hand; Asklepios, on right, standing facing, head left, leaning with right hand on serpent-entwined staff; AP/X (archon) in two lines above center, KOTIAEΩN (ΩN ligate) in exergue; $110.00 (101.20)


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Akrasos, Lydia

|Other| |Lydia|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.,| |Akrasos,| |Lydia||AE| |26|
Akrasos was probably located on the upper course of the Caicus River. The site remains unknown. Even which river was once called the Caicus is uncertain. It is believed to be the modern Bakircay River in Turkey. Nothing is known of the city beyond its coinage.
RP111751. Bronze AE 26, GRPC Lydia Acrasus 27, RPC Online IV.2 T2794, SNG Mun 19, BMC Lydia -, SNGvA -, Choice F, dark green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, porosity, weight 9.202 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, Acrasus (site unknown) mint, under Marcus Aurelius, c. 177 - 179 A.D.; obverse AV KAI Λ AVP KOMOΔ, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse EΠI CTPA BACCOV AKPACIΩTΩ (authority of strategos Bassos, Akrasos), Hygieia on left, standing half right, feeding serpent from patera held in her arms; Asclepius on right, standing facing, head left, leaning on serpent-entwined staff; ex CNG e-auction 510 (23 Feb 2022), lot 405; ex Dr. Jay M. Galst Collection ; $95.00 (87.40)


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Akrasos, Lydia

|Other| |Lydia|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Akrasos,| |Lydia||AE| |19|
Akrasos was probably located on the upper course of the Caicus River. The site remains unknown. Even which river was once called the Caicus is uncertain. It is believed to be the modern Bakircay River in Turkey. Nothing is known of the city beyond its coinage.
RP110214. Bronze AE 19, GRPC Lydia 60 (same dies), SNG Mn 22, Winterthur 3678, SNG Tire 320, Lindgren I 709 corr. (obv. leg.), BMC Lydia -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, Choice VF, well centered, dark patina with attractive highlighting earthen deposits, weight 3.240 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Acrasus mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse AV K Λ CEP CEOVHPO-C, laureate head right; reverse AKPACIΩTΩN, Asklepios standing facing, head left, wearing himation, right hand on serpent-entwined staff; $80.00 (73.60)


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 133 - 16 B.C.

|Pergamon|, |Pergamon,| |Mysia,| |c.| |133| |-| |16| |B.C.||AE| |19|
When the Pergamene king Attalus III died without an heir in 133 B.C., to prevent a civil war, he bequeathed the kingdom to the Roman Republic. 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 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.
GB111742. Bronze AE 19, SNG BnF 1808 (no rev. X); SNG Tb 2415 var. (same); BMC Mysia p. 129, 158 var. (same); SNGvA 1371 var. (same); SNG Cop -, aVF, obv. a little off center, green patina, weight 7.793 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 133 - 16 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Asklepios right; reverse Asklepian snake coiled around omphalos, head right, X inner right field, AΣKΛHΠIOY downward on right, ΣΩTHPOΣ downward on left (of the savior Asklepios); rare variation; $80.00 (73.60)


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.||aureus|
Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.

On the Certificate, David Sear notes, "a very rare obverse variant and an excellent example of the early "Trajanic" style of Hadrian's portraiture."
SH24853. Gold aureus, BMCRE III p. 250, 84 note; RIC II 46 var. (bust right), Cohen II 1368 var. (same), Choice VF, weight 7.124 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 118 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust left; reverse P M TR P COS II, Salus seated left, feeding snake coiled around altar, SALVS AVG (the health of the Emperor) in exergue; ex Freeman and Sear; very rare; SOLD


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

|Nero|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.||aureus|
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.
SH38942. Gold aureus, RIC I 59, Cohen I 313, BnF II 225, SRCV I 1932, gF, weight 7.092 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 135o, Rome mint, 65 - 66 A.D.; obverse NERO CAESAR AVGVSTVS, laureate head right; reverse Salus seated left on high back throne, patera in right, SALVS (health) in exergue; SOLD


Pescennius Niger, April to 1 June 193 - March, April or May 194 A.D.

|Pescennius| |Niger|, |Pescennius| |Niger,| |April| |to| |1| |June| |193| |-| |March,| |April| |or| |May| |194| |A.D.||denarius|
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.
SH33752. Silver denarius, RIC IV 77, Cohen III 68, VF, porous, weight 2.444 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, obverse IMP CAES C PESC NIGER IVSTI AVG, laureate head right; reverse SALVTI AVGVSTI, Salus standing right, feeding snake held in right from patera in left, altar at feet; well centered; rare; SOLD


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

|Elagabalus|, |Elagabalus,| |16| |May| |218| |-| |11| |March| |222| |A.D.,| |Nikopolis| |ad| |Istrum,| |Moesia| |Inferior||AE| |26|
Asclepius learned the secrets of healing after seeing one snake bring another herbs. Woman seeking fertility, and the sick and injured, slept in his temples where snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing. Nearby excavations found 2nd c. bronze surgical instruments and a case containing a variety of medicines.
RP29741. Bronze AE 26, Varbanov I 3978a, EF, superb portrait, upper reverse flat, weight 11.319 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 180o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, cos. legate Ti. Flavius Novius Rufus, 218 - 222; obverse AVT K AVPH ANTΩNEINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse YΠ NOBIOY POYΦOY NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠΠOC ICTPON, Asklepios standing facing, head left, resting right hand on snake-entwined staff, left hand on hip; SOLD







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REFERENCES

Bernhard, O. Griechische und Rmische Mnzbilder in ihren Beziehungen zur Geschichte der Medizin. (Zurich, 1926).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, October 3, 2023.
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