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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Non-Olympian| ▸ |Hygieia or Salus||View 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.

Roman Republic, Mn. Acilius Glabrio, 49 B.C.

|after| |50| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Mn.| |Acilius| |Glabrio,| |49| |B.C.||denarius|NEW
Salus and Valetudo were honored on coins of the Acilia gens because they claimed to have introduced the first Greek physician into Rome. Valetudo, Hygieia to the Greeks, was the original Roman goddess of personal health. Over time, Salus, the goddess of safety and well-being (including welfare and prosperity in addition to health) assumed Valetudo's role. Few recognize Valetudo's name today.

On 10 January 49 B.C., Julius Caesar led his army across the Rubicon, which separated his jurisdiction (Cisalpine Gaul) from that of the Senate (Italy), and thus initiates a civil war. In October 49 B.C., Caesar was appointed Dictator of Rome.
RR97490. Silver denarius, Crawford 442/1b, RSC I Acilia 8a, Sydenham 922, BMCRR I Rome 3943, SRCV I 412, VF, uneven tone, light bumps and scratches, weight 3.844 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 49 B.C.; obverse SALVTIS (downward behind), laureate head of Salus right; reverse MN ACILIVS (straight downward on right, MN and TV in monogram) / III VIR VALETVS (curving upward on left), Valetudo (the old Roman goddess of personal health) standing left, snake in right hand, resting left elbow on column; ex Papillon auction 3 (27 Dec 20), lot 374; $200.00 (184.00)


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

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
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. 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.
RS96580. Silver denarius, RIC II-3 231, Strack II 124, BMCRE III 207, RSC II 1151, Hunter II 76, SRCV III 3525, Choice aVF, excellent heroic bust, well centered with full borders, light marks, edge a little ragged with splits, weight 2.932 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 119 - mid 120 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG, laureate bust right, bare chest, slight drapery on far shoulder; reverse P M TR P COS III, Salus seated left, from patera in right hand, feeding snake rising from altar before her, resting left elbow on back of chair; $140.00 (128.80)


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

|Commodus|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
Felicitas was the goddess of good luck and success. She was a prominent symbol of wealth and prosperity and, during the Empire, she played an important role in Rome's state religion. Since it was considered the duty of the emperor to promote public happiness, almost every emperor struck coins dedicated to Felicitas.
RS94666. Silver denarius, RIC III 66, BMCRE IV 113, Hunter II 18, RSC II 903 var. (obv legend, noted), SRCV II -, VF, tight flan with some legend off flan, flow lines, light marks, porosity, small edge cracks, weight 2.627 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 183 A.D.; obverse M COMMODVS ANTON AVG PIVS, laureate head right; reverse TR P VIII IMP VI COS IIII P P, Salus (goddess of health) standing facing, head left, with right hand feeding snake rising from altar on left, long scepter in left hand; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $120.00 (110.40)


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

|Carausius|, |Romano-British| |Empire,| |Carausius,| |Mid| |286| |-| |Spring| |or| |Early| |Summer| |293| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Rouen (Latin: Rotomagus) is a city on the River Seine in the north of France. It is the capital of the region of Normandy. Formerly one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe, Rouen was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy during the Middle Ages. It was one of the capitals of the Anglo-Norman dynasties, which ruled both England and large parts of modern France from the 11th to the 15th centuries.
RA73288. Billon antoninianus, Webb Carausius 736, RIC V-2 662 (R), Carausian Hoard 72, SRCV IV 13715 var. (legends), Hunter IV -, King Unmarked -, Bicester -, gF, green patina, earthen encrustations, some corrosion, weight 5.197 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 225o, Rotomagus (Rouen, France) mint, mid 286 - early summer 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS AVG, radiate and draped bust right; reverse SALVS AVG (the health of the Emperor), Salus standing half left, from patera in her right hand, feeding snake rising from the left side of a column altar at her feet, cornucopia in left hand, nothing in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; rare; $110.00 (101.20)


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

|Carausius|, |Romano-British| |Empire,| |Carausius,| |Mid| |286| |-| |Spring| |or| |Early| |Summer| |293| |A.D.||antoninianus|
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. 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.
RA73475. Billon antoninianus, Beaujard and Huvelin 36, Webb Carausius 739, RIC V-2 666 (R), Hunter IV -, SRCV IV -, F, well centered on a tight flan, over-cleaned, porous, ragged edge, closed flan crack, weight 2.673 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 225o, Rotomagus (Rouen, France) mint, 2nd emission, c. 1st half 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front, continental portrait type; reverse SALVS AVG (the health of the Emperor), Salus standing slightly left, head left, from patera in right hand feeding snake rising from altar, cornucopia in left hand, no mintmarks; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; very rare; $100.00 (92.00)


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

|Carausius|, |Romano-British| |Empire,| |Carausius,| |Mid| |286| |-| |Spring| |or| |Early| |Summer| |293| |A.D.||antoninianus|
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. 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.
RA73489. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 165 (S), Webb Carausius 195, Bourne Carausius -, Linchmere -, Burton Latimer -, Bicester -, Carausian Hoard -, F, green patina, flan cracks, ragged flan, corrosion, encrustations, weight 3.219 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 180o, Londinium (London, England) mint, c. late 289 - 291; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, middle reign portrait type; reverse SALVS PVBLICA (the health of the public), Salus standing right, feeding snake held in right hand, from patera held in left hand, B - E across fields, MLXXI in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; scarce; $85.00 (78.20)


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

|Carausius|, |Romano-British| |Empire,| |Carausius,| |Mid| |286| |-| |Spring| |or| |Early| |Summer| |293| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Although the exergue is off flan, based on the portrait style, it is likely this is an early issue without a mintmark (unmarked). It may have been struck at a mint traveling with Carausius or perhaps at London.
RA73490. Billon antoninianus, cf. RIC V-2 983, Webb Carausius 1102, Hunter IV 75, Cohen VII 310, Linchmere Hoard 1102 (1 spec.), King Unmarked 13, SRCV IV -, Bicester -, F, nice green patina, centered on a crowded flan, minor edge chipping, weight 2.590 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 45o, London(?) mint, c. mid 286 - 287 A.D.; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped (and cuirassed?) bust right, early reign 'moustache' portrait; reverse SALVS AVG (the health of the Emperor), Salus standing slightly left, head left, from patera in right hand feeding snake rising from altar, long scepter vertical in left hand; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; $85.00 (78.20)


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

|Carausius|, |Romano-British| |Empire,| |Carausius,| |Mid| |286| |-| |Spring| |or| |Early| |Summer| |293| |A.D.||antoninianus|
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. 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.
RA73284. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 994 (S), Webb Carausius 1117, Linchmere 812A, King Carausius -, Burton Latimer -, Carausian Hoard -, Bicester -, aVF, tight slightly ragged flan, corrosion, weight 2.798 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 225o, unmarked mint, c. 288 - 291; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, middle reign portrait type; reverse SALVS AVG (the health of the Emperor), Salus seated left feeding serpent and holding long staff, no field marks or mintmarks; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; scarce; $60.00 (55.20)







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