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

Medical & Health on Ancient Coins

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

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Asklepios is the Greek god of medicine. Hygieia is the goddess of health and Askelpois' daughter. Telesphoros is Asklepios' assistant. 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.
RP91190. Bronze tetrassarion, SNG MŁnchen 333; SNGvA 3791; SNG Hunterian 2048; BMC Phrygia p. 177, 95 var. (exergue in two lines...Ω/N); SNG Cop -; SNG Righetti -, Choice VF, well centered, dark patina, highest points flatly struck, small edge split, central depressions, weight 6.308 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 180o, Cotiaeum (Kutahya, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse AYT K Π ΛIK OYAΛEPIANON, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse EΠI Π AI ∆HMHTPIANOY IΠΠ (P. Ailios Demetrios, archon and hipparchos), 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; Telesphoros between them, standing facing, ΛP/X in two lines above center, KOTIAEΩN in exergue; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.; EQVITI Series III of Ticinum, V | * TXXI

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Ticinum mint EQVITI series III - click "EQVITI" to read the NumisWiki article, "Coins of Probus with Coded Markings of EQVITI Embedded in the mint mark." The letter "V" in the reverse field is the third letter of the codeword EQVITI. The letter "T" in the exergue indicates this coin was struck by the third officina (mint workshop). The star indicates this is from the third Ticinum series. The letters of the word EQVITI are coded in the mint marks of coins from all the officinae of the mint, with the specific letters of the codeword assigned to each officina in order corresponding with their officina numbers. This codeword probably refers to cavalry. It may be AEQVITI truncated because there were only six officinae in operation.
RA87598. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV 162 (also third officina), RIC V-2 499; Pink VI/1, p. 67; Cohen VI 577; SRCV III -, Choice EF, well centered, much silvering, areas of porosity, bumps and marks, edge crack, weight 3.788 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 282 A.D.; obverse IMP C PROBVS AVG, radiate and mantled bust left holding eagle-tipped scepter; reverse SALVS AVG (the health of the Emperor), Salus standing right feeding snake held in arms, V left, * right, TXXI in exergue; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00


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

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The Temple of Apollo Palatinus, on the Palatine Hill, was dedicated by Octavian on 9 Oct 28 B.C., fulfilling vows made for his victories over Sextus Pompeius, Mark Antony and Cleopatra. Ancient sources say, it was built where lightning had struck, Augustus' private house was directly connected to its terrace, the temple had ivory doors, and it held numerous works of sculpture. The remains were excavated in the 1960s.

Commodus dedicated this coin to Apollo, the god of medicine, in hopes that he would end a dreadful plaque raging in Rome. At the height of the plague, two thousand victims were dying each day. Apollo apparently did his job as no one in Rome died from this plague today.
RS94126. Silver denarius, Szaivert MIR 18 p. 165, 805; RIC III 197 (S) var. (obv. leg.); RSC II 30 var. (same); cf. BMCRE IV 271 (aureus); Hunter II - (p. clv), Nice F, nice portrait, toned, centered on an irregularly shaped flan, flow lines, edge splits and cracks, weight 2.095 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 189 A.D.; obverse M COMM ANT P FEL AVG BRIT P P, laureate head right; reverse APOLLINI PALATINO, Apollo Palatinus standing facing, head right, laureate and wearing long robe, plectrum in right hand, lyre resting on a column in left hand; there were only two specimens of this type in the Reka Devnia Hoard, and no sales of the type in the last two decades; extremely rare; $135.00 SALE |PRICE| $120.00


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 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 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; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00


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

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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; $105.00 SALE |PRICE| $95.00


Trebonianus Gallus, June or July 251 - July or August 253 A.D.

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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."
RS91605. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 32 (S), RSC IV 20, SRCV III 9627, Hunter III -, VF/F, toned, flow lines, porous, frosty surfaces, weight 3.207 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, 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 the Healer), Apollo standing left, nude, laurel branch in right hand, leaning with left on lyre set on rock; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection, ex Numismatique Archeologie, M. Platt (Paris); scarce; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00


Crispina, Wife of Commodus, Augusta 178 - 182 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 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.
RB92470. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC III 672a (S), BMCRE IV 422, Hunter II 39, Cohen III 33, SRCV II 6010, aVF, well centered, rough corrosion, weight 24.720 g, maximum diameter 31.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 180 - 182 A.D.; obverse CRISPINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, hair knotted in a coiled bun in back; reverse SALVS, Salus seated left, from patera in right hand feeding snake coiled around column altar at feet on left, left forearm on back of chair, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00


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.
RS92984. Silver denarius, RIC IV 129A (R), RSC IV 325, Hunter III 62, SRCV III 8681, Choice VF, full border centering on a broad flan, nice portrait, light toning, flow lines, weight 3.033 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 241 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, 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; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 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 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.
RB87451. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 186a, Cohen V 211, Hunter III 75, SRCV III 9017, VF, excellent portrait, irregularly shaped flan (typical of the period), light corrosion, cracks, weight 15.469 g, maximum diameter 31.4 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 (the health of the Emperor), Salus standing slightly right, head right, feeding snake held with her right arm from patera in her left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low across field; $75.00 SALE |PRICE| $67.50


Maximinus I Thrax, 20 March 235 - Late May 238 A.D., Anchialos, Thrace

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Telesphorus was a son of Asclepius. He frequently accompanied his sister, Hygieia. He was a dwarf whose head was always covered with a cowl hood or cap. He symbolized recovery from illness, as his name means "the accomplisher" or "bringer of completion" in Greek. Representations of him are found mainly in Anatolia and along the Danube. Telesphorus is assumed to have been a Celtic god in origin, who was taken to Anatolia by the Galatians in the 3rd century B.C., where he would have become associated with the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius, perhaps in Pergamon (an Asclepian cult center) and spread again to the West due to the rise of the Roman Empire, in particular during the 2nd century A.D., from the reign of Hadrian.
RP89404. Bronze AE 20, Unpublished bust variety; CN Online Anchialos CN_7559 var. (laur. head), Varbanov II -, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, AMNG II -, VF, green patina, off center, oval flan with edge chip, weight 2.792 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, Anchialos (Pomorie, Bulgaria) mint, 20 Mar 235 - late May 238 A.D.; obverse AVT MAΞIMINOC EVCE AVΓ, laureate and drapes bust right, seen from behind; reverse AΓXIA-ΛEΩN, Telesphoros standing facing, wearing hooded mantle; we know of a few specimens of the variety without drapery published in the Corpus Nummorum Online, this is the only specimen we know of this draped bust variety; extremely rare; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00




  



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Medical & Health