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

Medical & Health on Ancient Coins

Pre-Columbian, Tumaco-La Tolita, Figure and Two Heads of "Les Maladies," c. 100 - 500 A.D.

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The Tumaco-La Tolita cultures were centered around the current Ecuador-Columbia border in the same period as Hellenistic Greece and Imperial Rome. Tumaco-La Tolita pottery figures are naturalistic and expressive and often rise to high artistic standards in their sensitive portrayal of the human condition. Our particular figures are today refereed to by the French name, "Les Maladies." A grimace and the left hand to the temple indicate illness and pain. Similar figures sometimes display symptoms of one of a long list of tropical diseases, including leprosy, elephantiasis, onchocercose (river blindness), and syphilis. Some of the statuettes, in addition to being afflicted with disease, have attributes of power: a headdress, necklaces, pendants and scepters.
AH21468. Sabolo p. 148; 12.5cm (4 7/8") high in stand, Choice, heads are fragments from figures, c. 100 - 500 A.D.; figure and two heads of "les Maladies" (the diseased) each with left hand to temple, a nice set with matching similar style, all on a custom stand; ex Edgar Owen (acquired from a New York ancient art dealer in the late 20th century, reported to be from a large old East Coast Pre-Columbian collection); $400.00 (352.00)


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 Mnchen 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 (176.00)


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 (123.20)


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 (105.60)


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

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An excellent gift for a veterinarian! The 18th-century French numismatist Belley, cited in BMC Mysia p. 105, suggested that the SVB in the reverse legend should be expanded to "subvenienti," giving the meaning "To Aesculapius, the god who helps." This extraordinary depiction of Aesculapius is the only ancient coin reverse type referring to veterinary medicine.
RP85221. Bronze AE 24, RPC online IV temp 624 (5 spec.); SNGvA 1337; Weber 5152; BMC Mysia p. 105, 104 var. (obv. leg.); SNG Cop 290 var. (same); cf. SNG BnF 1484 (obscure), F, well centered, light scratches, some legend weak, areas of corrosion, central cavities, weight 8.321 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, die axis 195o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, Mar/Apr 177 - 31 Dec 192 A.D.; obverse IMP CAI(sic) Λ AV - COMODVS, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse DEO AESC SVB (Deo Aesculapius subvenienti - to Aesculapius, the god who helps), Asclepius seated right on throne, treating an injured bull standing left before him, with his right hand holding the bull's raised right foreleg, C G H I P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) in exergue; rare; $110.00 (96.80)


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 (92.40)


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 (79.20)


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 (70.40)


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 (66.00)


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 (52.80)




  



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Medical & Health