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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Heros ▸ AsklepiosView Options:  |  |  | 


Asclepius is the god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek mythology. Asclepius represents the healing aspect of the medical arts, while his daughters Hygieia, Meditrina, Iaso, Aceso, Agla, and Panacea (literally, "all-healing") symbolize the forces of cleanliness, medicine, and healing, respectively.

Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Serdica, Thrace

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Asklepios was the son of Apollo and a mortal woman named Coronis. Apollo killed Coronis for being unfaithful but rescued the unborn Asklepios from her womb. Apollo carried the baby to the centaur Chiron who raised Asclepius and instructed him in the art of medicine. In return for some kindness, a snake taught him secret knowledge of healing. Asclepius became so proficient as a healer that he surpassed both Chiron and his father, Apollo. Asclepius was even able to evade death and to bring the dead back to life. Zeus killed him to restore balance to the human population but later resurrected Asclepios as a god to prevent a feud with Apollo. Zeus instructed Asclepios to never revive the dead without his approval.
RP84488. Bronze AE 30, H-J Serdica (R5), Varbanov III 2204 var. (obv. leg.), Moushmov 154 var. (same), SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, VF, nice green patina, smoothing, some light corrosion, centration dimples, weight 14.349 g, maximum diameter 30.1 mm, die axis 180o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AVK M AVPH ANTΩNINOC, laureate head right; reverse OVΛΠIAC CEP∆IKHC, Asclepius seated left on throne without back, torso bare, himation around hips and leges and over left shoulder, patera in right hand, snake-coiled staff in left hand; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection, ex CNG e-auction 320 (12 Feb 2014), lot 281; this coin is the only example of the type on Coin Archives; very rare; $285.00 SALE PRICE $257.00

Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 440 - 375 B.C.

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The name Larissa is in origin a Pelasgian (pre-Greek) word for "fortress." There were many ancient Greek cities with this name. The name of Thessalian Larissa is first recorded in connection with the aristocratic Aleuadai family. Larissa is thought to be where the famous Greek physician Hippocrates and the famous philosopher Gorgias of Leontini died.
GS77554. Silver trihemiobol, BCD Thessaly 1120, Trait 690 and pl. CCXCVII 23, SNG Cop -, BMC Thessaly -, aVF, weight 0.893 g, maximum diameter 12.3 mm, Larissa mint, c. 440 - 375 B.C.; obverse a bull's hoof with bone, laying on a small round dish or shield with a dotted edge, all within an outer dotted boarder; reverse diademed bust of Asklepios right, with long beard, drapery on his left shoulder, erect curving snake with head right before him, ΛAPI upward behind; very rare; $230.00 SALE PRICE $207.00

Pergamon, Mysia, c. 133 - 27 B.C.

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The cista mystica was a basket used for housing sacred snakes in connection with the initiation ceremony into the cult of Bacchus (Dionysus). In the Dionysian mysteries a snake, representing the god and possibly symbolic of his phallus, was carried in a cista mystica on a bed of vine leaves. The cista in the mysteries of Isis may also have held a serpent, perhaps associated with the missing phallus of Osiris.
GB84965. Bronze AE 17, BMC Mysia p. 129, 160; SNGvA 1371; SNG BnF 1813; SNG Cop -, VF, tight thick flan, scratches, weight 8.662 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 133 - 27 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Asklepios right; reverse AΣKΛHΠIOY / ΣΩTHPOΣ, Asklepian snake coiled around omphalos, owl standing on the snake's back; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00

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

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Akrasa is not the same as Nakrasa. The cities were near each other, along with Germe and Stratonicea in northern Lydia.
RP84689. Bronze AE 18, Weber III 6777; Hunterian II p. 447, 2; SNG Cop 8 var. (obv. leg.); SNGvA 2886 var. (same); BMC Lydia p. 13, 22 var. (same); SNG Mn 22 var. (same), F, well centered, dark green patina, weight 3.169 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, Akrasos mint, obverse AV KA Λ C CEOVHPOC, laureate head of Septimius Severus right; reverse AKPCIΩTΩN, Asklepios standing slightly right, head turned back left, snake entwined staff in right hand; rare; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00

Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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Nicopolis ad Istrum was founded by Trajan around 101 - 106, at the junction of the Iatrus (Yantra) and the Rositsa rivers, in memory of his victory over the Dacians. Its ruins are located at the village of Nikyup, 20 km north of Veliko Tarnovo in northern Bulgaria. The town reached its peak during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, the Antonines and the Severan dynasty.
RP77044. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis (R3), Moushmov 1124, Varbanov I -, AMNG I/I -, aVF, centered, green patina, light corrosion, left side of flan ragged, weight 2.476 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, 28 Jan 198 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse AY K M A− ANTΩNIN, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC I, tetrastyle temple of Asklepios, cult statue within, pellet in pediment; scarce; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00

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

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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.
GB84959. Bronze AE 22, SNG BnF 1815 (with owl countermark); SNG Tub 2415 (same); BMC Mysia p. 129, 161 (same); SNGvA -; SNG Cop -, VF, green patina, nice countermark, irregular flan, flan crack, weight 6.353 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 133 - 16 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Asklepios right; reverse AΣKΛHΠIOY / ΣΩTHPOΣ, Asklepian snake coiled around omphalos, head right; countermark: owl standing right with head facing, in 6mm round punch; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00

Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D., Pautalia, Thrace

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The site of Pautalia (modern Kyustendil, Bulgaria) was settled in the Iron Age by the Thracian Dentheletes tribe. It was located near thermal springs and remains of the ancient city include a temple of Asklepios and Roman baths. In the 1990s, excavation of nearby 2nd century A.D. tumuli unearthed bronze surgical instruments and a small bronze case containing a variety of medicines.
RP77704. Bronze AE 18, Dr. Busso Peus Nachfolger, auction 406, lot 479; apparently otherwise unpublished; Ruzicka -, Varbanov -, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, F/aF, green patina, reverse encrusted, weight 4.003 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Pautalia (Kyustendil, Bulgaria) mint, as caesar, 198 - 209 A.D.; obverse Λ CEΠ-T ΓETAC, bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse OYΛΠIAC ΠAYTAΛIAC, Asklepios leaning on snake entwined staff in right hand; might improve with cleaning; $27.00 SALE PRICE $24.30


Catalog current as of Wednesday, August 23, 2017.
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