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New video! Healing-related deities on Ancient Coins


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Well well well, last week it was my turn to finally get COVID.

But this did not stop me from making a video!
In fact, seeking to please Asklepios and Salus, this week's episode is dedicated to them.
It seemed to have worked, after just 3 days I was feeling much better.

I hope you enjoy it, consider leaving a like and commenting if you did, and of course, post here your coins featuring Asklepios, Salus, or any healing-related deity!



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Nice video @Leo....Thanks..


Caracalla. 198-217 AD. AR Denarius (2.82 gm, 19mm). Laodicea mint. Struck 200/1 AD.
Obv.: ANTONINVS AVGVSTVS, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev.: SAL GEN HVM, Salus standing left, holding serpent-entwined scepter, and raising kneeling figure personifying the human race. RIC #350; BMC 701; RSC 558a. gVF.


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I watched your video shortly after you posted it at YouTube, @Leo, and was hoping you'd start a thread here! I'm glad you're feeling better after COVID.

Here are coins depicting one example of every healing deity I have in my collection: Apollo, Asklepios, Hygieia/Salus, Telesphoros, and even Glykon!

Troas, Alexandria, 3rd-2nd c. BC.
Greek Æ 13.5 mm, 2.20 g, 11 h.
Obv: Laureate head of Apollo, right.
Rev: AΛEΞAN above horse grazing left, monogram beneath, thunderbolt in exergue.
Refs: Sear 4028; BMC 17.10,18-20; SNG Cop 81-82; SNG von Aulock 7546.

Severus Alexander, AD 222-235.
Roman Provincial Æ 27.2 mm, 8.75 g, 6 h.
Marcianopolis, Moesia Inferior, Legate Um(brius?) Tereventinus, AD 226-227.
Obv: AVT K M AVP CEVH AΛEZANΔPOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: HΓ ȢM TEPEBENTINOV MAPKIANOΠOΛIT-ΩN, Asklepios standing facing, head left, holding serpent staff.
Refs: AMNG I 1027; Moushmov 696; Varbanov 1685 (same dies).

Gordian III, with Tranquillina, A.D. 238-244
Roman provincial AE 4.5 assaria, 12.80 g, 28.2 mm, 7 h.
Moesia Inferior, Tomis, A.D. 241-244.
Obv: AVT K M ANTΩNIOC ΓΟΡΔΙΑΝΟC // CABINIA TPA / NKVΛΛINA, confronted laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Gordian right and diademed, draped bust of Tranquillina left.
Rev: MHTPOΠON-TOV TOMEΩC, Hygieia standing right, feeding serpent from patera; Δ< (ligate) in lower left field.
Refs: AMNG I (Pick) 3534.

Elagabalus, AD 218-222.
Roman provincial Æ assarion, 2.36 g, 16.1 mm, 12 h.
Moesia Inferior, Marcianopolis, AD 218-222.
Obv: ΑVΤ Κ Μ ΑVΡ ΑΝΤΩΝΙΝΟC, laureate head, right.
Rev: ΜΑΡΚΙΑΝΟΠΟΛΙΤΩΝ, Telesphoros standing facing, wearing hooded cloak.
Refs: AMNG I 910; Varbanov 1421-22; Moushmov 652; SNG Budapest 191.

Gordian III, AD 238-244.
Roman provincial Æ 27.1 mm, 12.33 g, 9 h.
Moesia Inferior, Nicopolis ad Istrum, Sabinius Modestus, legatus consularis, AD 241-244.
Obv: ΑVΤ Κ Μ ΓΟΡΔΙΑΝΟC ΑVΓ, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust, right.
Rev: ΥΠ CΑΒ ΜΟΔЄCΤΟV ΝΙΚΟΠΟΛЄΙΤ | ΩN ΠPOC ICTP, Nimbate figure of snake-god Glycon, coiled in two coils, rising up, head right.
Refs: Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov (2018) (same dies); Varbanov 4146; Moushmov 1488; Mionnet Suppl. 2, 708; AMNG --; BMC --; Lindgren --; Sear --.

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Thanks, @Leo. Here are some of my own:

Severus Alexander, AE 22, AD 218-222, Mysia, Parion. Obv. Laureate bust right, wearing cuirass with Gorgoneion, seen from front, IMP CAEƧ L ƧEP ƧEV ALEXANDER (all S retrograde) / Rev. Asklepios seated right on throne, with right hand extended, holding and examining raised right fore-hoof of bovid (cow or bull) standing left with head raised towards his face, DEO AE ƧVB above, C G H I P [Colonia Gemella Hadriana Iulia Pariana] in exergue.* RPC VI Online 3871 (temp.) (see https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/6/3871). 20.03 mm., 4.24 g. Purchased from Lodge Antiquities, UK, Jan. 2022.

Mysia Parion Severus Alexander Asklepios & Cow or Bull raising paw.jpg

*According to RPC VI 3871, the (blundered) reverse legend “is presumably an attempt at DEO AESCVLAP.” But see https://www.forumancientcoins.com/c...p?param=85231q00.jpg&vpar=1901&zpg=91146&fld=, stating that DEO AE ƧVB stands for “Deo Aesculapius subvenienti - to Aesculapius, the god who helps.”

Roman Republic, Manius Acilius Glabrio, AR Denarius, 50 BCE (Harlan and BMCRR) or 49 BCE (Crawford), Rome Mint. Obv. Laureate head of Salus right, wearing necklace and earring, with hair collected behind in knot ornamented with jewels, SALVTIS upwards behind head / Rev. Valetudo* [Harlan says portrayal is of a statue of Valetudo] standing left, holding snake with right hand and resting left arm on column, MN•ACILIVS [downwards on right] III•VIR•VALETV [upwards on left] [MN and TV monogrammed]. RSC I Acilia 8, Crawford 442/1a, Sydenham 922, Sear RCV I 412 (ill.), Harlan, RRM II Ch. 30 at pp. 229-238, BMCRR Rome 3945. 17.5 mm., 3.98 g. 

* Valetudo was essentially another manifestation of Salus (portrayed on the obverse), the goddess of health and well-being -- a concept sometimes “extended to include not only physical health but also the general welfare of the Roman people, the army and the state.” John Melville Jones, Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins (London, 1990) at p. 276.  This is the only Roman coin to depict a personification of Valetudo. See id. at p. 314. 

.  Crawford (Vol. I at p. 461) says that “perhaps” these types refer to the story that the first Greek doctor to come to Rome practiced on the gens Acilia’s street, and that “it is also possible” that “expectations of a Caesarian victory influenced the choice of types.”

Harlan dismisses the “first Greek doctor” story (pointing out that the actual story in Pliny characterizes that doctor very negatively, giving no reason to commemorate him) (see RRM II at p. 231), and vigorously argues that the coin was actually pro-Pompey, not pro-Caesar. He argues that Acilius was Pompey’s stepson for a brief period of time, born in Pompey’s house (stating that he was the son of Aemilia, Pompey’s second wife, who apparently divorced Acilius’s father to marry Pompey while she was pregnant with Acilius, although she died in childbirth and Pompey soon remarried to Mucia Tertia).  Harlan suggests that the specific inspiration for the depictions on this coin was Pompey’s grave illness around the time the coin was issued, and that the coin equated the health of Pompey with the health of the Republic: “[I]f the coin is dated to 50, by the end of the year, anyone who saw Salus and Valetudo on the coinage could only call to mind the national concern, and then the universal relief and thanksgiving over Pompey’s return to health. Whatever the intended meaning, certainly by the end of the year 50 the coin could easily be seen as a piece of Pompeian propaganda proclaiming that they are the ones protecting the state and Caesar is the threat to the safety of the Republic.”  (RRM II at pp. 232-233.)  Harlan also estimates, based on the number of known different obverse and reverse dies,  that nearly 11 million of these denarii were minted (the most during this time-period), and suggests that they were intended to be used to pay the 130,000 troops that the Senate authorized Pompey to raise in preparation for the coming conflict. (Id. p. 234.)


Maximinus I Thrax, AE Sestertius, 236-238 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG GERM / Rev. Salus seated left, holding patera with outstretched right hand and using it to feed a serpent rising from an altar; resting left arm on side of chair, SALVS AVGVSTI; S C in exergue. RIC IV 85, BMCRE 175-176, Cohen 92, Sear RCV III 8338 (ill.). 31 mm., 17.58 g., 12 h.

Maximinus I Thrax Sestertius.jpg

Edited by DonnaML
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