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Bronze figurine of Aesculapius

 

Height: 6.400 cm

Presented by Mrs P.M. Bergin, in memory of her husband, the late Mr J.A. Bergin, CB

P&EE 1995 7-2 1

Prehistory and Europe

    Bronze figurine of Aesculapius

    Roman Britain, 1st-4th century AD
    From near Chichester, West Sussex

    The most powerful healer-god in the Greek and Roman world

    The figure is Aesculapius, son of Apollo and Coronis, and the most important Roman god of healing. He wears a travellers' cloak and leans on his wooden staff, his 'attribute', that symbolizes the support he gave to the sick. Traces of a snake entwined around the staff can be seen. A snake is a symbol of restored youth and vitality (it regularly sheds it skin and appears to be born again). The staff of Aesculapius with a coiled snake has became the symbol of the modern medical profession. This is the first figurine of Aesculapius to have been found in Britain.

     

    T.W. Potter, Roman Britain, 2nd edition (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)

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