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.

 

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More information

Bibliography

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

Dimensions

Height: 6.400 cm

Museum number

P&EE 1995 7-2 1

BCB91651

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

Location

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