Back to Main Themes page |  Back to Religious/Mythological Symbols

Serpent staff

(2 coins)
Phrygia, Laodikeia ad Lykos

AE 15, 4.55g. magistrate: Zeuxis Philalethes.  c.15 B.C. Bare head of Augustus to right; lituus behind.   Rev. Serpent staff of Asklepios.    RPC 1, 2895. SNG von Aulock 3837; small scrape in hair.   Dark brown patina.

The magistrate Zeuxis Philalethes is most likely the physician who founded a school of medicine at the temple of Men Karou outside of Laodikeia as mentioned by his contemporary Strabo(Geog.12,88, 50.)  During Starbo's lifetime, there were two directors of the medical school, Zeuxis and Alexander Philalethes.  The reverse type with the serpent staff of Asklepios further supports the association.  (See: Ramsay, Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia,  p. 52.)


Ex: Peter Weiss, Kiel Germany, collected 1967-2015. 
Ex: Gorny and Mosch, Munich, Auction 276, April 19,2021, lot 388.


See more detailed image
about Extremely Fine/Extremely Fine $1,000.
Caracalla, Aigeai, Cilicia, 215-216 A.D.

AR Tetradrachm, 13.31g. 29mm. Struck in Aigeai, Cilicia, Dated: year 262=215/216 A.D. Diademed bust of Asclepius to right; serpent staff to right. Greek inscription," The Antonine City of Aigeai." Rev. Asclepius standing to left holding serpent staff; Telesphorus to left and goat to right. Greek inscription," Of noble and Macedonian origin."

Florian Haymann, Untersuchungen Zur Geschichte und Identitätskonstruktion von Aigeai im Römischen Kilikien (20 v.-280 n. CHR) , 101a.1(this coin listed)= Prieur 723 = SNG Levante 1741 (this coin). H. Bloesch, "Caracalla in Aigeai," in Congresso internazionale di numismatica Roma, 1961, vol. 2: Atti (Rome: 1965), pp. 307-8, pl. 23, 1 var. (date format)= Winterthur museum, G 4535. Gitta Kastner, Munich, Auction 4, November 27, 1973, lot 165 (this coin now in the British Museum= London, 1975, 0930.2 )

The sanctuary of Asclepius in Aigeai was already widely known by the 2nd century and mentioned by Serenus Sammonicus in his Liber Medicinalis. It was considered to be a triad with the Asklepions in Pergamon and Epidauros. Serenus was a tutor to Caracalla and Geta, but he was murdered in 211 during the purge of Caracalla. (Cf. Hayman, p. 157 and note 1085). Caracalla who suffered ill health visited the Askelpion in Pergamon in 214 and perhaps may have visited Aigeai on the same journey giving rise to an occasion for striking this issue.

An unusual and spectacular coin, being the finest of three known and the only example in private hands; attractive collection toning.


Ex: Numismatic Fine Arts, Beverly Hills, Auction 16, December 2, 1985, lot 496
Ex: Edoardo Levante collection, published SNG Levante 1741.

See more detailed image
Extremely Fine $25,000.

Back to Main Themes page |  Back to Religious/Mythological Symbols

Terms of Sale and Privacy Policy

View Cart

Comments and questions to
Copyright © 1995-2024 Edward J. Waddell, Ltd. All rights reserved.