Bronze figurine of Aesculapius


British Museum

British Museum

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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  • Title: Bronze figurine of Aesculapius
  • Date Created: 1/399
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 64.10mm; Thickness: 12.10mm; Width: 29.60mm; Weight: 64.30g
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Subject: classical deity
  • Registration number: 1995,0702.1
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Chichester
  • Period/culture: Romano-British
  • Material: copper alloy
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Christie's. With contribution from Bergin