Philosophical Transactions. For the months of July, August and September, 1716. - Part IX.

By Nicole Renee

Ⅸ. An account of a book. Dissertatio de Dea Salute, In qua illius symbola, templa, statuæ, nummi, inscriptiones exhibentur, illustrantur, auctore guilhelmo musgrave G.F. e Coll. exon. oxonii; typis leon. lichfield; impensis phil. Teo, bibliopolæExon. Anno MDCCXVI.

The author of this treatise, as the occasion of it, observes that the little God Telesphorus had just cause to complain, that so much respect was paid to Dea Febris, and a book lately publisht de Dea Podagra, yet no such honour was done his Mother 'Tyiea, (who certainly was more to be esteemed, than all the tribes of diseases). Upon this conceit, he took what books he had in his reach, of the antient Latin and Greek, and having collected out of them, what he met with relating to this Goddess, put it together, as now it appears in print.
It consists of VI chapters; of which the first is introductory, speaks of health in general, has, in praise of it, that memorable ode of Ariphron the Sicyonian, publisht by Athenaus, and translated by Sennertus; together with a hymn, said to be composed by Orpheus, on the same subject; he ranks this Goddess among the Dii Medioxumi, and gives an account of her from the mythologists.
Chap. II. de Salutis Symbolo, which he takes to be a serpent, an omen of good things, and a frequent companion of the Gods; as appears from Virgil, Valerius Flaccus, Statius, and Macrobius. He mentions another symbolum salutis, used by Antiochus Soter, now to be seen in some of his coins, and sometimes printed in physick books in the following form.


The III. chapter treats of the temples erected to this Goddess; in which prayers were offer'd up to her, sometimes for the health of private persons, and often for the welfare of the publick; of which many instances are here produced. To the account of temples is subjoyned the divination, known by the name of Salutis Augurium, which is often mentioned by Roman authors, as Dion Cassius, Tully, and Tacitus.
In the IV, chapter, the statues of this Goddess are consider'd. Some of these represent her and æsculapius together, tamqum1, Pliny, Pausanias, Lucian, Plutarch and Monsaucon afford instances of this kind.
Plutarch and Monsaucon afford instances of this kind.
Coins relating to this Goddess, come next in view, Chap. V. These either express her effigies, or her worship under some symbol or other. Of the first order, one out of Fulvius Ursinus has the head of the Goddess, with SALUS inscribed. Another like this, is in gevartius. Some, together with this Goddess have also her father æsculapius as a coin of Trajan; and in one of Aurelius Antoninus, stuck in memory of the remedies reveal'd to him in a dream, which cured the Emperor of a sputum sanguinis and vertigo. As indeed most of these coins were (in all likelihood) struck on some such occasion, viz. the recovery of some great person. A noble expression of gratitude, fit and worthy of imitation.
Of the second order is the coin of dossenus, having an alter with a serpent, taken from ursinus. Another of Tibererius, with an alter and SALAUG. Another of nero in which is a serpens tortuosus; with many others.
The gemma of the antients, according to Leonardus Augustinus, are of use to set forth the sarcrifices made of old to this Goddess. One of these gemma represents æsculapius, his daughter Hygieia and grand-son Telesphorus so call'd2 a Valetudine post morbum confirmati. This God, being young and tender, had (I suppose, by the scare of his mother Hygiaa) a Bardocucullus, or cloket, to keep him from taking cold. These three Gods are represented in one figure, with the following inscription under them, EYZETEME, i.e. Salvere me Jubete, which Augustinus happily conjectures to have been a form of prayer offer'd up to them.
In the last chapter come the inscriptions, which are taken out of Gruter and Reinesius. They are chiefly to æsculapius and Hygiaa, but to confirm the divinity of Telesphorus the little God of the Pergameni, he is mentioned in one of their inscriptions dug up at Verona.
The author makes no manner of doubt, but there are many more coins and inscriptions relating to this Goddess to be found in other books. But these being all, or most of such as came in his way, and enough to give a specimen of the devotion paid by the antients to this Goddess, he has contented himself with this small number; leaving it to others to make such additions, as from greater opportunities and abilities, they shall think fit.

A pdf version of the entire text of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London can be found here (this article begins on page 502).

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