AE18. 3.29g, 17.9mm
MINTED: MYSIA, Pergamon, circa 200-133 BC
REF: BMC 165; SNG Cop 374f; SNG von Aulock 1373
OBVERSE: Laureate and bearded head of Asklepios right.
REVERSE: AΣKΛHΠIOY ΣΩTHPOΣ, Staff of Asklepios entwined with serpent.
Very Fine. Attractive dark green patina with hard earthen deposits highlighting devices.
The great Asklepieion of Pergamon served as both a hospital and also a religious temple dedicated to Asklepios, the Greek god of medicine and healing. It was known throughout the ancient world, and for centuries, many would travel to Pergamon to seek treatment for various illnesses and disease at the complex. Galen, one of antiquity's most famous medical scholars and practitioners, was a native of Pergamon, and practised medicine there in the mid 2nd century AD. He would eventually move to Rome to serve as court physician to the emperors Marcus Aurelius, Commodus, and Septimius Severus.
Historical Notes:Pergamon was one of the great cities of antiquity, reaching its apogee when it was the capital of the Attalid Kingdom of Pergamon between 282-133 BC. The Attalid kings were loyal allies of the Romans, and during the reigns of Eumenes II (197-159 BC) and Attalus II (160-138 BC), the kingdom reached its greatest territorial extent. The city was one of the richest in the western world, with its wealth matched only by its cultural importance. Pergamon swelled in size during this period, with craftsmen, artists and scholars being invited to turn Pergamon into a second Athens. The Library of Pergamon became almost as famous as the great Library of Alexandria in Egypt, and Pergamon was also renowned for its Asklepieion, a large sanctuary dedicated to healing and the god Asklepios.
When the last Attalid king Attalus III died without an heir in 133 BC, he bequeathed the kingdom to the Roman Republic. The Romans incorporated its territories into the Province of Asia, with Pergamon given the status as a free city and the capital of the province. During the Mithridatic Wars (88-63 BC), it served as a base for Mithradates VI in his campaign against the Romans, but by the time of the Roman Empire, Pergamon had regained its favoured status, and in the 1st century AD, it was regarded the most important city in the province.
MYSIA, Pergamon . 200-133 BC . AE18 . Asklepios, God of Healing and Medicine
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