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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Epione - Wife of Asklepios

Sale: CNG 75, Lot: 321. Estimate $1000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 23 May 2007. 
Sold For $1130. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ARGOLIS, Epidauros. Circa 225-200 BC. Æ 18mm (4.47 g, 12h). Laureate head of Asklepios right / Epione advancing left, holding bowl and goose (barely visible); monograms flanking. BCD Peloponnesos 1254 (this coin); SNG Copenhagen -. Good VF, dark brown patina with a patch of green.

Ex BCD Collection (LHS 96, 8 May 2006), lot 1254.

Epione was the wife of Asklepios, the god of healing, and the mother of Panakaia, the goddess of medicine, and Hygieia, the goddess of health. As the goddess of easing pain, she was well-skilled in the formation and dispensation of preparations for that purpose. Here, she is seen pouring such a preparation into a phiale for application.

Reputed to be the birthplace of Asklepios, the god of healing, Epidauros was established as that god’s sanctuary. There, the Asklepieion, or temple dedicated to him, became the most celebrated healing center of the Classical world, and the place to which the ill traveled for relief. A massive complex, it contained shrines, healing mineral springs, and dormitories. The central feature of the site was the enkoimitiria, a large sleeping hall, where the ill would spend the night. The dreams they dreamed while there were subsequently interpreted as the god’s advice for the recovery of their health. The site also included a large theater for ritualistic performances. Admired by Pausanias, the theater remains the best-preserved building of its type from the Classical world.