Description:This silver denarius coin was minted in Rome by moneyer Man. Acilius Glabrio in 49 BC. The obverse side features the head of Salus wearing a laurel wreath and earring with the Latin legend SALVTIS translated to “health.” In Roman religion, Salus, meaning "salvation" in Latin, was the goddess of well-being, health and prosperity for both the people and the Roman Republic.
Salus was one of the most ancient worshipped Roman goddesses. Salus Publica Populi Romani, "Goddess of the public welfare of the Roman people" had a temple on the Quirinal Hill in Rome that was built in 302 BC. Her importance was testified by the ceremony of the "Augurium Salutis" which was held every year on August 5th for the preservation of the Roman Republic. Priests prayed and made offerings to Salus not just for the safety of the city of Rome but also for the health and fertility of the entire Roman community, including its animals and farms.
The reverse side of this coin shows Valetudo, the Roman goddess of personal health and a great-granddaughter of the king of the gods Jupiter. Valetudo is leaning on an altar and holding a serpent while gazing into its eyes. The Latin legend MN ACILIVS III VIR VALETV states the moneyers name and Valetudo. Both Salus and Valetudo were commonly depicted with the snake of Asclepius, who was the god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek religion. The rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today.