Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Coins dedicated to Salus Augusti, like this coin, probably indicate the emperor was at the time suffering from some disease, and sacred rites had been performed for his recovery.
Hadrian, one of the “Five Good Emperors,” abandoned the expansionist policy of Trajan and established a policy of defense and consolidation during which Hadrian’s Wall in Britain was constructed. He traveled to nearly every province of the Empire, more than any other emperor, often ordering grandiose building programs to improve infrastructure and the quality of life in those regions. An ardent admirer of Greece, he sought to make Athens the cultural capital of the Empire and ordered the construction of many opulent temples in the city. He spent much of his time with the military; usually wore military attire and even dined and slept amongst the soldiers. He ordered military training and drilling to be more rigorous and made use of false reports of attack to keep the army alert. He suppressed the Bar Kokhba revolt in Judaea, renaming the province Syria Palaestina.
Laureate head of Hadrian right
HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P
Salus standing left, holding sceptre and sacrificing with patera over lighted altar to left
A perfect choice for Numismatists, Historians, Military Veterans, Collectors