Medicine box with Asklepios and Hygeia

Date: Late fifth century
Location or Findspot (Modern-Day Country): Italy
Medium: Ivory
Dimensions: 11 × 7.5 × 3 cm
Description: This ivory medicine box is decorated with the image of Asklepios, the Greco-Roman healing god, and his daughter Hygeia, the goddess of health, cleanliness, and hygiene. Asklepios appears with a snake wrapped around a walking staff, a symbol that still represents medicine and medical associations today, while Hygeia holds a jar from which to feed another large snake. This box was later transformed into a Christian reliquary, at which point a cross was added between the heads of these antique figures.
Relevant Textbook Chapter(s): 1, 2
Image Credits: Genevra Kornbluth

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