Mar 30 Every year


In Roman mythology, Salus was worshipped extensively by the Romans. Under the name Salus Publica Populi Romani (“goddess of the public welfare of the Roman people”), there was a temple devoted to her on the Quirinal Hill. It was built in 302 BC (Livy X, 1, 9)

Salus was depicted with snakes and a bowl in many artistic representations of her.


Her festival took place on March 30th.
In Greek mythology, Hygieia (Roman equivalent: Salus) was a daughter of Asclepius. She was the goddess of health, cleanliness and sanitation (and later: the moon), and played an important part in her father’s cult (see also: asklepieion). While her father was more directly associated with healing, she was associated with the prevention of sickness and the continuation of good health.

Though Hygieia had been the subject of a local cult since at least the 7th century BC, she did not begin to spread out until the Oracle at Delphi recognized her, and after the devastating Athens plague in 429 and 427 BC and in Rome in 293 BC. Her primary temples were in Epidaurus, Corinth, Cos and Pergamon.

Pausanias remarked that, at the asclepieion of Titane in Sicyon (founded by Alexanor, Asclepius’ grandson), statues of Hygieia were covered by women’s hair and pieces of Babylonian clothes. According to inscriptions, the same sacrifices were offered at Paros.

Ariphron, a Sicyonian artist from the 4th century BC wrote a well-known hymn celebrating her. Statues of Hygieia were created by Scopas, Bryaxis and Timotheus, among others.

She was often depicted as a young woman feeding a large snake that was wrapped around her body. Sometimes the snake would be drinking from a jar that she carried. These attributes were later adopted by the Gallo-Roman healing goddess, Sirona.

Hygieia was accompanied by her brother, Telesphorus.

Her name is the source of the word “hygiene”.



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