Ancient Rome: Images and Pictures
photos by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.
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Statues and Temples of Asclepius,
the Ancient Healing God

(click on any picture below to see a larger image)

Note: Asclepius was the ancient Greek god of healing, whose cult became very popular throughout the ancient Roman empire.
His name is sometimes also transliterated more precisely as "Asklepios", while in Latin it was spelled "Aesculapius".

Small Asclepius -- Vatican Museum, Braccio Chiaromonti, section 50, #12
#1 #2 #3 #4
#1 - Small Asclepius statue (on left) in Vatican Museum, Braccio Chiaromonti, section 50, #12.
#2 - Closer view of same statue; note the snake wraps up the staff counter-clockwise here.
#3 - Same; note the round object (?) in the left hand; note also the long hair and rather old-looking face.
#4 - Close-up of the inscription on the base of same statue.
Medium-Sized Asclepius -- Vatican Museum, Braccio Chiaromonti, section 24, #5
#5 #6
#5 - Medium-sized statue (on right) of bearded Asclepius -- Vatican Museum, Braccio Chiaromonti, section 24, #5.
#6 - Closer view  (the marble base is unrelated to the statue).
#7 - Close-up of the face; note slightly younger face than the statue of photos # 1-4 above.
#8 - Close-up side view of head; note also the long curly hair and headband.
NOTE: Photos #5-8 above were taken in March 1994.  By June 1999 this statue and base had been replaced by a different statue of Asclepius and a new pedestal that does not have this inscription dedicated to Asclepius (photos #8a-f below):

Large Asclepius -- Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples; originally on Tiber Island, Rome
#9 #10 #11 #12 #13
#9 - Large statue of a bearded Asclepius; now in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples; originally on the Tiber Island, Rome.
#10 - Full-body view; in March 1994 this statue was on a pallette in a temporary corner spot during museum renovations.
#11 - Close-up of the head; note again the curly hair and head-band, and the slightly younger face than the two statues above.
#12 - Close-up of the snake heading up the staff; note it does not circle the staff here.
#13 - Two busts of unidentified gods, possibly Asclepius -- Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples.
Large Beardless Asclepius -- Vatican Museum, Braccio Nuovo, # 17

#14 - Placement of the large Asclepius statue in the "Braccio Nuovo" hallway of the Vatican Museum.
#15 - Same statue; note the young, beardless face in contrast to most other surviving statues showing a bearded Asclepius.
#16 - Same statue; note the sandals and beehive-like object at the feet, similar to the statue of Asclepius in Naples (#9-12 above).
#17 - Close-up of the snake; note it is larger and freer from the staff than most other Asclepius statues.
#18 - Close-up of the upper body and face; note the toga folds very similar to the Naples statue (#9-12 above).

Fontana d'Esculapio in the Borghese Gardens, Rome
#19 #20 #21 #22
#19 - The Fountain of Asclepius, with an ancient Roman Asclepius statue -- Viale Washington, Borghese Gardens, Rome.
#20 - Close-up of the second-century Roman Asclepius statue in the Fontana d'Esculapio.
#21 - Same; note the badly damaged snake.
#22 - Nearby sign-post at the top of the modern "Viale Esculapio" -- Borghese Gardens, Rome
Asclepius Temple Replica in the Borghese Gardens, Rome
#23 #24 #25 #26 #27
#23 -19th century replica of a Temple and statue of Asclepius; on the main pond in the Borghese Gardens, Rome.
#24 - Closer view of the same temple and statue.
#25 - Close-up of the frieze; seems to depict the legend of the serpent's arrival in Rome.
#26 - Even closer view (as close as my 35/200 telephoto lens could reach across the pond).
#27 - View of the back of the statue.

Related Websites with More Information on Asclepius:

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