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Venus-Hygieia
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Unknown
Roman, Asia Minor (present-day Turkey), about A.D. 200
Marble
H: 68 7/8 x W: 20 7/8 x D: 13 3/4 in.
71.AA.338

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Standing with her weight on one leg and clothed in a voluminous gown, this statue of a goddess looks off to her left. Her precise identity is uncertain because the figure displays elements connected with more than one deity: Hygieia, the goddess of health, and Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The presence of the small, sleeping Eros, the winged young god of love, who leans against her leg, and the goddess's hairstyle argue in favor of her identity as Aphrodite. Yet the dress the goddess wears and the snake she holds are more typical of Hygieia. Furthermore, the egg she holds, an emblem of Hygieia's father Asklepios, associates her with that goddess.

As a relative latecomer to the classical pantheon, Hygieia lacked a distinct mythology and hence definitive attributes. Frequently Hygieia was blended or merged with another goddess, both in cult practice and in depictions, and this combination may be represented here.