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In Roman mythology, Salus, “goddess of the public welfare of the Roman people”, had a temple built in 302 BC and was worshipped extensively by the Romans. Her Greek equivalent, Hygieia, had an associated cult since at least the 7th century BC and was the goddess of health, cleanliness and sanitation.

Both goddesses had March 30  as their feast days and both were depicted with snakes; Hygieia feeding a large snake that was wrapped around her body, sometimes drinking from a jar she carried, Salus with snakes and bowl.