10 Hygiea

This minor planet is named after Hygeia (note the spelling differences), the Greek goddess of health and hygiene. She is usually considered to be one of the daughters of Asclepius. Her Roman counterpart is Valetudo. It was originally named Hygiea Borbonica, partially after the French House of Bourbon, but early asteroid astronomers were resistant to naming bodies after contemporaneous people or places.

The classical symbol of this asteroid is a snake curled around a staff, evocative of the Rod of Asclepius, as pictured below. Moskowitz has a more elegant version of this symbol, consisting of a snake, staff, and star, also pictured below.

In the course of this project, I try to respect original astrological symbols, and stay as much as possible to the intentions of the namers and early symbologers. However, in this case, my hands are tied; there is a much better symbol for this asteroid, and it is the Bowl of Hygeia. It is a symbol of pharmacists commonly used in Europe, and consists of a snake curled around a bowl or cup. This is the symbol I use for this body.

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