Thessalonica. AE23mm, Janus / Two centaur, one on right, the other – left

Ancient Coins - Thessalonica. AE23mm, Janus / Two centaur, one on right, the other – left
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 Thessalonica. AE23mm, Janus / Two centaur, one on right, the other � left..Moushmov 6607
F with Beautiful apple green patina!!


Roman bust of Janus, Vatican Museums

In Roman mythology, Janus (or Ianus) was the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings and endings. His most prominent remnants in modern culture are his namesakes: the month of January, which begins the new year, and the janitor, who is a caretaker of doors and halls. He is most often depicted as having two faces or heads, facing in opposite directions. Janus is believed to be one of the few major deities in Roman mythology that does not have a Greek origin or counterpart.

The cult of Janus is one of the most ancient known among Italic peoples.

The Romans associated Janus with the Etruscan deity Ani. However, he was one of the few Roman gods who had no ready-made counterpart, or analogous mythology. Several scholars suggest that he was likely the most important god in the Roman archaic pantheon: this is reflected in the appellation Ianus Pater, still used in Classical times. He was often invoked together with Iuppiter (Jupiter).

Janus-like heads of gods related to Hermes have been found in Greece, perhaps suggesting a compound god: Hermathena (a herm of Athena), Hermares, Hermaphroditus, Hermanubis, Hermalcibiades, and so on. In the case of these compounds it is disputed whether they indicated a herm with the head of Athena, or with a Janus-like head of both Hermes and Athena, or a figure compounded from both deities.

Janus was usually depicted with two heads looking in opposite directions. According to a legend, he had received from the God Saturn, in reward for the hospitality received, the gift to see both future and past.[citation needed]

In general, Janus was the patron of concrete and abstract beginnings, such the religion and the Gods themselves, of the world[1] and the human life[2], of new historical ages, economical enterprises. He was also the God of the home entrance (ianua), gates, bridges and covered and arcaded passages (iani).

He was frequently used to symbolize change and transitions such as the progression of past to future, of one condition to another, of one vision to another, the growing up of young people, and of one universe to another. He was also known as the figure representing time because he could see into the past with one face and into the future with the other. Hence, Janus was worshipped at the beginnings of the harvest and planting times, as well as marriages, births and other beginnings. He was representative of the middle ground between barbarity and civilization, rural country and urban cities, and youth and adulthood.

In Rome, Janus was worshipped in the Ianus geminus, a walled enclosure with gates at each end, situated in the Roman Forum which had been consecrated by Numa Pompilius. In the course of wars, the gates of the Janus were opened, and in its interior sacrifices and vaticinia were held to forecast the outcome of military deeds[3]. The doors were closed only during peacetime, an extremely rare event (Christians later claimed that this had occurred at the moment of the birth of Jesus). A temple of Janus is said to have been consecrated by the consul Gaius Duilius in 260 BCE after the Battle of Mylae in the Forum Holitorium. The four-side structure known as the Arch of Janus in the Forum Boarium dates to the 4th century CE.

In the Middle Ages, Janus was also taken as the symbol of Genoa, whose Latin name was Ianua, as well as of other Italian communes.

The traditional ascription of the "Temple of Janus" at Autun, Burgundy, is disputed.

[edit] Myths

[edit] Carna

His ability to see both forwards and backwards at the same time aided him in his pursuit of the nymph Carna to whom he gave power over door hinges as a reward for her favours.

[edit] Other myths

Janus was supposed to have shared a kingdom with Camese in Latium. They had many children, including Tiberinus.

When Romulus and his men kidnapped the Sabine women, Janus caused a volcanic hot spring to erupt, resulting in the would-be attackers being buried alive in the deathly hot, brutal water and ash mixture of the rushing hot volcanic springs, that killed, burned or disfigured many of Romulus' men. Romulus was in awe of the god's power (Later on, however, Sabine and Rome became allies) In honor of this, the doors to his temples were kept open during war so that Janus himself might easily watch this happen. The doors and gates were closed in ceremony when peace was concluded.

A bronze statue of a centaur,

In Greek mythology, the centaurs (from Ancient Greek: Κένταυροι - K�ntauroi) are a race of creatures composed of part human and part horse. In early Attic vase-paintings, they are depicted with the torso of a human joined at the waist to the horse's withers, where the horse's neck would be.

This half-human and half-animal composition has led many writers to treat them as liminal beings, caught between the two natures, embodied in contrasted myths, both as the embodiment of untamed nature, as in their battle with the Lapiths, or conversely as teachers, like Chiron.

The centaurs were usually said to have been born of Ixion and Nephele (the cloud made in the image of Hera). Another version, however, makes them children of a certain Centaurus, who mated with the Magnesian mares. This Centaurus was either the son of Ixion and Nephele (instead of the Centaurs) or of Apollo and Stilbe, daughter of the river god Peneus. In the latter version of the story his twin brother was Lapithus, ancestor of the Lapiths, thus making the two warring peoples cousins.

Centaurs were said to have inhabited the region of Magnesia and Mount Pelion in Thessaly, Mount Pholoe in Arcadia and the Malean peninsula in southern Laconia.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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