It is almost the end of a great numismatic year. Wonderful coins were sold on MA-Shops and found their way to satisfied customers. New valued sellers from all over the world started their own shop on MA-Shops. And, a huge amount of collectible coins and banknotes are added to MA-Shops. In this way MA-Shops has proven to be reliable partner for both collectors and dealers from around the world.
New Year’s Eve is coming and the deity who is related with this rite, the passage of the old to the new year, in ancient Rome was traditional Janus. Janus was the Roman god of all beginnings in time, space and actions. As the god of passages, he is mostly depicted as a two-faced figure. One side looks forward and the other backward. In this way he can see both the future and the past.
Obverse: Laureate head of Janus; curved truncation.
Reverse: ROMA raised on outlined tablet in exergue, Jupiter in quadriga driven by Victory right, holding thunderbolt and sceptre.
Excellent exemplar of this scarce and very desired coin, superb reliefs and high quality silver. For demanding collectors!
Gifts in the form of coins
New Year’s Day was also in Ancient Rome on January 1st. So, this day was obviously connected with Janus because it was the beginning of the new year. On this day it was for Romans normal to exchange happy words and good Wishes. This ritual was the same as nowadays. For the same reason the Romans exchanged figs, dates and honey as a symbol of well-wishing. They also gave gifts in the form of coins! This day offers were done to gods and deities just as other days. But these offers were mostly cheap offers like cake and salt.
Janus was an important god for the Romans and therefor he was also depicted on several coins. These coins, mostly minted in the Roman Republic, are highly collectible because of the iconic and recognisable head of the god Janus. Also, the temple of Janus is depicted several times. For example, on this wonderful aureus of the emperor Nero. A rich history can be told about this coin what can be read by the object description of this object.
Catalog: Cohen 114 | RIC 58
Weight 7,28gr. | Diameter Ø 19mm.
Obv. Laureate head right NERO CAESAR AVGVSTVS
Rev. Temple of Janus with closed doors
IANVM CLVSIT PACE P R TERRA MARIQ PARTA
In ancient Rome, the main Temple of Janus stood in the Forum Romanum near the Argiletum. It had doors on both ends, and inside was a statue of Janus, the two-faced god of boundaries. The temple doors (the ?Gates of Janus?) were closed in times of peace and opened in times of war.
The Temple of Janus was Numa’s (2nd King of Rome) most famous temple project, which he built to distract the early warlike Romans from their violent ways. During Numa’s reign, the gates of the Temple of Janus were closed and Rome remained at peace (as shown on the reverse of this Coin).
The next king, Tullus Hostilius, opened the Gates of Janus when he went to war with Alba Longa. The Gates of Janus remained open for the next 400 years until after the First Punic War when T. Manlius Torquatus closed the Gates of Janus in 235 BC. This closure lasted about eight years. War with the Gauls in Northern Italy forced the Gates of Janus to reopen. They did not close again until 29 BC, following the deaths of Marc Anthony and Cleopatra (when Augustus had overthrown Marc Anthony).
On the rare occasions when Rome was not at war with a foreign enemy, the doors of the ?Twin Janus? were ceremonially closed, an event which Nero commemorated extensively on the coinage of 65-67 AD. On this aureus we see a curious rectangular structure, the precise location of which remains uncertain, consisted of two arched gateways joined by walls though lacking a roof.
Rare historical coin with attractive depiction of the Temple of Janus.
Catalog: Cr.35/1 Syd.71
Weight: 256.00 g – Diameter: 67.00 mm
Obv;Head of Janus,below,mark of value set horizontally.
Rev; Prow right,above,I
A beautiful Aes Grave
Catalog: Cr. 479/1; Syd. 1044; RPC I, 671.
Weight: 17.07 g – Diameter: 28.00 mm
Crowned Janus head
I wish all of you a wonderful and healthy 2020. And I hope you will have a lot of pleasurable time with your great hobby and the coins that you will find on the MA-Shops website – The World’s Most Trusted Numismatic Marketplace – https://www.ma-shops.com
Written by Joël van Dam, Owner of Joëlnumismatics.
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