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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Gods, Non-Olympian ▸ JanusView Options:  |  |  | 

Janus

Janus was the Roman god of gates, doors, doorways, time, beginnings, and endings. He is depicted with two faces in opposite directions; one looks back into the past, while the other simultaneously looks forward into the future. He is the namesake of the month January.


Lampsakos, Mysia, c. 500 - 450 B.C.

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Lampsakos was founded by Greek colonists from Phocaea in the 6th century B.C. Soon afterward it became a main competitor of Miletus, controlling the trade roots in the Dardanelles. During the 6th and 5th centuries B.C., Lampsacus was successively dominated by Lydia, Persia, Athens, and Sparta. Artaxerxes I assigned it to Themistocles with the expectation that the city supply the Persian king with its famous wine. When Lampsacus joined the Delian League after the battle of Mycale in 479 B.C., it paid a tribute of twelve talents, a testimony to its wealth.
GA86592. Silver diobol, Baldwin Lampsakos, group A, type I, pl. V, 8; AMNG III 14; SNGvA 7390; SNG BnF 1126; SNG Ashmolean 653; SNG Cop 184; Rosen 524; SGCV II 3879, EF, well centered, dark toning, a few light marks, reverse die damaged, weight 1.230 g, maximum diameter 11.8 mm, die axis 180o, Lampsakos (Lapseki, Turkey) mint, c. 500 - 450 B.C.; obverse janiform female heads, each wearing stephanos, with central earring; reverse head of Athena left, wearing Corinthian helmet, within incuse square; $250.00 (212.50) ON RESERVE


Lampsakos, Mysia, c. 4th - 3rd Centuries B.C.

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Lampsakos was founded by Greek colonists from Phocaea in the 6th century B.C. Soon afterward it became a main competitor of Miletus, controlling the trade roots in the Dardanelles. During the 6th and 5th centuries B.C., Lampsacus was successively dominated by Lydia, Persia, Athens, and Sparta. Artaxerxes I assigned it to Themistocles with the expectation that the city supply the Persian king with its famous wine. When Lampsacus joined the Delian League after the battle of Mycale in 479 B.C., it paid a tribute of twelve talents, a testimony to its wealth.
GS86591. Silver diobol, Baldwin Lampsakos, Group B, Type I; SNG Ashmolean 660; SNG BnF 1195; SNG Cop 191; SNGvA 1295; BMC Mysia p. 83, 36 ff., gVF, well centered and struck, light marks and deposits, weight 1.304 g, maximum diameter 11.9 mm, die axis 180o, Lampsakos (Lapseki, Turkey) mint, c. 4th - 3rd Centuries B.C.; obverse Janiform female head, wearing taenia and disk earring; reverse ΛA−M−Ψ (clockwise, starting above), helmeted head of Athena right, in a shallow round incuse; $120.00 (102.00) ON RESERVE


Tenedos, Islands off Troas, c. 550 - 470 B.C.

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Philonome, the second wife of King Cycnus of Colonae, falsely accused her stepson Tenes of rape, using the flutist Eumolpus as witness. Cycnus believed the accusation and tried to kill Tenes and his sister Hemithea by placing them both in a chest, which was set into the ocean. However, the chest landed on the island of Leucophrye, where they made Tenes their king and renamed the island Tenedos. Cycnus later learned the truth, killed Eumolpus, and buried Philonome alive. When Cycnus' ship landed at Tenedos in hopes of reconciliation, Tenes rebuffed him and cut the mooring with a labrys. Tenes fought for the Trojans in the Trojan War and was slain by Achilles. After the war, Agamemnon permitted the Trojan prisoners to build a city north of Mycenea. The city was called Tenea and they founded a sanctuary where sacrifices were offered to Tenes. No flute player was allowed to enter the sacred precinct, and the name of Achilles was not to be uttered. Map of Troas
GS83935. Silver obol, SNG Cop 509; SNGvA 1587; SNG Mnchen 340; SNG Tbingen 2677; BMC Troas p. 91, 7; Rosen 536; Weber 5448, HGC 6 381; SGCV II 5151, VF, tight flan, uneven toning, edge crack, weight 0.584 g, maximum diameter 8.3 mm, Tenedos (Bozcaada, Turkey) mint, c. 550 - 470 B.C.; obverse janiform head of a diademed female left and laureate bearded male right; reverse labrys (double axe), T-E divided by handle, all within an incuse square, no linear border; ex Wilson H Guertin; $100.00 (85.00)


Roman Republic, C. Vibius C.F. Pansa, 90 B.C.

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In 90 B.C., Rome barely managed to stave off total defeat in the Social War. The Italians were denied citizenship and, despite making up over half the Roman army, were denied a fair share of the booty and lands. They rebelled and raised an army of 100,000 battle-hardened soldiers. After Roman victories and citizenship concessions, the war was nearly over by 88 B.C.
RR59575. Copper as, Crawford 342/7d; Sydenham 690b; SRCV I 744, F, weight 7.587 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, 90 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Janus, I above; reverse ROMA, three galley prows right, C VIBI AV (AV ligate) in exergue, I right; $60.00 (51.00)


Roman Republic, Anonymous, c. 170 - 160 B.C.

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Janus (or Ianus) was the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings and endings. 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.
RR76436. Bronze as, cf. McCabe Anonymous K2, Crawford 198/1a, Sydenham 143, BMCRR 217, SRCV I 712, F, pitting, weight 28.660 g, maximum diameter 34.0 mm, die axis 270o, Rome(?) mint, c. 170 - 160 B.C.; obverse laureate and bearded head of Janus, I (mark of value) above; reverse prow right, I (mark of value) above, ROMA in exergue; scarce; $55.00 (46.75)


Roman Republic, L. Saufeius, 152 B.C.

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In Roman mythology, Janus (or Ianus) was the god of gates, doors, doorways, and of beginnings and endings. Janus is one of the few major deities in Roman mythology that does not have a Greek origin or counterpart.
RR68445. Bronze as, SRCV I 720, Crawford 204/2, Sydenham 385, BMCRR Rome 836, aF, weight 23.522 g, maximum diameter 31.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 152 B.C.; obverse laureate and bearded head of Janus, I (mark of value) above; reverse prow right, crescent over LSAVF (VF ligate) above, I (mark of value) right, ROMA below; $45.00 (38.25)







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Janus