A bronze as from Canusium depicting a laureate Janus with the prow of a ship on the reverse
Unknown mint magistrate. 209-208 BC (or later). Æ As (22.84 g, 1h). Uncial standard. Canusium mint. Laureate head of bearded Janus; horizontal I (mark of value) above, CA below Prow of galley right; horizontal I (mark of value) above, CA to right. Crawford 100/1a (citing 6 specimens of all varieties in Paris); Sydenham 309a. VF, dark brown patina, earthen deposits, minor flan flaw on obverse. Rare.
Happy New Collecting Year when we get there.
Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, frames, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. The month of January is named for Janus
1 January was New Year day. On that day it was customary to exchange cheerful words of good wishes. For the same reason everybody devoted a short time to his usual business, exchanged dates, figs and honey as a token of well wishing and made gifts of coins called strenae.
Numa built the Ianus geminus , a passage ritually opened at times of war, and shut again when Roman arms rested. In wartime the gates of the Janus were opened, and in its interior sacrifices and vaticinia were held, to forecast the outcome of military deeds. The doors were closed only during peacetime, an extremely rare event