Denomination: AR Didrachm
Date: 225-214 BCE
Description: Anonymous. Quadrigatus (21.5mm, 6.32 g, 8h). Obverse: Laureate head of Janus; straight truncation. Reverse: Jupiter, hurling thunderbolt and holding scepter, in galloping quadriga right driven by Victory; ROMA in relief within a linear frame below. Crawford 28/3; Sydenham 65; RSC 24; RBW 68. Toned, some old cleaning scratches beneath tone, roughness. VF
History: In Roman mythology, Janus was known as the initiator of human life, transformations between stages of life, and shifts from one historical era to another. Ancient Romans believed Janus ruled over life events such as weddings, births, and deaths. He oversaw seasonal events such as planting, harvests, seasonal changes, and the new year. Janus was the God of doors, gates, and transitions. Janus represented the middle ground between both concrete and abstract dualities such as life/death, beginning/end, youth/adulthood, rural/urban, and war/peace. According to Roman mythology, Janus was present at the beginning of the world. In fact, there is evidence that Janus was worshipped before many of the other Roman gods, dating all the way back to the time of Romulus (the founder and the first ruler of Rome). And if you've ever wondered how the month of January got its name, you have Janus to thank. As the Roman god of beginnings and transitions, Janus is the namesake of January, the first month of a new year.