The Significance of Janus During the Augustan Principate



O'Keefe, Megan

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The influence of Janus during the Augustan principate is underestimated. Scholarship often overlooks Janus in favor of other prominent gods utilized by Augustus during his reign. This thesis will demonstrate that Janus should be considered a vital component of Augustan propaganda. I will begin with an examination of Janus’ mythology and history, paying particular attention to the Janus Geminus shrine and its rituals. I will next focus on the relationship, established by Augustus, between the Janus Geminus shrine and the Ara Pacis Augustae which demonstrated the shrine’s importance as a basis for one of the most significant Augustan monuments. Finally, I will demonstrate Janus’ significance by exploring Augustan archaism, refurbishment of temples and priesthoods, and the construction of new temples under Augustus, specifically the Apollo Palatinus and Mars Ultor. Additionally, comparison with other Augustan spectacles will help to hypothesize the particulars of the Janus Geminus ritual, again demonstrating Janus’ significance to Augustus.



Janus, Augustus, Rome, Janus Geminus Shrine, Ara Pacis, Augustan propaganda/politics