|Temple of Janus|
Concordia is the Roman goddess of civic harmony. Janus is the god of thresholds who carries the key to the door and a stick to hit intruders with. Pax is peace personified, her name was used to characterize a time that wasn't peaceful at all, the Pax Romana. Salus, like the Greek Hygeia, is a goddess of safety, health, and well-being. Originally an agricultural deity, she was shown on coins feeding a sacred snake.
When we honor these four deities, we are recognizing some basic elements of a happy home -- harmony, security, peace, wellness. Neither the Roman Republic nor the empire provided much harmony, security, peace, or wellness except to its richest citizens (have things changed today?), but even the poorest plebian and lowliest slave could burn incense on an altar and make a small, hopeful sacrifice.
|Nero and Salus Coins|