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Re: [XTalk] OT: Peter's Keys in Matt 16:19

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  • Jan Sammer
    Further to my suspicion, expressed in yesterday s message as to the cult of St. Peter being a continuation of the Roman cult of Ianus or Dianus, we may
    Message 1 of 2 , May 24, 2003
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      Further to my suspicion, expressed in yesterday's message as to the cult of
      St. Peter being a continuation of the Roman cult of Ianus or Dianus, we may
      consider the fact that the epicenter of the Petrine cult, that is the
      Vatican, is part of the Ianiculum ridge, which runs on the right bank of the
      Tiber. In fact Ianiculum and Mons Vaticanus or Ager Vaticanus designated the
      same geographical entity. Today the term Ianiculum is more geographically
      circumscribed, yet atop the hill known today as the Gianicolo is located the
      church of S. Pietro in Montorio. This is a strong indicator of the
      continuation of the cult of Ianus in that of St. Peter.
      Ianus of course means gate and Ianus or Dianus was the gatekeeper of the two
      gateways through which the heavenly bodies pass as they rise and set, moving
      along the ecliptic. Ianus also closed the old year and opened the new on the
      first of the month named after him, i.e., January. For that he also
      logically needed two keys. I cannot help remarking that in the gospels, as
      well as in apocryphal sources (e.g., the quo vadis story) Peter is portrayed
      as decidedly two-faced, like his Ianus prototype, and even has two names,
      Simon and Peter, further emphasizing his dual nature.

      Jan Sammer

      > My suspicion is that Peter takes the role of the two-faced Roman god Ianus
      > who guards the gate through which the sun rises in the east and the gate
      > through which it sets in the west. Each gate presumably has a different
      lock
      > on it, to keep things tidy, hence the need for two keys. The assumption of
      > pagan attributes by saints has been a particular interest of mine for some
      > time. For instance, most people know that the Parthenon was at one time
      > converted into a Christian church, but few know that it was a church
      > dedicated to Hagia Sophia, or Holy Wisdom. In my view the cult of Holy
      > Wisdom in Eastern Orthodoxy is a successor to the cult of Athena. Here in
      > Prague the catheral is dedicated to St. Vitus, who seems to be a direct
      > successor to the pagan Slavonic deity Svantovit, the Holy Victor. There's
      > more, but I don't want to stray too far off topic.
      >
      > Jan Sammer
      >
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