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A hill of Rome, across the Tiber, and connected with the city by means of the Sublician bridge. From its sparkling sands it obtained the name of Mons Aureus, now by corruption Montorio. There was an ancient tradition that Ianus, king of the Aborigines, contemporary with Saturn, who then inhabited the Capitoline Hill, founded a city opposite to the residence of Saturn, and, dying, left his name to the hill on which he had built (Verg. Aen. viii. 355 foll.; Serv. ad loc.). Ancus Marcius joined it to the Aventine by a bridge and a wall, lest an enemy should make it a citadel for attack.

The summit of the Ianiculum was seen from the Comitia, and also from the place of popular assemblies in the Campus Martius. At the earliest period of the Republic, when the Romans were surrounded by foes, and feared lest, while they held these assemblies, the enemy might come upon them unawares, they placed some of their citizens upon the Ianiculum to guard the spot, and to watch for the safety of the state; a standard was erected upon the top of the hill, and the removal of it was a signal for the assembly immediately to dissolve, because the enemy was near (Dio Cassius, xxxvii. 28). This act afterwards became a mere formal ceremony; it was, however, made subservient to the designs of factions in later times; and the taking down of the standard on the Ianiculum more than once put a stop to public proceedings at the Comitia.

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