General Discussion Interesting...

This Week in God – Janus

"My thoughts... Perhaps we should call on Janus to intercede
in the war and to help us start a fresh new year.

Roman. God of passage.
Known period of worship
circa 400 BC to circa 400 AD.
Center(s) of cult
many sanctuaries throughout Italy, including the celebrated Janus Quadrifons temple (not extant).
Art references
sculptures and relief carvings.
Literary sources
Aeneid (Virgil).

Janus is generally known as the “god with two faces” and is the deity responsible for gates, doorways and of all beginnings. He is also specifically a benign intercessor in times of war. He has no Greek counterpart but is the god of past, present and future. According to legend the son of Apollo, born in Thessaly, he founded the city of Janiculum on the Tiber.

Janus is depicted with two faces turned in opposite directions, symbolizing his dominance over past and future. He holds a key in his right hand and a staff in his left when invoked as guardian of a gate or roadway; alternatively he holds the numbers 300 and 65 when presiding over the start of a new year. He is also equated with the rising and setting of the sun. Each, new season, and the dawn of each day was sacred to Janus. He was particularly celebrated at New Year and the month name January is derivative. The Janus Quadrifons temple was reputedly a perfectly symmetrical square, each side possessing one door representing each of the four seasons, and three windows collectively comprising the twelve months of the year.

Statue of JanusArch of Janus

Other info: Encyclopedia Mythica      Wikipedia     The Aeneid (Penguin Classics)