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A picture showing the legend of JANUS taken from our Roman mythology archives. Illustration by Chas Saunders. Read the story below or search the index for more Roman Gods, Roman Goddesses, heroes, demons and monsters!

Forward-looking God of Change

Some gods really are two-faced. His Roman noses pointing in opposite directions, JANUS symbolizes the process of change — gazing backwards at the recent past while staring intently into the new improved future.

He tends to lurk in doorways, hovering on the threshold but unable to step forward or back. His role is merely to point the way. Just the thing if you are on the cusp of a life-changing decision.

Talking of doorways, JANUS did manage to make a move at least once — he got romantically involved with CARNA, one of the NYMPHS(2), and made her the Goddess of Door Hinges. We know not why.

His biggest job is getting us from one year to the next, which is why JANUS has the whole month of January named after him. He is responsible for the wistful feelings of nostalgia everyone gets as the year ends — and may even inspire some of your more optimistic new year resolutions.

Whether you are contemplating a new job or planning a new world order of evil tyranny, JANUS is the god to point the way. It is always good to have something backwards to look forward to.

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Article last updated on 07 February 2013
Authors: Peter J Allen and Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.

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Godchecker's article on Janus is based on material from ancient texts, original references and our own research. We strive for accuracy and update regularly with new information. If you spot a mistake please contact us and we'll try to fix it.

Suggested further reading...
Name : JANUS
Location : Italy and Western Europe
Gender : Male
Type : Deity
Celebration or Feast Day : Unknown at present
Pronunciation : Coming soon
Alternative names : None known
Popularity index : 1224

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