Roman Mythology

The Classical Gods of the Roman Empire...

JANUS

Roman Crossroads God

Picture of the Roman Crossroads God Janus from our Roman mythology image library. Illustration by Chas Saunders.

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, 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.

Janus Facts and Figures

Name: Janus
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names:

Gender: Male
Type: God
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Crossroads
Area of expertise: Crossroads

Good/Evil Rating: Unknown at present
Popularity index: 454

Cite this article

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Article last revised on September 09, 2018 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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