Warning This Section Does Contain Spoilers

Janus Notes

  • Was the Roman god of beginnings, gates, and doorways
  • He was associated with the start of day and the first of the year and January was named after him
  • The Romans named Janiculum, one of the 7 hills of Rome in his honor
  • Like a doorway that can be entered from both ways, Janus was usually pictured with two faces, one looking forward and one looking back
  • The Temple to Janus had two sets of doors facing the east and west. These doors were open during times of war and closed during times of peace because he helped them in a time of war but they were almost always open since Romans were almost always at war
  • In one myth he used his rear face to see a lover leaving him and turned and caught her to bring her back
  • During an important Roman battle the Sabines attacked a Roman gateway and Janus flooded the gateway with hot spring to prevent invaders from entering the city
  • Janus had no Greek counter part (one who symbolized both beginning and end) His name was evoked even before that of Jupiter
  • Some times referred to as the god of gods or diuom deo
  • Janus may have actually lived unlike other gods and was deified upon death
  • To Romans he was the god of beginning and end presiding over every entrance and departure
  • His symbols are a porter's staff, vigra, and a set of keys