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Janus, Roman god of transitions



Hurray for late New Year posts! Yaaay!

The ancient and complex Roman god of transitions, beginnings, endings, doors and
passages, represented as a two-faced being holding a key and a staff, with one of his
face being used to see the present (or the past), and the other one to gaze into the
future. Contrary to the many other Roman gods, Janus had no counterpart in Greek
mythology, being distinctively a Roman invention. He reigned over the beginning
and ending of everything, and his name was invoked first at the start of any ritual
(even ones concerning other gods) to bless the ceremony. His temple was related to
the cycle of war, with its doors being open when a conflict broke out, to pray for the
soldiers return, and closed again during the rare times of peace, to keep the peace
"stuck inside". He also presided over births, journeys, voyages, shipping and trading.
There's still a lot of speculation and unknown things surrounding the god, and some
of it relates to Janus being the god of an old fishing community brought to Rome by
sailors, and supposedly having powers to repel invaders using boiling volcanic water
and having protected Saturn on a ship after he was banned from the heavens by
Jupiter. A popular urban misconception about him is the fact that the month January
is named after him, and although fitting for the god of beginnings, this is incorrect,
as it was named after Juno, the wife of Jupiter, king of the gods.
For such a complex god, at least his iconography is fairly consistent...

His design came from the idea of representing a forgotten and ancient monument,
sunken into the earth, with only his head and pieces of his hands remaining.
Janus is something represented with the head of a bearded man and a woman,
or of an old man and a young one, but for the sake of symmetry, equal heads!

As the god of passages, he controls a magic door that takes people wherever
they want, and keeps track of the passage of time with the giant time wheel
inside his head, and his calendar-like face.

His design is far more stylized than the other gods so far, something that I'm aiming
for the future, and I would like to hear the thoughts of you guys about it if you want.

Well, happy very very late 2016 for everyone, and let's hope for a year filled with more
forgotten gods and random mythological figures right here! ;D

As always, suggestions are very very welcome!

Hope you guys liked it, and until next time! ;D
Image details
Image size
3391x2495px 4.04 MB
HP oj_g510a-f
Date Taken
Jan 14, 2016, 7:37:35 PM
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Why not put a Plague on him that says Happy New Year you know like how Orcus had one that said Go to Hell?