Two-faced Janus - who is this?

Two-faced Janus is one of many gods,the legends about which we owe to Roman mythology. More specifically, this legendary character at one time was perhaps the first king in Latium (presumably this is the birthplace of the heart of modern Italy and of Rome itself). In those distant times, this god dwelt in a palace located on the hill of Janicule, which is on the right coast of the Tiber. Hence Janus and controlled the lands subordinate to him. The rules, however, he did not last long - soon a much more active and powerful king, Jupiter, ascended to the throne, who was identified with Zeus, the most important god of the ancient Greeks.

Why is Janus a two-faced god? It is believed that from his divine "colleague" of Saturn, the king of Latium received as a gift a special talent, which was to clearly see all the past and future. It is because of this that Janus is represented in all the images with two persons - young and old, who are facing in opposite directions (in the future and, accordingly, in the past).

By the way, the very name "Janus" was chosen not by chance. This word, if translated from Latin ("janya"), means "door". Over time, this "door" has become not only a landmark dividing yesterday from tomorrow, but in general a symbol of every end and beginning. Well, then somehow it was considered that the two-faced Janus combines both such categories as "bad" and "good" in one, as they say, vial.

In addition to the two persons of Janus in the ancient periodThey also portrayed the keys, because they also called it a "locking" and "unlocking" god. The fact is that he patronized all military undertakings and had his own temple, whose doors in peacetime were closed tightly, and were only opened during military operations. And for many centuries of the Roman Empire, these gates were closed, alas, only three times. Can you imagine what a tense atmosphere at that time was.

Practical contribution to the development of ancient Romanstwo-faced Janus also made a significant difference. In addition to his "paranormal" abilities for clairvoyance, God taught people such things as shipbuilding, cultivation of land, growing vegetables, as well as the basics of calculus. It was for the latter purpose on his right hand that the Roman number of the "CCC" was depicted, ie, 300, on the left - "LXV", i.e. 65.

The Romans even dedicated their beloved and mainA special day is a feast of agony, which was celebrated on the ninth of January. By the way, very few people probably know, but exactly two-faced Janus gave the name of the first month of the year - the January, or January, our way.

And in principle, the two-faced ancient Roman godspecial feats for his kingdom and did not commit. He was not handsome, did not have unlimited power and special power. However, according to legend, he was able to "manage" natural phenomena. So, before the cult of Jupiter appeared, it was Janus who was engaged in opening the gates of heaven in the morning, releasing the sun to the sky, and in the evenings he locked them so that the luminary would disappear and night would come. Even the Romans believed that the two-faced Janus is the god of all undertakings, so before starting to do something, people called him to help and asked for protection.

And not so long ago scientists have advanced the assumption,that he had not two at all, but three faces, personifying both the past and the future, and the present. Simply because the last time category is considered a momentary invisible border between the two others, the third person of God is invisible.

Janus two-faced: phraseology

Today, hardly anyone would have remembered the god Janus andall its merits, if not for our article. In the everyday life of modern speech, indeed, there is such a phraseology, which for some reason is used to refer to an insincere, hypocritical, that is, two-faced man. And although two-faced Janus did not perform some outstanding feats in his time, one would think that he would be greatly offended by such an impartial comparison.

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