If you are reading this blog you probably know a lot about doors, but do you know the name of the Roman god of doors? In ancient Roman religion and mythology, Janus is the god of gates and doors.

He is the god of beginnings and endings. He was worshiped at the beginning of planting time, and again at harvest time; also at weddings, births, and other life transitions. The month of January is named after him.

Janus was represented with two faces, looking to the future and to the past. Originally, one face was bearded while the other was not, but later both faces were bearded. In his right hand he holds a key. The double-faced head appears on many Roman coins.

 

This bronze coin depicts a laureate Janus with the prow of a ship on the reverse.

 

The research required to write this blog satisfied my curiosity about Janus, as well as the other Roman gods. There are too many. One list of the “top twenty principal gods of Roman religion” put Janus first, signifying his importance. He is followed by: Jupiter, Saturn, Genius, Mercury, Apollo, Mars, Vulcan, Neptune, Sol, Orcus, Liber, Tellus, Ceres, Juno, Luna, Diana, Minerva, Venus, and Vesta.

I’m not sure if Janus still answers prayers. I think if you have a problem with a door, you would be better off calling Anderson Lock!