January (Latin: lanuarius), "Janus-faced" (To welcome the first month of the new Gregorian year)
January is named after the god Janus in Roman mythology. Janus, who has two faces, one of whom looks to the past and ponders the events of the past year and the other looks to the future and the new year, is the god of gates, beginnings and endings. In ancient Rome, Janus Ptolecius was the name of the god in charge of opening doors safely, and Janus Closibius the name of the god in charge of closing the doors.
In everyday discourse, the expression "Janus-faced" signifies cunning, hypocrisy, and a conflict of qualities and interests. Of its famous references to culture is in Shakespeare's "Othello" play and in the philosophical novel "The Fall" by Albert Camus:
"I know, in any case: a double face, a charming Janus, and underneath, the house motto: 'Be wary'." Bonus fact: Janus' temple in the heart of Rome had two gates at opposite ends, befitting the two-faced god. These doors were opened wide during war and closed in peace times. For most of the years of the Republic and the Empire, the gates remained open ... #newyear #2020 #january #janus #janusface #janustemple #hypocrisy #etymology #history #language #romanhistory #rome #gods #romangods #mythology #romanmythology #idioms #wordporn #culture #albertcamus