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A purely Roman god, Janus was seen as the origin of all things, the introducer of the system of the years, the changing of the seasons, the ups and downs of fortune, and the civilisation of the human race by means of agriculture, industry, art and religion. Janus was said to have been originally an ancient king who came from Greece to Latium, instituting the worship of the gods and the building of temples to them, and was himself later elevated to godhood. Almost as powerful as Jupiter himself, Janus was the orchestrator of all things, and any enterprises, even be they begun by Jupiter, were seen to be under the control of Janus. He opened and closed all things, and sat, not only on the confines of the Earth, but also at the gates of Heaven. Air, sea and land were in the hollow of his hands, and the world moved on its hinges at his command. He was popularly represented seated, with two heads, one that of a youth (to signify the concept of beginning), the other that of an aged man (indicating the end). In his left hand he held a key, to show that he opened all things in the beginning, and shuts them at the end, and in his right hand he carried the sceptre with which he controlled all undertakings and their progress.

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