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"Janus-faced facts"

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on August 19, 2005

In Reply to: "Janus-faced facts" posted by emilie on August 19, 2005

: What is the present day meaning and origin to "Janus-faced facts."

Janus was the Roman god who guarded gates and doorways; the month of January is named after him because it was the "gate" of the old and the new year. He was always depicted with two faces, one looking outwards and one inwards (or, in the case of January, one looking forwards and one back). Thus anything "Janus-faced" has two faces, not in the sense of being deceitful but in the sense that it has two opposite implications, possibilities or meanings.