According to Lesley Adkins and Roy Adkins in their Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome, Janus, the god of beginnings and also of gates and doorways, was frequently represented as having two faces looking in opposite directions. "His temple in the Forum at Rome was a small shrine consisting of an east- west arched passageway, with doors at both ends that were closed only in time of peace.... In 235 B.C. the doors of the temple of Janus were closed in Rome, indicating that Rome was at peace with all nations for the first time on record."

Pax

Higgledy-Piggledy
Temple of Janus's
Doors are now closed; may they
Always be so;
Hope for a peace that is
Totiterrestrial;
Pray to the gods for this
Boon to bestow.


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