The Feast of Circumcision was a Roman Catholic festival celebrated on January the 1st in honour of the circumcision of Christ, and in opposition to the pagan feast of Janus held on the same day. Whereas the pagan festival was celebrated with feasting in honour of Janus, the Christian festival was celebrated with fasting.
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January is the first month of the year and derives its name from Janus, an early Roman god. January was added to the Roman calendar by Numar in 713 BC, he placed it about the winter solstice and made it the first month because Janus was supposed to preside over the beginnings of all business. In 1751 the legal year in England was ordered to begin on January 1st instead of 25th March.
Annaeus Florus was a Roman historian. He was probably a native of Spain or Gaul. He is variously styled in the manuscripts in some L, Annaeus Florus, in others A. Julius Florus, in others L. Annaeus Seneca, and in one simply L. Annaeus. He lived in the beginning of the second century after Christ, and wrote an epitome of Roman history in four books, from the foundation of the city to the first time of closing the temple of Janus, in the reign of Augustus.
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Caius Julius Caesar Octavianus Augustus originally called Caius Octavius,was a Roman Emperor. He was born in63 BC and died in 14 AD. He was the son of Caius Octavius and Atia, a daughter of Julia, the sister of Julius Caesar. Octavius was at Apollonia, in Epirus, when he received news of the death of his uncle in 44 BC, who had previously adopted him as his son. He returned to Rome to claim Caesar's property and avenge his death, and now took, according to usage, his uncle's name with the surname Octavianus. He was aiming secretly at the chief power, but at first he joined the republican party, and assisted at the defeat of Antony at Mutina. He got himself chosen consul in 43. Soon after the first triumvirate was formed between him and Antony and Lepidus, and this was followed by the conscription and assassination of three hundred senators and two thousand knights of the party opposed to the triumvirate. Next year Octavianus and Antony defeated the republican army under Brutus and Cassius at Philippi.
The victors now divided the Roman world between them, Octavianus getting the West, Antony the East, and Lepidus Africa. Sextus Pompeius, who had made himself formidable at sea, had now to be put down; and Lepidus, who had hitherto retained an appearance of power, was deprived of all authority in 36 BC and retired into private life. Antony and Octavianus now shared the empire between them; but while the former, in the East, gave himself up to a life of luxury, and alienated the Romans by his alliance with Cleopatra and his adoption of Oriental manners, Octavianus skilfully cultivated popularity, and soon declared war ostensibly against the Queen of Egypt. The naval victory of Actium, in which the fleet of Antony and Cleopatra was defeated, made Octavianus master of the world, in 31 BC. He returned to Rome in 29 BC, celebrated a splendid triumph, and caused the temple of Janus to be closed in token of peace being restored. Gradually all the highest offices of state, civil and religious, were united in his hands, and the new title of Augustus was also assumed by him, being formally conferred by the senate in 27 BC. Great as was the power given to him, he exercised it with wise moderation, and kept up the show of a republican form of government.
Under him successful wars were carried on in Africa and Asia (against the Parthians), in Gaul and Spain, in Pannonia, Dalmatia, etc; but the defeat of Varus by the Germans under Armmius with the loss of three legions, in 9 AD, was a great blow to him in his old age. Many useful decrees proceeded from him, and various abuses were abolished. He gave a new form to the senate, employed himself in improving the morals of the people, enacted laws for the suppression of luxury, introduced discipline into the armies, and order into the games of the circus. He adorned Rome in such a manner that it was said, ' He found it of brick, and left it of marble.' The people erected altars to him, and, by a decree of the senate, the month Sextilis was called Augustus (our August). He was a patron of literature; Virgil and Horace were befriended by him, and their works and those of their contemporaries are the glory of the Augustan Age. His death, which took place at Nola, plunged the empire into the greatest grief. He was thrice married, but had no son, and was succeeded by his stepson Tiberius, whose mother Livia he had married after prevailing on her husband to divorce her.
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John Selden was an English jurist, legal antiquary, and Oriental scholar. He was born in 1584 at Salvington, near Worthing, Sussex and died in 1654. His father held a small farm, and John Selden was educated at the free grammar-school, Chichester, and at Hart Hall, Oxford, after which he went to London to Clement's Inn and the Inner Temple. On being called to the bar he practised principally as a chamber counsel, devoting his spare time to the study of constitutional history. The fruits of his studies he gave to the world in several valuable works, including the Analecton Anglo-Britannicon, a treatise on the civil government of Britain before the coming of the Normans; Janus Anglorum, Facies altera (1610), a treatise on the progress of English law down to Henry II; and Titles of Honour (1614), still a standard authority in regard to all that concerns the degrees of nobility and gentry in England. His De Diis Syriis (1617), on Syrian mythology, at once established his fame as an Oriental scholar; and his History of Tithes (1618) brought him into collision with the clergy.
In 1621 he suffered a short imprisonment for having advised the House of Commons to resist King James's claim that their privileges were derived from royal grants; in 1628 he aided in drawing up the Petition of Right; and the following year he was again committed to the Tower, remaining in prison a considerable time. After being freed he published a celebrated work, Mare Clausum (1635), upholding the rights of England to sovereignty over the 'narrow seas.' In 1640 he sat in the Long Parliament for the University of Oxford, and espoused the popular cause, but with great moderation. He sat as a lay member of the Westminster Assembly (1643), was named one of the parliamentary commissioners of the admiralty (1645), subscribed the Solemn League and Covenant (1646), and was voted 5000 pounds by parliament in recompense of his losses and as a reward for his services to the state. After his death he was buried in the Temple Church, London. His Table Talk was published in 1689 by his amanuensis, Richard Milward.
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Samantha Janus is an English actress and singer. She was born in 1972 at Brighton, Sussex. Educated at the Sylvia Young Theatre school she had several small television parts before representing the United Kingdom in the 1991 Eurovision song contest and landing a starring role in London's West End on stage playing 'Sandy' in the musical 'Grease' in 1993. Among many other roles she played the part of 'Nicola' in the 1990s television series 'Pie In The Sky' and 'Ronnie' in the BBC soap-opera 'Eastenders'.
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In Roman mythology, Diana was an ancient Italian goddess, in later times identified with the Greek Artemis, With whom she had various attributes in common, being the virgin goddess of the moon and of the hunt, and as such associated with the crescent moon, bow, arrows, and quiver. The name is a feminine form of Janus. She seems to have been originally the patron divinity of the Sabines and Latins. She was worshipped especially by women, as presiding over births, no man being allowed to enter her temple.
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Janus was a two faced Roman god of doorways, and of beginnings and ends. In the earliest days of the universe, Janus was created by Ouranos as a love-gift for Hecate. But Janus (as Hecate called him) was appalled by life in the Underworld and jumped into the river Styx and was carried to the Upper World. During the war between the gods and the Titans Janus gave shelter to his half-brother, Saturn, but was forced to hand him over to the gods, which he did in exchange for a promise of mercy. Afterwards, Jupiter made Janus a god, making him two-faced in punishment for his treachery and removing his power of motion, and Janus forever stood as Heaven's doorkeeper. Another account says Jupiter punished Janus by putting him in charge of the moment when the old years ends and the new year starts, endlessly repeating, thereby giving Janus immortality without the freedom to enjoy it.
Janus was held in great reverence by the Romans, and was represented with two faces, one looking forward, the other backward. All doors, passages, and beginnings were under his care. His principal festival was New Year's Day, when people gave each other presents. The temple of Janus, which was open in time of war and closed in time of peace, was shut only three times in the long space of 700 years - once in the reign of Numa, again after the First Punic War, and the third time under the reign of Augustus AUC in 744. Vespasian also closed it in 71.
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Saturnus was the Roman god of learning and agriculture. He appeared to king Janus and gave lessons on agriculture to his subjects.
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Up N Under is a sports comedy starring Gary Olsen, Neil Morrissey and Samantha Janus in a story about a former rugby player who bets his life savings that he can train any local pub team to beat the undefeated local pub rugby team in rugby league sevens. Up N Under was directed by John Godber in 1997.
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