- an ancient Roman god of doorways, of beginnings, and of the rising and setting of the sun, usually represented as having one head with two bearded faces back to back, looking in opposite directions.
- Astronomy. a moon of the planet Saturn, located just outside the rings.
Origin of Janus
- the Roman god of doorways, passages, and bridges. In art he is depicted with two heads facing opposite ways
- a small inner satellite of Saturn
Word Origin and History for janus
ancient Italic deity, guardian god of portals, doors, and gates; patron of beginnings and endings, c.1500, from Latin Ianus, literally "gate, arched passageway," perhaps from PIE root *ei- "to go" (cf. Sanskrit yanah "path," Old Church Slavonic jado "to travel"). He is shown as having two faces, one in front the other in back. His temple in Rome was closed only in times of peace.
The Roman god of doors and gateways and hence of beginnings.