Jani

In the context of ancient Roman architecture, this term usually refers to passageways that allowed for closure at either end. Originally these structures functioned as bridges or as crossings of the pomerium. The term was later applied to gateways and over time post-and-lintel doors were replaced by arches. Later jani were often vaulted as well.

Quick Facts

Go Historic ID
30873
Names
jani Spanish
janus
iani Latin
ianus Latin

More Definitions

In the context of ancient Roman architecture, this term usually refers to passageways that allowed for closure at either end. Originally these structures functioned as bridges or as crossings of the pomerium. The term was later applied to gateways and over time post-and-lintel doors were replaced by arches. Later jani were often vaulted as well. There were several noteworthy jani in Rome, most notably the Janus Geminus, the most important shrine of Janus in the city. The closed gates of the Janus Geminus signaled that Rome was at war and open gates meant that it was at peace. It is not known if all jani were considered sacred in some sense but the term certainly has some religious connotation.

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Bibliography

  1. 1.  The Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus, 300264342. The J. Paul Getty Trust.