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Literary works also preserve some of Janus's cult epithets, such as Ovid's long passage of the Fasti devoted to Janus at the beginning of Book I (89-293), Tertullian, Augustine and Arnobius. There is no surviving evidence of this name in Latin, although the rite is attested by Ovid for the kalendae of January which remains purely hypothetical. Janus owes the epithet Iunonius to his function as patron of all kalends, which are also associated with Juno.

As may be expected the opening verses of the Carmen, mentions the versus ianuli, iovii, iunonii, minervii. In Macrobius's explanation: "Iunonium, as it were, not only does he hold the entry to January, but to all the months: indeed all the kalends are under the jurisdiction of Juno".

As a consequence the position of the gods of beginning would not be the issue of a diachronic process of debasement undergone by a supreme uranic god, but rather a structural feature inherent to their theology. Macrobius's list and explanation are probably based directly on Cornelius Labeo's work, as he cites this author often in his Saturnalia, as when he gives a list of Maia's cult epithets In relating Janus' epithets Macrobius states: "We invoke in the sacred rites".

Similarly, his tutelage extends to the covered passages named iani and foremost to the gates of the city, including the cultic gate of the Argiletum, named Ianus Geminus or Porta Ianualis from which he protects Rome against the Sabines.

In one of his temples, probably that of Forum Holitorium, the hands of his statue were positioned to signify the number 355 (the number of days in a lunar year), later 365, symbolically expressing his mastership over time.

Janus presided over the beginning and ending of conflict, and hence war and peace.

The gates of a building in Rome named after him, not a temple as it is often called, but an open enclosure with gates at each end, were opened in time of war, and closed to mark the arrival of peace (which did not happen very often).

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