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Encyclopedia > Sol Invictus
Coin of Emperor Probus, circa 280, with Sol Invictus riding a quadriga, with legend SOLI INVICTO, "to the Unconquered Sun". Note how the Emperor (on the left) wears a radiated solar crown, worn also by the god (to the right).

Sol Invictus ("the Unconquered Sun") or, more fully, Deus Sol Invictus ("the Unconquered Sun God") was a religious title applied to at least three distinct divinities during the later Roman Empire: El Gabal, Mithras, and Sol. Image File history File links Coin of Roman emperor Probus. ... Image File history File links Coin of Roman emperor Probus. ... This antoninianus minted under Probus (c. ... A quadriga (from the Latin language quadri-, four, and jungere, to yoke) is a four-horse chariot, raced in the Olympic Games and other sacred games, and represented in profile as the usual chariot of gods and heroes on Greek vases and bas-reliefs. ... For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... Elagabalus Sol Invictus, was a Roman sun god, introduced in Rome, during the Severan dynasty, by the Roman emperor Elagabalus (also called Heliogabalus), who was the hereditary high priest of the god, Baal (lord) of Emesa (in ancient Syria), or El-Gabal, latinised as Elagabalus. ... This article or section contains too much jargon and may need simplification or further explanation. ... Standards Of Learning SOL stands for The Standards Of Learning. ...


Unlike the earlier, agrarian cult of Sol Indiges ("the native sun" or "the invoked sun" - the etymology and meaning of the word "indiges" is disputed), the title Deus Sol Invictus was formed by analogy with the imperial titulature pius felix invictus ("dutiful, fortunate, unconquered"). For other uses, see Helios (disambiguation). ...


The Romans held a festival on December 25 called Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, "the birthday of the unconquered sun." The use of the title Sol Invictus allowed several solar deities to be worshipped collectively, including Elah-Gabal, a Syrian sun god; Sol, the patron god of Emperor Aurelian (AD 270-274); and Mithras, a soldiers' god of Persian origin.[1] Emperor Elagabalus (218-222) introduced the festival, and it reached the height of its popularity under Aurelian, who promoted it as an empire-wide holiday.[2] The Trundholm sun chariot pulled by a horse is believed to be a sculpture illustrating an important part of Nordic Bronze Age mythology. ... Ēl (אל) is a Northwest Semitic word and name translated into English as either god or God or left untranslated as El, depending on the context. ... Standards Of Learning SOL stands for The Standards Of Learning. ... Lucius Domitius Aurelianus[1] (September 9, 214–September 275), known in English as Aurelian, Roman Emperor (270–275), was the second of several highly successful soldier-emperors who helped the Roman Empire regain its power during the latter part of the third century and the beginning of the fourth. ... This article or section contains too much jargon and may need simplification or further explanation. ... Many important ancient and modern religions and religious movements originated from Iran (Persia), such as: Zoroastrism (the first monotheistic religion of the world). ... A bust depicting Elagabalus. ...

Repoussé silver disc of Sol Invictus, Roman, 3rd century, found at Pessinus (British Museum)
Repoussé silver disc of Sol Invictus, Roman, 3rd century, found at Pessinus (British Museum)

December 25 was also considered to be the date of the winter solstice, which the Romans called bruma. It was therefore the day the Sun proved itself to be "unconquered" despite the shortening of daylight hours. (When Julius Caesar introduced the Julian Calendar in 45 BC, December 25 was approximately the date of the solstice. In modern times, the solstice falls on December 21 or 22.) The Sol Invictus festival has a "strong claim on the responsibility" for the date of Christmas, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia. Solar symbolism was popular with early Christian writers[3] as Jesus was considered to be the "sun of righteousness."[4] More recent sources [5] [6] suggest that the identification of Christ's birth-day pre-dates the Sol Invictus festival. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 630 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1660 × 1580 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 630 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1660 × 1580 pixel, file size: 1. ... Pessinus was the city in Asia Minor (presently Anatolia, the Asian part of Turkey) on the upper course of the river Sangarios (modern day Sakarya River), 120 SW of Akara, from which the mythological King Midas is said to have ruled a greater Phrygian realm. ... The British Museum in London, England is one of the worlds greatest museums of human history and culture. ... Illumination of Earth by Sun on the day of the northern hemisphere winter solstice Illumination of Earth by Sun on the day of the southern hemisphere winter solstice In astronomy, the winter solstice is the moment when the earth is at a point in its orbit where one hemisphere is... For other uses, see Julius Caesar (disambiguation). ... The Julian calendar was introduced in 46 BC by Julius Caesar and came into force in 45 BC (709 ab urbe condita). ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 90s BC 80s BC 70s BC 60s BC 50s BC - 40s BC - 30s BC 20s BC 10s BC 0s BC 0s Years: 50 BC 49 BC 48 BC 47 BC 46 BC 45 BC 44 BC 43 BC 42 BC... For other uses, see Christmas (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Elagabalus

The title first gained prominence under the emperor Elagabalus, who abortively attempted to impose the worship of El Gabal, the sun-god of his native city Emesa in Syria. With the emperor's death in 222, however, this religion ceased, though emperors continued to be portrayed on coinage with the radiant sun-crown for close to a century. A bust depicting Elagabalus. ... Elagabalus Sol Invictus, was a Roman sun god, introduced in Rome, during the Severan dynasty, by the Roman emperor Elagabalus (also called Heliogabalus), who was the hereditary high priest of the god, Baal (lord) of Emesa (in ancient Syria), or El-Gabal, latinised as Elagabalus. ... Emesa was an ancient city on the Orontes River in Syria. ... This article is about the year 222. ...


Mithras

Sol Invictus
Sol Invictus

In the second instance, the title invictus was applied to Mithras in private inscriptions by devotees. It also appears applied to Mars. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 390 pixelsFull resolution (2800 × 1365 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 390 pixelsFull resolution (2800 × 1365 pixel, file size: 2. ... This article or section contains too much jargon and may need simplification or further explanation. ... Mars was the Roman god of war, the son of Juno and a magical flower (or Jupiter). ...


Septimius Severus

The type of Sol Invictus, though not the name, appears on imperial coinage from the time of Septimius Severus onwards.


Aurelian

Aurelian in his radiated solar crown, on a silvered bronze coin struck at Rome, 274-275
Aurelian in his radiated solar crown, on a silvered bronze coin struck at Rome, 274-275

The Roman gens Aurelia was associated with the cult of Sol. After his victories in the East, the emperor Aurelian introduced an official cult of Sol Invictus, making the sun-god the premier divinity of the empire, and wearing his radiated crown himself. He founded a college of pontifices, and dedicated a temple to Sol Invictus in 274. It is possible that he created the festival called dies natalis Solis Invicti, "birthday of the undefeated Sun", which is recorded in 354 (in the Chronography of 354) as celebrated on the 25th December;[7] but no earlier reference to it exists. The cult of Sol Invictius was the leading official cult of the fourth century Image File history File links Aurelian Silvered Æ Antoninianus. ... Image File history File links Aurelian Silvered Æ Antoninianus. ... Lucius Domitius Aurelianus[1] (September 9, 214–September 275), known in English as Aurelian, Roman Emperor (270–275), was the second of several highly successful soldier-emperors who helped the Roman Empire regain its power during the latter part of the third century and the beginning of the fourth. ... Lucius Domitius Aurelianus[1] (September 9, 214–September 275), known in English as Aurelian, Roman Emperor (270–275), was the second of several highly successful soldier-emperors who helped the Roman Empire regain its power during the latter part of the third century and the beginning of the fourth. ... Events The Gallic Empire (Gaul and Britain) is reconquered by Roman Emperor Aurelian With the conquests of the Palmyran Empire (272) and the Gallic Empire, the Roman Empire is united again Births Deaths Pope Felix I Cao Fang, emperor of the Kingdom of Wei Categories: 274 ... Events Gallus deposed, executed at Antioch. ... The Chronography of 354 was an important historical codex, containing a number of individually important documents. ...


In the legions, where a policy of individual religious freedom is attested by personal inscriptions, on shrines and through votive offerings in every part of the Empire, outside the camps themselves, the only Eastern cult that was officially tolerated, probably from Aurelian's reign, and certainly under Constantine, was that of Sol Invictus.[8] Freedom of religion is the individuals right or freedom to hold whatever religious beliefs he or she wishes, or none at all. ...


Constantine

Coin of Emperor Constantine I depicting Sol Invictus with the legend SOLI INVICTO COMITI, circa 315.

Emperors up to Constantine portrayed Sol Invictus on their official coinage, with the legend SOLI INVICTO COMITI, thus claiming the Unconquered Sun as a companion to the Emperor. The statuettes of Sol Invictus, carried by the standard-bearers, appear in three places in reliefs on the Arch of Constantine. Constantine's official coinage continues to bear legends relating to Sol Invictus until 323. Image File history File links Follis-Constantine-lyons_RIC_VI_309. ... Image File history File links Follis-Constantine-lyons_RIC_VI_309. ... Head of Constantines colossal statue at Musei Capitolini Gaius Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus[1] (February 27, 272–May 22, 337), commonly known as Constantine I, Constantine the Great, or (among Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic[2] Christians) Saint Constantine, was a Roman Emperor, proclaimed Augustus by his troops on... Head of Constantines colossal statue at Musei Capitolini Gaius Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus[1] (February 27, 272–May 22, 337), commonly known as Constantine I, Constantine the Great, or (among Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic[2] Christians) Saint Constantine, was a Roman Emperor, proclaimed Augustus by his troops on... The Arch of Constantine seen from the Colosseum The arch seen from Via Triumphalis Detail of the arch (southern side, left) The Arch of Constantine is a triumphal arch in Rome, situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. ...


Constantine decreed (March 7, 321) dies Solis — day of the sun, "Sunday" — as the Roman day of rest [CJ3.12.2]: is the 66th day of the year (67th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events Publication of the first blue law by Constantine I of the Roman Empire: trade is forbidden on Sundays; agriculture is allowed The Roman Catholic church is allowed to hold property Births Deaths Categories: 321 ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country however persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits because it often happens that another day is not suitable for grain-sowing or vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost.

The religion of Sol Invictus continued to be part of the state religion until paganism was abolished by decree of Theodosius I on February 27, 390. An engraving depicting what Theodosius may have looked like, ca. ... is the 58th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events In response to the murder of his general Butheric, Theodosius I orders a massacre of the inhabitants of Thessalonica. ...


Sol Invictus and Christianity

Alleged representation of Christ as the sun-god Helios/Sol Invictus riding in his chariot. Third century mosaic of the Vatican grottoes under St. Peter's Basilica, on the ceiling of the tomb of the Julii.
Alleged representation of Christ as the sun-god Helios/Sol Invictus riding in his chariot. Third century mosaic of the Vatican grottoes under St. Peter's Basilica, on the ceiling of the tomb of the Julii.

Christian iconography adopted some of the artistic language of paganism. The depiction of Christ with a halo relates to late antiquity usage, but the radiated crown also appears. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (485x718, 133 KB) Christ, represented as Sol Invictus. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (485x718, 133 KB) Christ, represented as Sol Invictus. ... Julius I, pope from 337 to 352, was a native of Rome and was chosen as successor of Marcus after the Roman see had been vacant four months. ... Look up Iconography in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A halo (Greek: ; also known as a nimbus, glory, or Gloriole) is a ring of light that surrounds an object. ...


According to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, article on Constantine the Great: The Catholic Encyclopedia, also referred to today as the Old Catholic Encyclopedia, is an English-language encyclopedia published in 1913 by The Encyclopedia Press. ...

"Besides, the Sol Invictus had been adopted by the Christians in a Christian sense, as demonstrated in the Christ as Apollo-Helios in a mausoleum (c. 250) discovered beneath St. Peter's in the Vatican."

Indeed "...from the beginning of the 3rd century "Sun of Justice" appears as a title of Christ"[9]. Some consider this to be in opposition to Sol Invictus[citation needed]. Some see an allusion to Malachi 4:2. For other uses, see Helios (disambiguation). ... St. ... This article is about the famous building in Rome. ...


The date for Christmas may also bear a relation to the sun worship. According to the scholiast on the Syriac bishop Jacob Bar-Salibi, writing in the twelfth century: For other uses, see Christmas (disambiguation). ... Jacob Bar-Salibi also known as Dionysis Bar-Salibi was the best-known and most voluminous writer in the Syriac Orthodox Church of the 12th century. ...

"It was a custom of the Pagans to celebrate on the same 25 December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and revelries the Christians also took part. Accordingly when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnised on that day." (cited in "Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries", Ramsay MacMullen. Yale:1997, p155)

The 1908 Catholic Encyclopedia: Christmas states: "The well-known solar feast, however, of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date."


However this pagan feast is first documented only in the Chronography of 354, which also contains the earliest certain reference to 25 December as the feast of the birth of Christ.[10] The Chronography of 354 was an important historical codex, containing a number of individually important documents. ...


See also

For other uses, see Saturnalia (disambiguation). ... Illumination of Earth by Sun on the day of the northern hemisphere winter solstice Illumination of Earth by Sun on the day of the southern hemisphere winter solstice In astronomy, the winter solstice is the moment when the earth is at a point in its orbit where one hemisphere is... El Lissitzkys poster for a post-revolutionary production of the opera. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ...

Notes

  1. ^ ""Mithraism", The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913.
  2. ^ "Sol." Encyclopædia Britannica, Chicago (2006).
  3. ^ "Christmas, Encyclopædia Britannica Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2006.
  4. ^ Malachi 4:2
  5. ^ Tighe, William J. Calculating Christmas, 2003
  6. ^ Schmidt, Alvin J.(2001), "Under the Influence", HarperCollins, p377-9
  7. ^ The Ludi Solis, "Games of the Sun" are recorded in the Calendar of 354, under 19 through 22 October. (M. R. Salzman, "New Evidence for the Dating of the Calendar at Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome" Transactions of the American Philological Association 111 (1981, pp. 215-227) p. 221.
  8. ^ Allan S. Hoey, "Official Policy towards Oriental Cults in the Roman Army" Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 70 (1939, pp. 456-481) pp 456, 479ff.
  9. ^ New Catholic Encyclopedia, "Christmas"
  10. ^ Text at [1] Parts 6 and 12 respectively.

The Encyclopædia Britannica is a general English-language encyclopaedia published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. ... The Chronography of 354 was an important historical codex, containing a number of individually important documents. ...

Further reading

  • Halsberghe, L. 1972. The Cult of Sol Invictus (Leiden)
Roman mythology series
Major deities
Apollo | Ceres | Diana | Divus Augustus | Fortuna | Divus Julius | Juno | Jupiter | Lares
Mars | Mercury | Minerva | Neptune | Pluto | Quirinus | Sol | Venus | Vesta | Vulcan

  Results from FactBites:
 
Sol Invictus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (696 words)
Sol Invictus ("the unconquered sun") or, more fully, Deus Sol Invictus ("the unconquered sun god") was a religious title applied to three distinct divinities during the later Roman Empire.
The religion of Sol Invictus continued to be a cornerstone of the emperors until Theodosius I's decree on February 27, 390, that only Nicene Christianity was acceptable.
Sol Invictus had been adopted by the Church of Rome as evidenced by Christ as Apollo-Helios in a mausoleum discovered under St.
Sol Invictus (band) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (383 words)
Sol Invictus is an English neofolk and neoclassical group fronted by Tony Wakeford.
Wakeford has described Sol Invictus as a "cabaret band from Hell for the fin-de-siècle" and has referred to his work as folk noir.
The sun has always been an important symbol and as the cult of Sol Invictus nearly defeated Christianity at one point it seemed a good name to use.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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