Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sol Invictus, Christmas and Sweden

Well it's the 24th of December today, which is the day when we celebrate Christmas in Sweden, this post is thus scheduled to magically appear. Now, I have, in honour of this special day, decided to present Sol Invictus today, and the reason is going to be a little bit confusing so stay tuned; in Rome was the 17th through 24th of December celebrated as the Saturnalia, a very important festival to Saturn. The 25th of December was possibly (From the reign of Aurelian 270-275 Ad) a day when the invincible Sun was celebrated. The Christians may have taken this date to serve as Christmas, or the pagans might have taken it from the Christians to prevent them from celebrating it properly.

Anyhow, Sol Invictus is traditionally connected to Christmas (Normally the 25th of December , here in Sweden the 24th) and I simply want to say happy dies natalis Sol Invictis!

A man (or the god himself) with the characteristic sun ray diadem. Compare the epithet (invictus) to this altar to Hercules. Mosaic from Ostia.

"One morning when Aurora had quenched the fires of night, and the sun’s rays had thawed the frosty grass, they came to their usual places. [...] They were satisfied with their plan, and the light, slow to lose its strength, was drowned in the waters, and out of the same waters the night emerged."

Ovidius - Metamorphoses IV
Translated by A. S. Kline

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