Pre-Christian background

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Pre-Christian background

Post  IVY(3) on Sun Dec 26, 2010 4:27 am

Modern scholars have argued that the festival was placed on the date of the solstice because this was on this day that the Sun reversed its southward retreat and proved itself to be "unconquered".[citation needed] Some early Christian writers connected the rebirth of the sun to the birth of Jesus."O, how wonderfully acted Providence that on that day on which that Sun was born...Christ should be born", Cyprian wrote. John Chrysostom also commented on the connection: "They call it the 'Birthday of the Unconquered'. Who indeed is so unconquered as Our Lord . . .?"

Although Dies Natalis Solis Invicti has been the subject of a great deal of scholarly speculation,.[citation needed] the only ancient source for it is a single mention in the Chronography of 354, and modern Sol scholar Steven Hijmans argues that there is no evidence that the celebration precedes that of Christmas:"[W]hile the winter solstice on or around the 25th of December was well established in the Roman imperial calendar, there is no evidence that a religious celebration of Sol on that day antedated the celebration of Christmas, and none that indicates that Aurelian had a hand in its institution."

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IVY(3)

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