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Subjects (abstracts): The Cult of Sol Invictus; The Sun-Gods of Ancient Europe; Christian worship of the Sun; Man and the Sun; Roman festivals; Christmas;

Addendum A Astronomy
Addendum B Lunar and Solar Positions
Addendum C Chronology (Calendars)
Addendum D Epiphany and (more) Christmas
Addendum E Clement of Alexandria
Addendum F Comments
Addendum G The Legends of the Saints
Addendum H The Theodosian Code
Addendum P Thomas Paine


from: The Cult of Sol Invictus, Gaston H. Halsberghe, Brill, 1972.

"Once the arguments for and against an autochthonous sun cult in Rome have been weighed, it can only be concluded that the Romans worshipped and prayed to Sol as one of their Di indigites [(provisional) "local gods"]....There is no difficulty in placing the worship of the sun god in the earliest times, when it slowly took on a natural pattern and form determined by observation of the solar cycle....this was certainly the case for most of the groups that inhabited the Italian peninsula. Although it is the sun chariot and the solar disc that are most often found on rocks and in caves, the first traces of an anthropomorphic representation of the sun deity have also been found there. "

[a proto- Jesus?] [27].

"When mention is made of Sol Indiges [(provisional) "local sun god"], therefore, a sun god is meant who was worshipped in Rome as early as the fourth century B.C.

Apart from this calendar ["oldiest [sic] calendar"], [A] the oldest known evidence for formal worship of the sun god is provided by the representation on a Roman bigatus [coin with biga (two-horsed chariot)] dating from the Second Punic War [218 - 202 B.C.]3. [B] The figure of Sol in a chariot drawn by four horses [quadriga], as he was later usually portrayed, is found on a denarius of the gens Manlia struck in 135 B.C.4. " [27].

[See: Greek Coins, Colin M. Kraay, Abrams, "[1966?]". Roman Coins, J.P.C. Kent, 1978 (1973 German). Etc.].

[See: #2, 20-22, 38-39 (numismatics)].

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from: The Sun-Gods of Ancient Europe, Miranda Green, Batsford, 1991.

[a "Must See" book!]. [found "serendipitously", on a book cart, U.C.S.D., 6/19/96].

"The sun as a radiate being is an image common to most ancient societies. The Roman Sol and Greek Helios are depicted with radiate heads [observable in the above (263) coin books (and elsewhere) (see #2, 21, 123. [Helios interpreted as Christ])], as is Asakku, the Sumerian solar demon.10" [35].

"The midsummer bonfire-rituals, which were followed at the summer solstice, magically assisted the sun at its critical and high point at the turn of the annual celestial cycle.6 These pagan midsummer fire-festivals were REPLACED by celebrations of the birth of John the Baptist. He was born at the time of the summer solstice, and the bonfire was thought to be particularly apposite as tradition has it that the bones of the saint were burnt by the emperor Julian the Apostate, who reigned during the mid-fourth century AD and who briefly reintroduced paganism to the Roman world. So the 'bone-fire' was a fitting festival with which to honour the saint. " [108].

"The image of the sun as driving in a horse-drawn carriage of chariot is common to many Indo-European peoples. We find it in the Vedic mythology of India; Xenophon43 observes that the Persians thought of the sun as a charioteer. By the second century BC the Roman sun-god Sol, probably the old Italian Sol Indiges, was represented in a quadriga.44 In terms of Mediterranean imagery, we know most about Helios/Apollo, who was persistently presented in art and myth as driving a chariot across the sky. " [112].


from: Raleigh Lecture on History Constantine The Great and the Christian Church, Norman H. Baynes, Read March 12, 1930, "Milford [1930?]".

["From the proceedings of the British Academy. Volume XV. "].

[2nd edition, Oxford, 1972. Preface: Henry Chadwick (see Addendum E)].

"It was to the rising sun that Christians alike in East and West turned in prayer, whether in congregational worship or in private devotion. IN TERTULLIAN'S DAY THERE WERE ALREADY [SIC!] SOME WHO THOUGHT THE SUN TO BE THE CHRISTIANS' GOD". [95]. [Tertullian c. 160 - c. 220]. [See: Mithraism, etc.].

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"...I am inclined to see the influence of Constantine; the worship of the Unconquered Sun of paganism may have formed for many the bridge by which they

passed into the Christian Church: this would help to explain the CHRISTIAN WORSHIP OF THE SUN IN EGYPT, and the CHRISTIAN WORSHIP OF THE SUN IN ROME against which Eusebius of Alexandria ["5th or 6th cent.?" (Encyc. Rel., Ethics)] and Pope Leo the Great [d. 461 (St)] protested.2

From the coinage of Constantine the personal pagan deitiesJupiter, Marsdisappeared, but the symbolic figure of the Unconquered Sun remained. " [100].


from: Man and The Sun, Jacquetta Hawkes [1910 -], Cresset, 1962. [found c. 1993]. [a "Must See" book!]. [note: no references or bibliography. Appendices].

[See: The International Who's Who 1995-96, 651].

"In Christian iconography Christ passes from the cross of suffering to the cross of glory, the latter being shown with tremendous sun rays radiating from the centre. One of the greatest of these, a huge golden sunburst, shines on the high altar of St. Peter's in Rome. Again in the Catholic church the monstrance in which the Host is placed for adoration on the high altar is made in the likeness of a radiant sun. " [181].

"Origen [c. 185 - c. 224] taught that sun, moon and stars worshipped Christ, and that he had died for them as well as for mankind. 'He did not die on behalf of men only but on behalf of all other rational beings...such as the stars.'" [201].

"In spite of the reticence of the gospels on the Ascension, literal belief in it soon led to the making of innumerable [evidence?] pictures of Christ ascending into the skies either in an aureole or in a fiery chariot of evident solar ancestry. " [201].

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"I do not think it would be an exaggeration to say that in the FOURTH CENTURY and for some time afterwards there was for very many people of the western Empire a total CONFUSION BETWEEN STATE CHRISTIANITY AND THE STATE SUN WORSHIP IT DISPLACED. Members of the eastern church indeed taunted those of the western with being no better than pagan sun-worshippers. The choice of 25th December for Christ's Nativity gave especial trouble, for it was the day of the winter solstice when the Brumalia was celebrated, the feast of the birth of the Unconquered Sun. Paulinus [which Paulinus?] wrote:

For it is after the solstice, when Christ born in the flesh with the new sun transformed the season of cold winter, and vouchsafing to mortal man a healing dawn, commanded the nights to decrease at his coming with advancing day.

In the Roman Catholic church the Great Antiphon, sung on 21st December, pleads:

O Day-spring ["Daybreak, early dawn. " (O.E.D.)], Brightness of the Light eternal, and Sun of Justice, come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death. " [202-203].

"Augustine [354 - 430] had to exhort the brethren not to solemnize the day on account of the sun like the heathen, but rather on account of him who made the sun [classical one-upmanship!]. Leo the Great [d. 461 (St)] rebuked those who thought that Christmas was observed for the solstice and not the nativity of Christ.

Much of the rest of the early Christian Year runs side by side with the cycle of the sun. Thus after the Nativity at the winter solstice, Easter is on the Sunday following the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox, an appropriate date to celebrate the Resurrection. " [203].

"After his adoption of Christianity the Emperor Constantine ordered the building of the new basilica of St. Peter's on the Vatican Hill, a plan which involved covering over a cemetery part pagan and part Christian. When in the 1950's excavations were made below the cathedral in the hope of finding the tomb of St. Peter, this necropolis was found and in it the earliest known Christian mosaic. It showed Christ as Sun God driving a chariot with flying cloak and a rayed nimbus behind his head. " [204].

[see reproduction (opposite 204): "Christ as Helios: mosaic below the High Altar in St Peter's, Rome"].

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"In its earliest days as a world religion, then, Christianity had ABSORBED much from more than one historical source of sun worship. In the Catholic churches the symbolism has very largely remained. It is present everywherein church building and church furniture and in many of the ritual enactments of the Christian year. " [204].

[Julian 331 - 363 (Emperor 361 - 363)] "'From my childhood an extraordinary longing for the rays of the god penetrated deep into my soul.'" [210-211].

[see following Excursus for reference, and repeat].

[for Sun psychology, see 205-211, etc.].

Excursus: from: The Works of the Emperor Julian, English Translation by Wilmer Cave Wright, in Three Volumes, Harvard U., 1962 (1913), Vol. I.

["The Oration ["Hymn to King Helios"] is dedicated to his friend and comrade in arms Sallust". Sallust c. 360 wrote (Pagan Classic!): On the Gods and the World. 'Cumont calls this "the official catechism of the Pagan empire".' (351)].

'Hymn to King Helios
Dedicated to Sallust

What I am now about to say I consider to be of the greatest importance for all things "That breathe and move upon the earth," and have a share in existence and a reasoning soul1 and intelligence, but above all others it is of importance to myself. For I am a follower of King Helios. ....from my childhood an extraordinary longing for the rays of the god penetrated deep into my soul; and from my earliest years my mind was so completely swayed by the light that illumines the heavens that not only did I desire to gaze intently at the sun, but whenever I walked abroad in the night season, when the firmament was clear and cloudless, I abandoned all else without exception and gave myself up to the beauties of the heavens; nor did I understand what anyone might say to me, nor heed what I was doing myself.' [353].

[rediscovered the above, in Man and The Sun, final appendix: "Selection from the Emperor Julian's Hymn to King Helios" (251)]. End of Excursus.

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"THE PROFOUNDLY MAN-CENTERED COSMOLOGY AND THEOLOGY OF CHRISTIANITY (DERIVED FROM JUDAISM AND ENHANCED) HAS SURELY BEEN HARMFUL. Literal belief in the idea that sun, moon, stars and all life on earth were created for man, and that the One God should know self-sacrifice on his behalf, must have encouraged the past [present and future] aggressiveness and intolerance of Christians, I PREFER THE HUMBLE PLACE ACCEPTED BY MOST PRIMITIVES, THE SUMERIAN CONVICTION THAT MEN WERE MADE AS SLAVES FOR THE GODS, OR THE WAYWARD, OFTEN JOCULAR RELATIONSHIP OF GODS AND MEN IN CLASSICAL PAGANISM. " [219].


[Roman festivals]

from: Macrobius [5th century], The Saturnalia, Translated with an Introduction and Notes, Percival Vaughan Davies, Columbia U., 1969. [a Classic!].

["Book 1, Chapter 10"] "I think that we have now given abundant proof that the festival of the Saturnalia used to be celebrated on only one day, the fourteenth before the Kalends of January, but that it was afterward prolonged to last three days: first, in consequence of the days which Caesar added to the month of December, and then in pursuance of an edict of Augustus which prescribed a series of three rest days for the Saturnalia. The festival therefore begins on the sixteenth day before the Kalends [Kalends = first day of month] of January [December 17] and ends on the fourteenth [December 19], which used to be the only day of its celebration.5...However, the addition of the feast of the Sigillaria has extended the time of general excitement and religious rejoicing to seven days [December 17-23]. " [73].


from: The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic, an Introduction to the Study of the Religion of the Romans, W. Warde Fowler [1847 - 1921], Macmillan, 1899.

"There are several well-attested features of the Saturnalia as it was in historical times5. On Dec. 17 there was a public sacrifice at the temple (formerly the ara) of Saturn by the Forum6, followed by a public feast, in breaking up from which the feasters shouted 'Io ["hurrah", etc.] Saturnalia'7 [compare: "Merry Christmas!"]. During the sacrifice Senators and Equites wore the toga, but laid it aside for the convivium". [271].

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"On the 18th and 19th [of December], which were general holidays, the day began with an early bath1; then followed the family sacrifice [scarcity, probably made most slaughter, a sacrifice] of a sucking pig, to which Horace [65 - 8 B.C.E.] alludes in familiar lines:

Cras genium mero
Curabis et porco bimenstri
Cum famulis operum solutis2.

["2Odes, 3.17. ": "Tomorrow, attended by your household slaves from tasks released, cheer your soul with unmixed wine and a pig but two months old!" (from: Horace The Odes and Epodes, C.E. Bennett, 1925, 237)].

Then came calls on friends, congratulations, games, and the presentation of gifts3. All manner of presents were made, as they are still at Christmas: among them the wax candles (cerei) deserve notice, as they are thought to have some reference, like the yule log, to the returning power of the sun's light after the solstice. They DESCENDED from the Saturnalia into the Christmas ritual of the Latin Church4. The sigillaria, or little paste or earthenware images which were sold all over Rome in the days before the festival5, and used as presents, also survived into Christian times; thus, in the ancient Romish Calendar, we find that all kinds of little images were on sale at the confectioners' shops, and even in England the bakers made little images of paste at this season6. What was the original meaning of the custom we do not know; but it reminds us of the oscilla of the Latin festival and the Compitalia7.

But the best known feature of the Saturnalia is the part played in it by the slaves, who, as we all know, were waited on by their masters, and treated as being in a position of entire equality....But even this custom, as Marquardt points out, may not have been of genuine Latin origin". [272].


from: Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic, H.H. Scullard [1903 - 1983 (son of "a minister and professor")], Cornell U., 1982 (1981) (c1981 Thames and Hudson). [found 5/18/96]. [a "Must See" book!].

"LUPERCALIA ["15 February"]

[" ensure fertility for the people, fields, and flocks". (Webster's Third)]

Thanks to Mark Antony's [c. 83 - 30 B.C.E.] offer of a crown to Julius Caesar [100 or 102 - 44 B.C.E.] at the celebration of the Lupercalia in 44 BC and to Shakespeare's account of it, this is one of the best known of Roman festivals. It was also one of the most enduring: it arose in the uncertain spirit-world of prehistory and lasted until its final suppression in AD 494 by Pope Gelasius I who CONVERTED IT into the Feast of Purification of the Virgin Mary. " [76].

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"SATURNALIA" ["17—23 December"]

"Saturnalia, one of the best known of Roman festivals, was perhaps the most popular: 'the best of days' (optimus dierum), said Catullus [c. 84 - c. 54 B.C.E.]. From the strictly religious point of view it was celebrated only on 17 December, but in practice it extended to as many as seven days by Cicero's time, as is attested by Novius [contemporary of Pomponius (fl. c. 90 B.C.E.)], a writer of Atellene farces ('olim exspectata veniunt septem Saturnalia'), and Cicero [106 - 43 B.C.E.] refers to Saturnalibus secundis and tertiis; later during the Empire the number fluctuated between three, five and seven days. The festival was held around the time of the winter solstice, a season when mankind in many places and at many periods has felt the need for rest and merry-making, not least at our own Christmas.281" [205].

"the Romans came to speak of the golden age of Saturn: redeunt Saturnia regna ["Saturn's rule returns"], cried Virgil [70 - 19 B.C.E.] in his longing that a child might be born to herald in a new golden age after decades of civil war.282 [282"Virg. Ecl. 4.6"]" [206]. [See: #3, 65 (Vergil)].

"At this temple ["of Saturn"] the Saturnalia opened with a great sacrifice, at which senators and knights wore their togas. Then followed a banquet, which apparently anyone could attend. This appears to have been established in 217 BC....

It was a time of general jollity: shops, law-courts and schools were shut, while gambling in public was allowed. Seneca [Seneca "the Younger" c. 4 B.C.E. - c. 65 C.E.] ["Ep. 18.1"] refers — with disapproval — to the city resounding with merry-making, and few will have followed the unsocial Pliny [Pliny "the Younger" 62 - 113 C.E.] ["Ep 2.17.24"] who retired into a sound-proof room while the rest of his household was rejoicing.284

In the home all was relaxed, and (what was the best known feature of the holiday) masters waited at meal-time on their servants who briefly were treated as equals. This may reflect the customs of early times when master and man worked more closely together and the farmer relaxed among his hands....Even the parsimonious Cato [Marcus Porcius Cato 234 - 149 B.C.E.] recommended an additional ration of 3 1/2 congii of wine be given to his dependants (vinum familiae).285" [206-207].

"The Saturnalia continued to be enjoyed throughout the days of the Empire, and Statius [c. 45 - 96 C.E.] enthusiastically proclaims 'Time shall not destroy that holy day, so long as the hills of Latium endure and father Tiber, while your city of Rome and the Capitol remain'. Indeed some of its customs may well have been taken over and preserved via the Christian Church. THE CELEBRATION OF THE NATIVITY OF CHRIST ON 25 DECEMBER, JUST AFTER THE SATURNALIA, IS FIRST ATTESTED IN THE CALENDAR OF PHILOCALUS IN AD 336 [354 (interpolations?)], and the day may have been chosen in opposition to the festival held that day in honour of Sol Invictus, whose temple was dedicated in AD 274 by Aurelian. However that may be, the Christians celebrated [when? where?] a period of goodwill when families and friends feasted together, exchanged presents and even sometimes wore paper hats (pilei?).286" [207].

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[Christmas (nativity festival, etc.)]

from: New Catholic Encyclopedia, McGraw-Hill, 1967, Vol. III. [article by: Claver William Smith (Rome): Professor of Dogmatic Theology, etc. (V. 15, 181)].


The celebration of Christ's birth on December 25. The name is derived from the Old English Cristes Maesse or Cristes-messe, meaning the Mass of Christ. The cycle of Christmas includes related feasts beginning with Advent and ending on Candlemas. " [655].

["History"] "The feast ["Christmas"] is first mentioned at the head [probable interpolation] of the Depositio Martyrum in the Roman Chronograph of 354 [ed. Valentini-Zucchetti (Vatican City 1942) 2:17]. Since the Depositio was composed in 336 [? (and if composed in 336, the "feast" may not have been included)], Christmas in Rome can be dated back that far at least [?]. It is not found, however, in the lists of feasts given by Tertullian [c. 160 - c. 220] (De baptismo 19; CSEL 20:217) and Origen [c. 185 - c. 224] (Contra Celsum 8.22; PG 11:1549).

Date. Inexplicable though it seems , the date of Christ's birth is not known.... " [655-656].

'According to the hypothesis suggested by H. Usener [1834 - 1905], developed by B. Botte (Les Origines), and accepted by most scholars today, THE BIRTH OF CHRIST WAS ASSIGNED THE DATE OF THE WINTER SOLSTICE (DECEMBER 25 [see Addendum B] IN THE JULIAN CALENDAR, JANUARY 6 IN THE EGYPTIAN), because on this day, as the sun began its return to northern skies, the pagan devotees of Mithra celebrated the dies natalis Solis Invicti (birthday of the invincible sun). On Dec. 25, 274, Aurelian had proclaimed the sun-god principal patron of the empire and dedicated a temple to him in the Campus Martius. CHRISTMAS ORIGINATED AT A TIME WHEN THE CULT OF THE SUN WAS PARTICULARLY STRONG AT ROME. This theory finds support in

some of the Church Fathers' contrasting the birth of Christ and the winter solstice; indeed, from the beginning of the 3d [sic] century "Sun of Justice" appears as a title of Christ (Botte, Les origines 63). Though the SUBSTITUTION of Christmas for the pagan festival cannot be proved with certainty, it remains the most plausible explanation for the dating of Christmas.' [656].

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from: The Catholic Encyclopedia An International Work of Reference on the Constitution, Doctrine, Discipline and History of the Catholic Church, Fifteen Volumes and Index, 1913 (c1908), Vol. III, "Christmas", Cyril Martindale [for engaging biography and photograph, see: New Catholic Ency., V. 9, 306-307].

[this article (a Classic!) found 6/8/96].

"Christmas [724-728].—The word for Christmas in late O.E. is Cristes Maesse, the Mass of Christ, first found in 1038, and Cristes-messe, in 1131. In Dutch it is Kerst-misse, in Lat. Dies Natalis, whence Fr. Noel, and Ital. Il natale; in Ger. Weihnachtsfest, from the preceding sacred vigil. " [724].

"there is no month in the year to which respectable authorities have not assigned Christ's birth. " [724].

'At Rome the earliest evidence [for "Christmas"] is in the Philocalian Calendar (P.L., XIII, 675; it can be seen as a whole in J. Strzgowski, Kalenderbilder des Chron. von Jahre 354, Berlin, 1888), compiled in 354, which contains three important entries. In the civil calendar 25 December is marked "Natalis Invicti". In the "Depositio Martyrum" a list of Roman or early and universally venerated martyrs, under 25 December is found "VIII kal. ian. natus Christus in Betleem Iudeae". On "VIII kal.mart. " (22 February) is also mentioned St. Peter's Chair. In the list of consuls are four anomalous ecclesiastical entries: the birth and death days of Christ, the entry into Rome, and martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul. The significant entry is "Chr. Caesare et Paulo sat. XIII. hoc. cons. Dns. ihs. XPC natus est VIII Kal. ian. d. ven. luna XV," i.e. during the consulship of (Augustus) Caesar and Paulus Our Lord Jesus Christ was born on the eighth before the calends of January (25 Dec.), a Friday, the fourteenth day of the moon. THE DETAILS CLASH WITH TRADITION AND POSSIBILITY. The epact, here XIII, is normally XI; the year is A.U.C. 754, a date first suggested two centuries later; in no year between 751 and 754 could 25 December fall on a Friday; tradition is constant in placing Christ's birth on Wednesday. Moreover the date given for Christ's death (duobus Geminis coss., i.e. A.D. 29) leaves Him only twenty-eight and one-quarter years of life. Apart from this, THESE ENTRIES IN A CONSUL LIST ARE MANIFEST INTERPOLATIONS. But ARE NOT THE TWO ENTRIES IN THE "DEPOSITIO MARTYRUM" ALSO SUCH? Were the day of Christ's birth in the flesh alone there found, it might stand as heading the year of martyrs' spiritual natales; but 22 February is there wholly out of place. Here, as in the consular fasti, popular feasts were later inserted for convenience' sake. The civil calendar alone was not added to, as it was useless after the abandonment of pagan festivals. So, even if the "Depositio Martyrum" dates, as is probable, from 336, it is not clear that the calendar contains evidence earlier than Philocalus himself, i.e. 354, unless indeed pre-existing [evidence?] popular celebration must be ASSUMED to render possible this official recognition.' [726].

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'The well-known solar feast, however, of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date. For the history of the solar cult, its position in the Roman Empire, and syncretism with Mithraism, see Cumont's epoch-making "Textes et Monuments" etc., I, ii, 4, 6, p. 355. Mommsen (Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, 12, p. 338) has collected the evidence for the feast, which reached its climax of popularity under Aurelian in 274.' [727].


from: The Oxford Dictionary of The Christian Church, edited by F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone, Oxford, 1974 (1957).

'Christmas. Though speculation as to the time of year [and speculation regarding the year, is another "history" (see: #2, 17-18; #9, 224-225. Etc.)] of Christ's Birth dates from the early 3rd cent., *Clement of Alexandria [c. 150 - c. 215 (St)], e.g., suggesting 20 May [and April 19 and April 20], the celebration of the anniversary does not appear to have been general [evidence?] till the later 4th cent. The earliest mention of the observance on 25 Dec. is in the *Philocalian Calendar, representing Roman practice of the year 336 [?] (25 Dec: natus Christus in Betleem Judeae [?]). This date was prob. chosen to oppose the feast of the Natalis Solis Invicti by the celebration of the birth of the "Sun of Righteousness", and its observance in the W. seems to have spread from Rome [evidence?].' [280].

[See also: "Chronogapher of A.D. 354" (284); "Philocalian Calendar" (1084)].


from: Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, James Hastings, ed., Scribner's Sons, 1961, Vol. III. ["Christmas", by Kirsopp Lake [1872 - 1946]].

"De Pascha Computus.—The attempt to establish the day of the found especially in the pseudo-Cyprianic tract, de Pascha Computus, which represents a lost work of Hippolytus [c. 170 - c. 236 (St) Rome]....

The whole argument in this treatise is complicated by fantastic applications of the symbolism of numbers....There is much more of the same kind of ARGUMENT TO SHOW THAT THE DAY OF THE NATIVITY WAS REALLY THAT OF THE CREATION OF THE SUN. " [606].

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"The Clementine Homilies.—THESE heretical BOOKS SHOW A CLEAR TENDENCY TO EQUATE JESUS WITH THE SUN, and with the solar year. " [607].

["Harnack [Adolf Harnack 1851 - 1930] has said that they ["Homilies or the Recognitions"] can not go further back than the first half of the third [century]. " (New Schaff-Herzog Ency., 1958, V. III, 143)].

[Caution: Christian apologist at work!] "the Christian was largely influenced by the idea that the Creation (and therefore the coming of the Redeemer) must have taken place at the vernal equinox; and as soon [when? where?] as the coming of the Redeemer was taken to be the Conception rather than the Nativity [whew!], the latter date naturally [sic!] fell on Dec. 25, which had been chosen for the feast of the sol invictus, because it was the time when the victory of light over darkness begins to be apparent in the lengthening of the day.

That the coincidence [sic!] with the feast of the sol invictus, or sol novus, was made use of by Christians can be illustrated from many writers. " [608].

[following paragraphs: the author (Kirsopp Lake) quotes (in Latin) Ambrose (St) c. 339 - 397, Prudentius 348 - c. 410, Augustine (St) 354 - 430, and then follows with a "scrambler paragraph" to put the "correct" "spin" on the history of Christmas (608)].


from: Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan, Clement A. Miles, Fisher Unwin, 1912.

"The first mention of a Nativity feast on December 25 is found in a Roman document known as the Philocalian Calendar, dating from the year 354, but embodying an older document evidently belonging to the year 336. It is uncertain to which date the Nativity reference belongs;† ["† Usener says 354, Duchesne 336. "]


[354 is "direct evidence" (probable interpolations). 336 is assumption.].

[Note: this is the notorious 4th century. See: #6, 171-174; #10, 226-233

(The Theodosian Code). Etc.].

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from: Heortology, A History of the Christian Festivals From Their Origin to the Present Day, Dr. K.A. Heinrich Kellner [1837 - 1915], Professor of Catholic Theology in the University of Bonn, Translated with the Author's Permission from the Second German Edition by A Priest of the Diocese of Westminster, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., 1908 (1900 German). [a Classic!].

'At the beginning of the fifth century the learned monk, John Cassian [c. 360 -435 (monk)], betook himself to Egypt to study the observances of the monasteries there, and later on, between 418 and 427, he wrote down the result of his observations in his Collations. He informs us that the bishops of those parts at that time regarded the Epiphany as our Lord's birth-day, and that there was no separate festival in honour of the latter. He calls this the "ancient custom. "1' [?] [128].

"The learned Bishop Epiphanius [c. 315 - 403 (St)] of Salamis lived in Cyprus at the end of the fourth century. In his answer to the Alogoi ["A group of heretics in Asia Minor (c. A.D. 170). " (Ox. Dict. C.C.)] he gives the chronology of our Lord's life, according to which the 6th January is the day of our Lord's birth, and the 8th November the day of His baptism in Jordan. For him the Epiphany ["fourth century"] was plainly the festival of Christ's nativity.1" [128-129].

"Among the witnesses for the old custom, we find Ephrem Syrus [c. 306 - c. 373 (St) ("Syrian Biblical exegete" [Ox. Dict. C.C.])], who informs us that, in his time [fourth century], the church of Mesopotamia commemorated the Incarnation of the Son of God on the thirteenth day after the winter solstice [December 25 (inclusive counting)], in the month when the light begins to increase, i.e. on the 6th January.4" [129].


the East, on the contrary, this feast was introduced during the last decades of the

fourth century, in others somewhat later. Most interesting particulars concerning the introduction of Christmas in various localities are extant, and, since they refer to its introduction, we are safe in concluding, from the historical evidence before us, that these churches had not celebrated Christmas until then. This is the case with regard to Constantinople. " [129-130].

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"on the 25th December 379 or 380, Christmas was celebrated for the first time in Constantinople, as he [Gregory of Nazianzus c. 330 - c. 389 (St)] himself informs us, and on this occasion he delivered his thirty-eighth homily.2 ["2Gregor, Naz. Hom. 38 in Theophania"]...In the above homily indeed he says nothing about its being celebrated for the first time, but in the following homily (c. 14), when speaking of the previous Christmas, he calls himself its originator". [130].

"With regard to the circumstances connected with the introduction of the festival ["Christmas"] at Antioch, we are fully informed by St Chrysostom in a sermon he preached there on the 20th December 386.3

The festival had been known in Antioch for about ten years already, and a certain party there among the faithful were in the habit of celebrating it publicly, but its official introduction was first effected by Bishop Flavian, who was seconded in this by St John Chrysostom, recently ordained priest in the February of the same year....Many Christians observed the Jewish festivals as well as their own. On this account Chrysostom departed from his first subject and directed his first four sermons [tirades! (see: Jews and Christians in Antioch, Meeks, and Wilken, c1978)] against the Jews. Then this eloquence was directed to the task of winning over the faithful of Antioch to the observance of Christmas. " [131-132].

"The efforts of the great preacher [Chrysostom c. 347 - 407 (St)] were crowned with success. A very large number [source?] of the faithful were present in the church when the new festival ["Christmas"] was celebrated [Antioch: December 25?, 386?] [source(s)?]. The sermon which Chrysostom delivered on the occasion has happily come down to us.1"

["1Chrysost., Hom. in Nativ. I. Chr. " (Sinker, 1880, Addendum D, has: "Homily of Chrysostom to the people of Antioch") (I have not found "this" homily. Why the scarcity? Reluctance to draw attention to the late origins of Christmas? Etc.?)] [133].

"When we turn to the authentic [?] evidence for the practice of the Roman Church on this point [history of the celebration of "Christmas" in Rome], our attention is at once arrested by ONE DOCUMENT which is quoted under very different names—Anonymus Cuspiniani, Catalogus Bucherianus, the Calendar of Furius Philocalus, or the Chronographer of 354. These different ways of quoting the same document are apt to lead to confusion [and the impression of multiple witnesses]....


PAGE 276

["lists of consuls" ("Calendar of Philocalus")] "from 753 U.C. to 55 A.D. FOUR ECCLESIASTICAL NOTICES HAVE BEEN INTERPOLATED, but none from thence onwards. THESE FOUR NOTICES RELATE TO THE DATE OF CHRIST'S BIRTH AND DEATH, THE ARRIVAL OF THE APOSTLES PETER AND PAUL IN ROME, AND THEIR DEATH THERE. These notices, naturally, did not originally form part of the lists of consuls. WHO ADDED THEM? Philocalus himself or someone else [for example: person(s) in the Middle Ages?]?...

But if, it is objected, the date of Christ's birth is also given in the Depositio Martyrum, let us examine this document more closely. As the title indicates, it contains only the days of the death and burial of Roman martyrs and other martyrs venerated in Rome in the earliest ages, e.g. Cyprian, Perpetua, Felicitas. To these there are added two exceptions: VIII.Kal.Jan. (the birth of Christ at Bethlehem) and VIII.Kal.Mart. (the feast of St Peter's Chair). Neither of these belong in any sense to a Depositio Martyrum....The two days mentioned above, THE 25TH DECEMBER AND THE 22ND FEBRUARY, MUST RATHER BE STRUCK OUT AS LATER ADDITIONS WHICH DO NOT BELONG TO THE DOCUMENT. " [138].

"We must now examine more minutely the notice of Christ's birth given us in this [Depositio Martyrum] document. It runs as follows: I. p. Chr. Caesare et Paulo sat. XIII. Hoc cons. Dns. ihs. XPC natus est VIII. Kal. Jan. de ven. luna XV.1 Which means, Christ was born during the consulship of C. Caesar Augustus and L. Aemilius Paulus (754 U.C. ["Urbis Conditae [From the Foundation of the City; that is, of Rome] [Latin]" (Acronyms, I. & A. Dict., 1997)]), on the 25th December, which was a Friday, on the fifteenth day of the new moon.

This notice gives rise to several questions. First of all the Epact is not correct.... Consequently THE WHOLE INTERPOLATION IS UNDESERVING OF CREDIT. " [139-140].

PAGE 277

"since THE PASSAGE IN HIPPOLYTUS [c. 170 - c. 236 (St) (Rome)] PROVES TO BE THE ADDITION OF A MUCH LATER HAND; we are thus left with the chronology of 354 as the earliest evidence [interpolation?] for placing the birth of Christ on the 25th December. " [142]. [See: 437-439].

"What then was the amount of knowledge possessed by antiquity concerning the true day of Christ's birth?... THERE ARE ONLY A FEW PASSAGES IN WHICH THE OLDEST WRITERS IN THE CHURCH REFER TO THE MATTER, but from these it is easy to see that, EVEN IN THE EARLIEST TIMES, NOTHING WAS KNOWN FOR CERTAIN, AND THAT THOSE WHO WERE INTERESTED IN THE QUESTION DID NOT AGREE AMONG THEMSELVES....

In a treatise of the third century formerly attributed to St Cyprian, which deals with kindred subjects, a very different view appears. The anonymous writer of this treatise (De Pascha Computus [Kirsopp Lake (273) credits Hippolytus as author]), which was composed in A.D. 243[?], inclines to the view that the 28th March was the true day of Christ's birth,2 and, contemporary with this, Hippolytus [c. 170 - c. 236 (St) (Rome)] sets it down on the 25th of the same month [March], provided this is the correct interpretation of the inscription on his statue. In the fourth and fifth centuries, the view became prevalent that Christ was born on the 25th December, and St Augustine uses expressions which seem to imply he was of this opinion.3 ["3Augustin., Sermo 190, 1; 192, 3; 196, 1. " (see following Excursus (279))] THE FOUR GOSPELS [NEW TESTAMENT] CONTAIN NOTHING IN SUPPORT OF ANY OF THESE DATES. " [146].

PAGE 278

Excursus: from: The Fathers of the Church, Saint Augustine [354 -430], Sermons on the Liturgical Seasons, Translated by Sister Mary Sarah Muldowney, R. S. M., The Catholic University of America Press, 1977 (c1959).

[Sermon 190 (1)] "He who was born was not rendered blessed by being born on a particular day, but He made that day blessed on which He deigned to be born. The day of His [compare: Sun's] nativity holds the mystery of His [compare: Sun's] light, for the Apostle says: 'The night is far advanced; the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light. Let us walk becomingly as in the day.'1 ["1Rom. 13.12. "]" [23].

[Sermon 192 (3)] "He was born on the day which is the shortest in our earthly reckoning and from which subsequent days begin to increase in length. He, therefore, who bent low and lifted us up chose the shortest day, yet the one whence light begins to increase. " [34].

[Sermon 196 (1)] "Today, the birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ has dawned in festive splendor for us. It is His birthday, the day on which the Eternal Day was born. And hence it is this day because from this day forward the length of the day increases. " [43].

"There can have been no ecclesiastical tradition concerning the date of the Nativity, since IN THE EARLIEST TIMES IT ["NATIVITY" ("CHRISTMAS")] WAS COMMEMORATED BY NO SPECIAL FESTIVAL. The Epiphany, which commemorated several events, took the place [No! Unwarranted assumption!] of such a festival. " [147].

PAGE 279

"It has been thought that in some places heathen festivals of various kinds were kept in the month of December; in particular, the Kikellia1 was kept at Alexandria on the 25th December, in Bostra and Pella, a festival of local observance,1 and in Rome, the Saturnalia began on the 17th December and lasted until the 23rd.2 It is only natural that the winter solstice should give rise to a festival, and find its place marked in the Calendar of Feasts. Indeed, the Roman Calendar of much later datethat of Philocalusthe 25th December is marked as the birth-day of the unconquerable Sun-God (Natalis Solis Invicti). " [150-151].


this obvious natural event with the thought of the nativity of HIM ["Christ" (Sun!)] WHO IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD! Even if the Holy Scriptures had not suggested

this idea, it must have presented itself to the Christian mind. THE COMPARISON OF CHRIST WITH THE SUN, and of His work with the victory of light over darkness, frequently appears in the writings of the Fathers. St Cyprian3 [d. 258] spoke of Christ as the true sun (sol verus). St Ambrose4 [c. 339 - 397 (Bishop of Milan)] says precisely, "He is our new sun (Hic sol novus noster).["] Similar figures are employed by Gregory of Nazianzus [c. 330 - c. 389 (St)], Zeno of Verona [d. c. 375 (St)] [(footnote 5) 'calls Christ "Sol noster, sol verus. "'], Leo the Great [d. 461 (St)], Gregory the Great [c. 540 - 604 (St)], etc.5' [151].

"The Epiphany [see Addendum D]

As the name Epiphany implies, the origin and early celebration of this festival is to be sought in the East....the idea...of the appearance of the Son of God on earth in general". [166].

"The feast [Epiphany] was kept on the 6th January. The first indication that this day was marked in some special way in the Christian Calendar is given by Clement of Alexandria [c. 150 - c. 215], who says that some of the orthodox in his day regarded it as the birth-day of Christ, while the Basilidians [Alexandria, Egypt] observed the 10th January.2 ["2Clemens Alex., Strom., i. 21, õ45; ed. Potter [see Addendum D], 407; Sylburg, 340. "]" [167].

["Error": January 6 (and 10) applies to the baptism of Christ (per Clement), not the "birth-day of Christ"]. [See: Addendum D, 307-315, and Addendum E, 316-319].

PAGE 280

"THE CALENDAR OF PHILOCALUS FOR THE YEAR 352 CONTAINS NOTHING DEFINITELY CHRISTIAN.1 On the other hand, the Calendar of Polemius Silvius [see Addendum C], Bishop of Sion, drawn up between 435 and 455, is interesting as showing a mixture of Christian and heathen entries. " [351].

'Christmas was abolished in England in the seventeenth century during the reign of the Puritans, and its prohibition was strictly enforced. In 1644, after the overthrow of the monarchy, when the PURITANS came into power, an Act of Parliament forbade all observance of Christmas, for IT WAS HELD THAT CHRISTMAS WAS NOT ORIGINALLY A CHRISTIAN FESTIVAL AT ALL, BUT WAS OF HEATHEN ORIGIN. Parliament directed that the 25th December, "which had hitherto been commonly called Christmas Day," was to be kept as a fast. This law remained in force for sixteen years, and during this period the enactment was repeated and made still more stringent. No church dare be opened, no service of any kind held; the law expressly enacted that on Christmas Day everyone was to go on as usual with his work, and every merchant who shut his shop on this day was brought before the judge and punished....Plum-pudding and mince pies were branded as heathenish inventions....In Canterbury, for instance, there was a general riot; the whole town was divided into two parties—those who observed Christmas and their opponents, and the festival of peace ended in a general row; many houses of the town were totally destroyed and some set on fire.' [439-440].


"2nd cent. The 6th Jan. observed as Christ's birthday in Alexandria by a section of the Christians. "
[See: 167 (280) (supportive)].

["Error": January 6 (and 10) applies to the baptism of Christ (per Clement), not "Christ's birthday" (Kirsopp Lake, Encyc. Religion and Ethics, 1961, Vol III, 601, exhibits the same "error" [See: Addendum D and Addendum E]).].

[note: the author's (Kellner's) references (Potter, or Sylburg), are not available to me (see Addendum D: Sinker, text, and text reference—Potter)].

"304. Evidence for the Feast of the Epiphany in Thrace. "
"320. Discovery of the Holy Cross by St Helena [Mother of Constantine the Great: c. 255 - c. 330].... "

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"337-352. Under Pope Julius I., 25th Dec. kept at Rome as Festival of Christ's Nativity. "

[the Text (135-136, 150, 154) does not confirm this statement].

"360. The Festival of the Epiphany in Gaul mentioned by Ammianus Marcellinus

[c. 330 - 390 (Roman historian)]. "

"379. 25th Dec. celebrated for the first time as Christmas in Constantinople by St Gregory Naz. "
"386. The Nativity of Christ celebrated for the first time in Antioch [John Chrysostom] on 25th Dec. By a law of 26th Feb., Theodosius forbids unauthorised translations of the bodies of the saints, the dividing into parts of the remains of the martyrs, and all traffic in relics. "

[Note: regarding "386", and "25th Dec. ": I have not seen direct evidence for these dates].

Excursus: from: The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford, 1974.

"Christian. The name was orig. applied to followers of Christ by outsiders, being first used, acc. to Acts 11. 26, at *Antioch c. A.D. 40-44....

Acc. to *Tacitus (Annals, xv. 44) it was already current among the populace at Rome at the time of the *Neronian persecution (A.D. 64) and it was always the official Roman designation of members of the Church....

The form of the word, parallel to e.g., 'Herodians' (Mk. 12. 13, &c.) and 'Caesarians' (supporters or clients of Caesar), shows that 'Christ' was taken as a proper name, in ignorance [sic!] of its significance as the title of the Messiah, and has also been thought to indicate that Christianity was considered as a quasi-political movement. " [278].

[Note: the word "Christian" apparently appeared (in Antioch?) in the 1st century A.D.

"The Nativity of Christ [was] celebrated for the first time in Antioch", in the 4th century ("386" A.D.)].

PAGE 282

"395. Christmas definitely established in Constantinople. "

[Note: still, no "hard evidence" for Christmas established in Rome (unless the "Calendar of 354" is accepted on this subject)].

[1995 evidence: I photographed a "nativity scene" in St Peter's Square, Vatican, Rome, December 23, 1995].

"405. The day of the death of SS. Peter and Paul mentioned as an ecclesiastical festival in Rome by Prudentius (Perist., 12). "
"452. Discovery of the head of John the Baptist, and its translation to Constantinople on 24th Feb. "
"731. The Ven. Bede [The Venerable Bede (St) c. 673 - 735] composes his martyrologium. "


from: Religious Holidays and Calendars, An Encyclopaedic Handbook, Aidan Kelly, Peter Dresser and Linda M. Ross, Omnigraphics, 1993. [note: "no" references. Bibliography]. [See: 4, 15, 18, 20, 21, 66-68 (Christmas), 91, 121, 123].

"Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Feast of the

September 8

The birth of the Virgin Mary is one of only three births celebrated by the Christian Church. (The births of John the Baptist on June 24 and Jesus on December 25 are the other two observed.)" [98].

"Passover, and Pentecost are the only Christian feast days mentioned by the prominent church father, Origen [c. 185 - c. 224], in the early third century. " [15]. [Note: no "Christmas"!].

'A question developed, however, about when to mark the beginning of this time-keeping unit ["a day"]. Two points seemed to make the most sense: sunrise or sunset. Hebrew culture chose to designate sunset as the beginning of a day. As a result, their sabbaths and holy days began at sunset on the evening before the daytime of the festival. This tradition [Hebrew] carried over into Christian traditions and gave rise to the celebrations of "eves" such as Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, and Halloween (All Hallow's Eve). Other groups chose sunrise as the beginning of the day.' [4].

PAGE 283

"New Year for Trees

Day after the winter solstice; around December 23

Observed by Neo-pagans who use Robert Graves' tree calendar which begins the day after the winter solstice. " [98].

'St. Valentine's Day

February 14

The customs associated with this "Lover's Day" may have had more to do with the customs of the Roman festival of the Lupercalia [see 269] than with St. Valentine. The only Valentine or Valentinus of whom there is historical record was the founder of one of the most prevalent Gnostic sects, the Valentinians. They were noted in particular for their belief in "free love" and liberal view of sexuality.

The custom of choosing a lover on February 14 seems to have come from the Lupercalian ceremony of placing girls' names in a box from which boys drew their sweetheart for the next year. During the middle ages, the church sought to Christianize the custom by SUBSTITUTING saints' names for those of the girls and encouraging the drawers to emulate that saint for the next year. By the sixteenth century, however, this twist had been discarded and girls were once again being selected from the box. This custom eventually gave way to the practice of sending cards to the object of one's affections.' [112].

"Visitation of the Virgin Mary to Elizabeth

May 31 in the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches; July 2 in the Anglican church

This feast commemorates Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. After the Annunciation, Mary spent several months with her cousin Elizabeth in the mountains of Judea. Elizabeth reported that the baby in her womb (who would become John the Baptist, precursor of Christ) literally leapt with joy when Mary approached. According to the doctrine of the Roman Catholic church, this was the moment at which John the Baptist was cleansed from original sin and filled with heavenly grace. " [121].

"Transfiguration of Jesus

August 6

["originated in the E. Church," "widely adopted before A.D. 1000. " "In the W. ...goes back to 1457". (Ox. Dict. C. C.)]

This holiday commemorates the revelation of Jesus' divinity to Peter, James, and John on Mt. Tabor during their visit with Elijah and Moses. The feast, which is very old, was extended throughout the Church in 1457 by Pope Callistus III. " [118].

PAGE 284


from: Astrology and Religion among the Greeks and Romans, Franz Cumont [1868 -1947], Dover, 1960 (1912 G.P. Putnam's Sons).

'A very general observance required that on the 25th of December the birth of the "new Sun" should be celebrated, when after the winter solstice the days began to lengthen and the "invincible" star triumphed again over darkness. It is certain that the date of this Natalis Invicti was selected by the Church as the commemoration of the Nativity of Jesus, which was previously confused [No! Unwarranted assumption!] with the Epiphany....THIS SUBSTITUTION, WHICH TOOK PLACE AT ROME PROBABLY BETWEEN 354 AND 360, was adopted throughout the Empire, and that IS WHY WE STILL CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS ON THE 25TH OF DECEMBER.' [89].


from: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1994, Vol. 24. ["Mystery Religions", by Reinhold Merkelbach].

"In the religion of Sol, the festivals were determined by astronomy. The greatest festival was held on December 2425, at the time of the winter solstice [see Addendum B]. Because from this date the length of the day began to increase, it was regarded as the day of the rebirth of the god and of the renovation of life. " [711].


from: Oxford Illustrated Encyclopedia of Peoples and Cultures, Volume Editor Richard Hoggart, Oxford, 1992, Vol.7.

["Christmas"] "In the West the festival often begins with midnight mass, CELEBRATING THE COMING OF THE LIGHT INTO A DARKENED WORLD. " [48].

PAGE 285


from: Unwrapping Christmas, Edited by Daniel Miller, Oxford, 1993.

["Christmas Cards and Social Relations", Mary Searle-Chatterjee] "In primary schools, children are socialized into a sacred story that provides a charter for adult life in such a family, focused on the birth of a baby. The story both parallels and gives divine legitimacy to the family rituals of a contemporary British Christmas. THE NATIVITY STORY IS A FOLK TRADITION CONSTRUCTED ON THE BASIS OF ONLY A COUPLE OF BRIEF SENTENCES IN TWO OF THE CHRISTIAN GOSPELS. Gifts are presented only by 'wise men', not kings, and are mentioned only by Matthew. Shepherds merely visit the baby in a manger (a single mention only in Luke). There is no reference to animals in either of these Gospels. IN MARK, USUALLY CONSIDERED THE MOST 'RELIABLE' GOSPEL, THERE IS NO NATIVITY TALE AT ALL. In the popular story, the Holy Family is in a stable, bereft of any material possessions. Here we have the conjugal family in its culturally pure essence, stripped of all trappings, the family where the mother, husband, and child are primary. In the sacred tale the husband has a peripheral, or at least ambiguous, role in conception; so, too, in life, at Christmas, the mother is usually the one most actively involved in creating the family and bringing individuals together. She is the one, often, who buys the cards and the gifts, who wraps them and prepares the food. The symbolic centre of this sacred tale is the divine and innocent baby". [187]. [see 50-51 (Claude Lévi-Strauss)].


[Additional reference]

Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs, The Year of the Lord in Liturgy and Folklore, Francis X. Weiser, Harcourt, Brace, 1958.

PAGE 286

[ADDENDUM A Astronomy]

from: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1995, Vol. 28. [Note: 1 of the 2 authors is Owen Gingerich].


Recognition of the constellations can be traced to early civilization. The oldest astronomical cuneiform texts, from the second half of the 2nd millennium BC, record the Sumerian names of the constellations still known as the lion, the bull, and the scorpion. Drawings of these astronomical animals appear on Babylonian boundary stones of the same period, and the earlier occurrence of these motifs on prehistoric seals, Sumerian vases, and gaming boards suggests that they may have originated as early as 4000 BC. In China a handful of configurations show similarity to those of the West, including the scorpion, lion, hunter (Orion), and northern dipper, suggesting the possibility of a very old common tradition for a few groups, but, otherwise, almost complete independence.

Greek literature reflects the impact of the stars on the life of an agricultural and seafaring people. Homer (c. 9th century BC) records several constellations by the names used today, and the first mention of circumpolar stars ["Stars that are always seen above the horizon from a given position. " (Dict. Astronomical Terms, Wallenquist, 1966] is in the Odyssey. Odysseus is

Gazing with fixed eye on the Pleiades,

Boötes setting late and the Great Bear,

By others called the Wain, which wheeling round,

Looks ever toward Orion and alone

Dips not into the waters of the deep.

Odyssey, V. " [210].

"The earliest systematic account of the constellations is contained in the Phaenomena of Aratus, a poet of the 3rd century BC, who described 43 constellations and named five individual stars. Cicero [106 - 43 B.C.E.] recorded that

The first Hellenic globe of the sky was made by Thales of Miletus [c. 624 - c. 545 B.C.E.], having fallen into a ditch or well while star-gazing. Afterwards Eudoxos of Cnidus [408 - 353 B.C.E.] traced on its surface the stars that appear in the sky; and...many years after, borrowing from Eudoxos this beautiful design and representation, Aratos had illustrated it in his verses, not by any science of astronomy, but by the ornament of poetical description.

De republica, I, 14

By far the most important list of stars and constellations still extant from antiquity appears in the Almagest of Ptolemy (flourished 2nd century AD). It contains ecliptic coordinates and magnitudes (measures of brightness) for 1,022 stars, grouped into 48 constellations. " [210-211].

PAGE 287

"Star charts contained only the 48 constellations tabulated by Ptolemy until the end of the 16th century. " [213].

'The stars Sirius ("Scorcher") and Arcturus ("Bear Watcher") are mentioned both by Homer and Hesiod (8th century BC?).' [214].


from: Sky and Telescope, June, 1959, Vol. 18, "The Origin of the Ancient Constellations", George A. Davis.

"Although the ancient star groups, which the whole civilized world has accepted and invested with a special and peculiar interest, were devised about 5,000 years ago, the writers on the constellations have differed as to how they actually took shape, and by whom they were brought into being....I would like to call attention to some of the most recent findings concerning the Sumerians who, it is now agreed, originated the ancient star groups". [424].

'H. Spencer Jones remarks: "In a few cases a fanciful resemblance may be seen between the outline of a constellation and the object from which it derives its name, but in general no resemblance can be seen nor can any reason be assigned for the name. "6' [424-425].

'And finally, Sir Arthur Eddington and Charles Everitt do not hesitate to affirm: "From the earliest times the star-groups known as constellations have received names symbolizing religious or mythological beliefs. "9' [425].

"The ancient constellation designer, be he priest, priest-king, or king, had already in his mind certain figures which represented ideas that he wished to project [demand characteristics (see #3, 57, 289.)] on the sky; and he accommodated the natural arrangement of the stars to these figures....

Of course, the actual configuration of the stars sometimes naturally suggested certain figures". [426].

"In the history of the constellations, both the literary references to them and the adaptation of the forms to the actual stellar configurations show that we cannot accept the constellations as pictures of objects noted by lonely shepherds, nomads of the desert, mariners, and others, whose observations of the stars were merely casual and without any religious or mythological significance.16" [427].

PAGE 288


from: The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Volume LXXXVI, 1966.

["Solstices, Equinoxes, and the Presocratics", D.R. Dicks] "It is important to realise that knowledge of these phenomena requires only simple observation and a clear horizon with recognisable landmarks by which to gauge the position of the sun's rising or setting--it implies no astronomical theory whatsoever. 24 The earth and the universe can be any shape and size, the sun, moon, and stars can be arranged in any order one cares to imagine, and the sun can even be supposed to be extinguished every night 25 ["25 As we are told was the opinion of Xenophanes [6th century B.C.E.] and Heraclitus [fl. 500 B.C.E.]."]--it makes no difference to the observed phenomena. Hence it is not surprising that knowledge of these 'turnings of the sun'...[2 Greek words] long antedates any theoretical astronomical speculation." [31].

from: Ancient Planetary Observations and the Validity of Ephemeris Time,

Robert R. Newton, John Hopkins U., 1976. [see 292, 460].

[note: Robert R. Newton has controversial writings on Ptolemy. See writings (on Ptolemy) of Owen Gingerich, and John Phillips Britton, for increased perspectives].

"The Babylonian calendar was in use in the historical period around -2000, and it was probably well established by then. It still found some use as late as +75. Few calendars have been used for such a long span of time. Further, the Jewish calendar is a relative and probably a descendant, and so is the lunar calendar still used by the Christian church for determining the date of Easter." [33].

"Thus we are justified in using 7 hours as the standard deviation in the measured time of an ancient Greek solstice, even in the time of Meton [fl. 432 B.C.E. (Athens)] and Euctemon [fl. 5th century B.C.E. (Athens) (collaborated with Meton)], and we find that there was little or no improvement in the rest of Hellenistic astronomy." [166].

from: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1995, Vol. 5.

"The ancient Greeks, who knew the Earth to be a sphere, were the first to use globes to represent the surface of the Earth. Crates is said to have made one in 150 BC. The earliest surviving terrestrial globe was made in Nürnberg in 1492 by Martin Behaim, who almost undoubtedly influenced Christopher Columbus to attempt to sail west to the Orient. In ancient times, globes also were used to represent the constellations; the earliest surviving globe is the marble Farnese globe ["at Naples"], a celestial globe dating from about AD 25 [sic! see following (290)]." [304-305].

PAGE 289


from: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1995, Vol. 3.

"Some globes were made in ancient Greece: Thales of Miletus (fl. 6th century BC) is generally credited with having constructed the first. Probably the oldest in existence is the Farnese Globe, estimated as from the 3rd century BC [sic! see preceding date, and following date], now in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale at Naples. It shows constellation figures but not individual stars and would have been of little practical astronomical use; it is thought to be a Roman copy of a Greek globe. " [10].


from: Globes from the Western World, Elly Dekker, Peter Van Der Krogt, Zwemmer, 1993. [Beautiful book!].

"fig 2 [fascinating! ("Farnese Globe")]

The Farnese Atlas (c. AD 150)

Naples. Museo Archeologico"

"In 1575, a marble image of an Atlas figure with a celestial globe was found in Rome. It came into the collection of antiquities belonging to Cardinal Alessandro Farnese. The date of the Atlante Farnese ["the only surviving globe from antiquity" (12)], as the sculpture was then called, is not known. However, the representation of the vernal equinox is similar to that in Ptolemy's Almagest, from around AD 150. It can be assumed that it was made after 150. The sphere has a diameter of about 25 1/2 in (65 cm) and shows only constellations [constellation figures], the ecliptic, the equator, the tropics, the polar circles and the colures ["great circles on the celestial sphere". "equinoctial colure". "solstitial colure". (Dict. Astronomical Terms, Wallenquist, 1966)]. The constellations are seen in reverse in accordance with the rule of Hipparchus (second century BC). No stars are indicated. " [12].


from: Early Astronomy, Hugh Thurston, Springer-Verlag, 1994.

"A little later in the Yuan shi [official history of the Yuan dynasty (finished in 1282)] comes a list of forty-eight winter solstices spread through Chinese history.... (According to modern calculations the Shou-shi almanac ["promulgated in A.D. 1281" (102)] was out by about three days for dates around 700 B.C., by about a tenth of a day around A.D. 700, and by about three-hundredths of a day around A.D. 1000; it was correct to the nearest hundredth of a day from 1250 onward....)" [104-105].

PAGE 290


from: A History of Japanese Astronomy, Chinese Background and Western Impact, Shigeru Nakayama, Harvard U., 1969.

"The solar calendar was first brought to Japan by early Jesuits, who adopted the Julian, and later the Gregorian, calendar for their religious observances. " [220].

"The cultural geography of Japan was also not conducive to the pursuit of astronomy. Isolated in the Far East, Japan had no firsthand contact with the main currents of scientific activity before the late nineteenth century. In contrast to Western science, which was nurtured by various cultures as the center of scientific activity shifted from Babylonia to Greece, from there to Alexandria, and later to the Near East, Far Eastern science was developed entirely in China. Thus Japan had only one source of knowledge. " ["226"].


from: Harper's Bible Dictionary, 1973 (c1952).

'The names of the three Wise Men ["stargazers"] ["Gospel of Matthew (2:1ff.)"] assigned by legend—Gaspar ("white"), Melchior ("light"), and Balthasar ("the lord of the treasury")—are as unhistorical as the report that their skulls were discovered by Queen Helena [c. 255 - c. 330], mother of Constantine the Great, taken to Constantinople, and thence to Cologne, whose cathedral has for centuries claimed them to be deposited in its Chapel of the Three Wise Men.' [819].

[for similar "history", See: #6, 166-179].


from: Time and the Calendars, W.M. O'Neil, Sydney U., 1975.

[see 9, 22, 23, 25, 41, 45].

"He [Hipparchus fl. 160 - 125 B.C.E. ("probable...later career at Rhodes" [Dict. Sci. Bio., 1978, V. 15, 208])] concluded that the length of the tropical year, measured between successive Spring Equinoxes, was 365.24667 days which is only about 6 minutes 16 seconds too long—a remarkable approximation. " [22].

"One of the most accurate pre-modern determinations [of the tropical (solar) year] was that of Omar Khayyam [c. 1048 - c. 1122], the Persian astronomer, mathematician and poet, in AD 1079. His value was 365.24242 days, only .000166 days or only about 14 seconds too long at the time he made it. " [23].

PAGE 291

"During the early part of the first millennium AD it seems to have been assumed that the equinoxes and solstices in the Julian calendar did or should occur on 25 March, 24 June, 24 September and 25 December. According to Newton (1972), Pliny the Elder [23 - 79 C.E.] writing circa AD 77 claimed that the traditional Roman dates for these events were the seventh day (eight in Roman ["inclusive"] reckoning) before the Kalends [Kalends = first day of month] of April, July, October and January, that is 25 March [conception of Jesus], 24 June [birth of John the Baptist], 24 September [conception of John the Baptist] and 25 December [birth of Jesus]. THE DAYS OF CONCEPTION AND BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST AND OF JESUS WERE SET TO THESE DATES". [84-85].

[See: Addendum B, 293-296].

"When the Moon is in conjunction with the Sun, its Sun-illuminated side faces away from us; so we cannot see it. When it is in opposition, its Sun-illuminated side faces us; so we see it as a full Moon. In between we see it as a crescent Moon, a half Moon and a gibbous Moon. Thus a day or two after conjunction we see it as a thin crescent in the Western sky just after sunset. When it was important for calendar-makers, the new crescent was sometimes called 'the knife of time'. It is often called a 'New Moon' but that phrase is used by astronomers for the conjunction. " [24].


[Additional references]

Star Names Their Lore and Meaning, Richard Hinckley Allen, Dover, 1963 (1899).

Writings of: Owen Gingerich; Otto Neugebauer

Star Lore of All Ages, A Collection of Myths, Legends, and Facts Concerning the Constellations of the Northern Hemisphere, William Tyler Olcott, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1911.

PAGE 292

[ADDENDUM B Lunar and Solar Positions]

from: New and Full Moons, 1001 B.C. to A.D. 1651, Herman H. Goldstine, American Philosophical Society, 1973. [80]. [See: 300, Fowler, "new moon"].

"the civil times of the syzygies ["three bodies in a straight line". "opposition and conjunction". (Wallenquist, 1966)] for an observer in Babylon [are] expressed by means of a 24-hour clock in hours and the nearest minute; and the longitudes [complex] of the moon at those times as calculated at the earth's center. The zero of the clock is midnight; times are recorded, for example, as 7;23 or 18;36 which mean, respectively, 7;23 A.M. and 6;36 P.M. " [viii].

[January 13, -45 (46 B.C.) (Julian Calendar began 46 B.C.)]

New Moons
Date Time Long.
13JA 0;13 290.63
[January 2, -44 (45 B.C.) (Julian ("reformed") Calendar began January 1, 45 B.C.)]

New Moons< tr>




2JA 3;50 279.39

[New Moon = astronomical new moon = conjunction [crescent appears 1-3 days later].

[Note: the Astronomical Calendar has a zero year. for example: 0 = 1 B.C. -45 = 46 B.C.].

[Note: accuracy of Julian calendar prior to 8 B.C. (and prior to 8 A.D.?)? see following (294), etc.].


from: Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Ephemeris and The American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac, Issued by H.M. Nautical Almanac Office by Order of the Science Research Council, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1974 (1961).

PAGE 293

"The Julian calendar

The Julian calendar was established in the Roman Empire by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C.,....Caesar inserted intercalations into the year 46 B.C. that increased its length to 445 days, and instituted his reformed calendar beginning with 45 B.C. ....

The year 45 B.C. was a Julian intercalary or leap year; but because of misunderstanding and confusion during the period following the adoption of the revised calendar, the intercalations were incorrectly made until the error was rectified in 8 B.C. by Augustus, who omitted further intercalations until 8 A.D. The adjustments actually made before the Augustan reform cannot be determined with certainty, and are ignored in the following sub-sections, but after A.D. 8 the Julian calendar was used without further change until the Gregorian reform in 1582. " [411].

"It must be emphasised that the fundamental epochs used for ephemeris time and universal time, although denoted by the same measure, do not correspond to the same instant of time; in fact at each epoch ["time at which observations are made"] T0 is about -4S, i.e. the epoch of E.T. is 4S later than that of U.T. " [21].

"Equinoxes and solstices

The times of the equinoxes and solstices are those at which the Sun's apparent longitude [celestial longitude] is a multiple of 90°; thus (in the northern hemisphere) spring [vernal] equinox, summer solstice, autumn equinox and winter solstice correspond to apparent longitudes of the Sun of 0°, 90°, 180°, and 270° respectively. " [203].


["Celestial Longitude. A co-ordinate in the *ecliptic system measured from the vernal equinox along the ecliptic toward east from 0° to 360°. " (Dict. Astronomical Terms, Wallenquist, 1966)].

["As the Sun requires almost 365.25 days for its apparent eastward movement among the fixed stars from one Spring Equinox to the next, it progresses at an average rate of 0.9856° per day along the Ecliptic. " (Time and The Calendars (see 291), 1975, 23)].

[Rome = 12° 29' East geographic longitude: at 15° geographic longitude/hr = c. 50 minutes (+ UT [Greenwich time]). Example ("Tuckerman Tables" reference UT 16.00 [Greenwich 16.00]): UT 16.00 = c. 17.00 Rome = 19.00 Babylon].

PAGE 294


from: Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon, and Planets, Jean Meeus, William-Bell, 1983.


The Ephemeris Time (ET) is a uniform time based on the planetary motions. The Universal Time (UT), necessary for civil life, is based on the rotation of the Earth. Universal Time is the same as Greenwich Civil Time.

Because the Earth's rotation is slowing downand, moreover, with unpredictable irregularities — UT is not a uniform time. Since the astronomers need a uniform time scale for their calculation of accurate ephemerides, they use ET in that case.

The exact value of the difference T = ET - UT at a given epoch ["time at which observations are made"] can be deduced only from observations. " ["i"].


The list on the next pages gives the times of the equinoxes and solstices on the planet Earth for the years 1 to 3000....

The instants are given to the nearest second of time, and they are expressed in Ephermeris Time. For each equinox and solstice, the day of the month is given first, followed by the hours, minutes, and seconds. " [3-1].

"All times [ET] are expressed in Universal Time, or Greenwich Civil Time. " [1-2].











23 00:31

24 23:42

25 10:26

23 03:04


21 03:26

22 23:32

23 15:15

21 10:32


20 12:14

22 07:30

23 00:37

20 20:54


15 17:05

17 03:37

18 07:15

16 11:41


10 12:29

11 13:54

13 01:02

11 14:10


20 11:40

21 12:58

23 00:18

21 13:39


20 07:37

21 01:49

22 17:29

21 13:39

[Note: minutes "rounded" to nearest minute].

[3-3, 3-8, 3-10, 3-23, 3-34, 3-42].

[Note: Gregorian calendar initiated October 15, 1582].

PAGE 295

TABLE B [ii]

Approximate values of T

























"Tabulated times in ET may be converted into Universal Time by subtracting from

them the quantity T, since we have UT = ET - T. " [iii].


[Additional references]

Planetary, Lunar, and Solar Positions, 601 B.C. to A.D. 1, at Five-Day and Ten-Day Intervals, Bryant Tuckerman, International Business Machines Corporation, The American Philosophical Society, 1962. [See: 8 ("2.2 Desired Precision and Accuracy")].

Planetary, Lunar, and Solar Positions A.D. 2 to A.D. 1649, At Five-Day and Ten-Day Intervals, Bryant Tuckerman, International Business Machines Corporation, The American Philosophical Society, 1964.

A Supplement to the Tuckerman Tables, Michael A. Houlden and F. Richard Stephenson, American Philosophical Society, 1986.

PAGE 296

[ADDENDUM C Chronology (Calendars)]

from: The Book of Calendars, Frank Parise, Editor, Facts on File, 1982.

"The Babylonian calendar is a good example of the general type of lunar calendar which was used in the Near and Middle East during early recorded history. Its influence extended from Greece and Egypt in the West, down the Arabian peninsula in the south, over to India in the East and northward into the Himalayas. The present Hebrew calendar is a modern example of this type of construction. " [3].

"This lunar calendar was used for religious purposes. For astronomical purposes the Babylonians relied on a second calendar. The solar or astronomical calendar, used by the Assyrians and Chaldeans as well, was also based on a 12 month year, with the day beginning at 6 a.m. [see Pliny, 298-299: "sunrises"] The Babylonians invented the zodiac, and the sun determined the length of the year by its passage through the 12 signs [see following (Bickerman)], the moon passing through all of them in about 29 1/2 days. Our horoscope is the direct descendant of the Babylonian system of calculation since the day (which was a 24 hour period) was broken up into 12 segments, the 12 segments into periods of 30° each, and those, in turn broken into 60 minutes and further divided into 60 seconds. The year began at the vernal equinox. " [3].


'The last day of any month was always called "Old and New" because astronomically the moon would be temporarily invisible while in conjunction with the sun.' [54-55].

"The year began at the summer solstice which fell around July 2 at the inception of the calendar in 766 B.C. The Olympic games were always held on the eleventh through the fifteenth day after the New Moon following the summer solstice. " [55].


from: Chronology of the Ancient World, E. J. Bickerman, Cornell U., 1968 (1963 Italian) (1933 Leipzig?). [see 49, 51].

"'The new moon is visible at the earliest one day, at the latest three days after the conjunction.' Therefore, as based on the sighting of the new moon, two or three months of 30 days (or of 29 days) could occur in a row.13 On the other hand, the government sometimes antedated the beginning of the month. A court astronomer could write to Esarhaddon (681—688 [B.C.E.]): 'On the thirtieth I saw the moon, it was in a high position for the thirtieth day. The king should wait for the report from the city of Ashur, and then may determine the first day of the month.'14" [18-19].

PAGE 297

"The divergence of this calendar ["Roman pseudo-solar cycle"] from the sun's course was so patent that c. 450 [B.C.E.] the Decemviri already tried to correct the system. There was also an intercalation law of M'. Acilius Glabrio, in 191 BC. But these reforms did not help....INTERCALATION became a TOOL OF POLITICIANS IN THEIR STRUGGLES FOR POWER, and it was often handled arbitrarily and without regard to the seasons. " [45].

"Caesar [Julius Gaius Caesar 100 or 102 - 44 B.C.E.] did not reform the Roman calendar, but abandoned it and instituted the solar calendar of 365¼ days which was stable and agreed with the seasons. " [47].

["The Zodiac"] "The Babylonians were, probably, the first to trace it and divide it in signs of 30 degrees each. The twelve signs were named after relevant constellations not exactly fit the allotted portions of the sky....

The Zodiacal year began with Aries, that is the sign of the vernal equinox. When the sun entered the sign of Cancer, it was summer; Libra corresponded to the autumn; and Capricorn marked the winter. Thus, the position of the sun in the Zodiac was of the greatest importance for the course of the seasons.

For us, the longest day (the summer solstice) is 22 June....For the ancients it was the time when the sun was in the first degree of the Cancer. This zodiacal clock was simpler to use than the star-clock of the natural year....For instance, Varro [116 -27 B.C.E.] dated the Roman feast of Robigalia as follows: 'When the sun reaches the tenth degree of Taurus' (Plin. NH [Pliny "the Elder" 23 - 79 C.E., Natural History] XVIII, 286). The Babylonian astronomers, however, as early as c. 1100 [B.C.E.] related the official lunisolar calendar to the rising of the given stars in a given month. " [56-57].

"To put it bluntly: anyone trying to convert an ancient dating into one expressed in terms of our reckoning [Julian Calendar + Gregorian modifications] should remember the legal maxim: caveat emptor. " [91].


from: Handbook of Biblical Chronology, Principles of Time Reckoning in the Ancient World and Problems of Chronology in the Bible, Jack Finegan, Princeton U., 1964.

'A "day" in the sense of a complete period of light and darkness might be reckoned as beginning with the coming of the light or with the coming of the darkness, as well as of course theoretically at any other point in the daily cycle, midnight now being used as that point. In ancient Egypt the day probably began at dawn,2 in ancient Mesopotamia it began in the evening.3 Among the Greeks the day was reckoned from sunset to sunset, while the Romans already began the day in the "modern" fashion at midnight.4 Summing up the different reckonings among different people in his time Pliny [Pliny "the Elder" 23 - 79 C.E.] wrote:

PAGE 298

"The Babylonians count the period between two sunrises, the Athenians that between two sunsets, the Umbrians from midday to midday, the common people everywhere from dawn to dark, the Roman priests and the authorities who fixed the official day, and also the Egyptians and Hipparchus [fl. 160 - 125 B.C.E.], the period from midnight to midnight. "5' ["5 Natural History. II, lxxix, 188. "] [8].

'Of the cumbersome system of Kalends [first day of the month], Ides [15th day of March, May, July, October; 13th day of other months], and Nones [ninth day before the Ides (7th day of March, May, July, October; 5th day of other months)], and related reckoning, Wislicenus remarks that it is fortunate nothing has survived in modern usage except the word "calendar" which comes from the Latin kalendae. As for what is now meant by "calendar," that was designated by the Romans as Fasti (from Greek...[2 Greek words] "to say") meaning, first, a day on which it is allowed to speak; hence a day on which judgment may be pronounced, i.e., a court day; and, finally, an enumeration of all the days of the year with their festivals, etc., specially including the Fasti consulares, or lists of the magistrates according to their years of service.' [75].


from: The Calendar of the Roman Republic, Agnes Kirsopp Michels, Princeton U., 1967. [see 11, 21, 22, 76].

"in the present state of the evidence, any statements about the history of the [Roman] calendar prior to the First Century B.C. can only be hypothetical. " [viii].

[footnote] "19It should be remembered that this [The Calendar of the Roman Republic (pre-Julian Calendar)] is a purely civil calendar, designed to guide the religious, political, legal, and business activities of Roman citizens. When Cato [Marcus Porcius Cato ("the elder") 234 - 149 B.C.E.] in the second century B.C. writes about farming in his De Agricultura, he uses the civil calendar only for the dates of business affairs, such as contracts. For other purposes he reckons mainly by the stars. Polybius [c. 205 - c. 123 B.C.E.] (9.14f.) discusses at length the need for a general to be familiar with astronomical matters such as the solstices and equinoxes, and the signs [constellations] of the Zodiac, so as to be able to calculate the time available for his movements, but he nowhere mentions the use of a calendar. As we shall see, the Roman calendar of his day would have been useless for this purpose, as it had no regular relation to the seasons. " [16].

PAGE 299


from: Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, James Hastings, ed., Scribner's Sons, 1961, Vol. III. ["Calendar (Roman)", W. Warde Fowler [1847 - 1921]].

"Calendar (Roman).—The ordering of time at Rome was always a matter of religious importance, and, as we may conjecture with confidence, was also from the first in the hands of religious authorities. The reason of this is to be found in the nature of Roman religious ideas.... " [133].

"the Roman calendar was based on the religious ideas of the Roman people, and mainly on the root-idea of the essential difference between the sacred and the profane, or that which legally belonged to the gods and that which belonged to man. For this reason it was in fact a part, and originally the most important part, of the ius divinum, or religious law, which was itself a part of the law of the State (ius civile); and the word by which it was known, Fasti (anni Romani), i.e. dies fasti, indicates that its main object was to set apart the days sacred to the deities from the days on which the citizens might go about their legal or other business. For this reason, too, the control of it was in the hands of a priestly authority, viz. the pontifices". [135].

"the fact that the pontifices had the charge of the rectification of the calendar by intercalation [compare: interpolation] gave them the means of interfering unduly in political matters; and it was not until the period of the Empire, when, from 12 B.C. onwards, the Emperor was always pontifex maximus, that the calendar finally ceased to be an instrument of aristocratic intrigue and corruption. " [End of article] [135].


from: The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic, an Introduction to the Study of the Religion of the Romans, W. Warde Fowler [1847 - 1921], Macmillan, 1908 (1899).

"When Caesar took the reform of the calendar in hand the discrepancy between it and the seasons was very serious; the former being in advance of the latter probably by some weeks. Caesar, aided by the [Alexandrian] mathematician Sosigenes [fl. 50 B.C.E.], put an end to this confusion by extending the year 46 B.C. to 445 days, and starting afresh on JAN. 1, 45 B.C.2"

["2 Probably in order that the beginning of the year might coincide with a new moon; which actually happened [source(s)? (see Addendum B)] on Jan. 1, 45, and was doubtless regarded as a good omen. "]. [4].

PAGE 300

"The dedication day of the temple of Fors Fortuna ["The goddess Fortune" (Ox. Latin Dict., 1968)] ["24 June" (?), 293 B.C.E.] was exactly [?] at the summer solstice. It is now St. John the Baptist's day, and one on which a great variety of curious local customs, some of which still survive, regularly occur; and especially the midsummer fires which were until recently so common in our own islands. Attention has often been drawn to the fondness for parallelism [schematism] which prompted the early Christians [when? where?] to place the birth of Christ at the winter solstice, when the days begin to grow longer, and that of the Baptistfor June 24 is his reputed birthday as well as festivalat the summer solstice when they begin to shorten; following the text, 'He must increase and I must decrease2.'" ["2 St. John, iii. 30.... "]. [169].

[see 170 (Fors Fortuna [possibly not solstice date related; instead, "because harvest was going on. "])].

Excursus: from: Guide to the Gods, Marjorie Leach, ABC-CLIO, 1992.

'Fors Fortuna From a goddess representing the uncertainty and chance aspect of agriculture, she developed into a goddess "of blind uncontrollable chance" and fickleness. Italy.' [736].


from: Daily Life in Ancient Rome, The People and the City of the Height of the Empire, Jérôme Carcopino, Director of the École Française de Rome, Edited with Bibliography and Notes by Henry T. Rowell, Professor of Latin in the Johns Hopkins University, Tr. E. O. Lorimer, Yale U., 1945 (1940).

'as Seneca [("the Younger") c. 4 B.C.E. - c. 65 C.E.] asserts, it was impossible at Rome to be sure of the exact hour; and it was easier to get the philosophers to agree among themselves than the clocks: "horam non possum certam tibi dicere: facilius inter philosophos quam inter horologia convenit. " 18 Time at Rome was never more than approximate.' [148].

'2. The Roman Begins the Day

To begin with, Imperial Rome woke up as early as any country village—at dawn, if not before. Let us revert to an epigram of Martial's [Martial c. 40 - c. 104 C.E.] which I have already quoted, where the poet enumerates the causes of insomnia which in his day murdered sleep for the luckless city dweller. Before the sun was up, he was a martyr to the deafening din of streets and squares where the metalworker's hammer blended with the bawling of the children at school: "The laughter of the passing throng wakes me and Rome is at my bed's head. . . . Schoolmasters in the morning do not let you live; before daybreak, bakers; the hammers of the coppersmiths all day. "20' ["20Martial, XII 57. "]. [150-151].

PAGE 301


from: The Ordering of Time, From the Ancient Computus to the Modern Computer, Arno Borst, Tr. Andrew Winnard, U. Chicago, 1993 (1990 Germany).

[see 21, 22, 37].

["Octavian (Augustus)"] "About 10 BC, following the magnificent secular celebration of 17BC held to mark the dawn of a new age, he erected an Egyptian obelisk on the Campus Martius in Rome to commemorate his recent victory against Egypt and his coming empire of peace. Dedicated to the sun god and the auspicious birth of Octavian, this huge needle of stone formed the gnomon of an enormous sundial, with a Greek line-grid ["width...over 150 m. "] on the floor of the square showing the length of the hours, days and months, together with the signs [exact details?] of the zodiac. " [17]. [see reconstruction illustration [17]].

"The adoption of universal time was made no simpler by the POLITICAL VICTORY OF CHRISTIANITY at dawn of the Constantinian period, in the ROMAN EMPIRE OF THE FOURTH CENTURY....The fixing and implementation of key dates remained what calendrical problems had always been since Caesar, namely ISSUES OF POWER. " [18].

[Augustine] "in a polemic against Manichaeans in 404. 'In the Gospel we do not read that the Lord said: I am sending you the Holy Spirit so that he can teach you about the course of the sun and the moon. He wanted to make Christians, not mathematicians.'32" [21].

"Plate 5 The Easter Cycle of Dionysius Exiguus, Ravenna, sixth century, now in the Archbishop's Museum, Ravenna. " [25].

"Bede allowed his fellow countrymen to call the month of the Christian Resurrection after the pagan goddess Eostre, and after the light of Spring that rose in the East.62 But when did the true light, that never sank below the horizon, enter the world? In 731, in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Bede replaced the cosmic world era with a human method of dating based on the Incarnation of Christ. IT IS BECAUSE BEDE'S BOOK BECAME A MODEL OF MEDIEVAL HISTORIOGRAPHY that we do not today describe the current year, in the manner of the ancient Romans, as the 2,746th year after the founding of Rome; nor do we refer to it, as orthodox Byzantines and Russians would have, as the 7,501st year after the Creation. Instead, we describe it as the year 1993 AD.63" [40].

["The Confusion and Management of Calendars in the Late Middle Ages"] "The fact that in Germany the year more often than not began with Christmas, in France at Easter, and in Italy and England with the Annunciation [March 25], was also a hindrance to business. " [87].

PAGE 302


from: Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, James Hastings, ed., Scribner's Sons, 1908-1927, Vol. III. ["Calendar (Christian)", James G. Carleton [1848 - 1918]].

"Calendar (Christian).—The Christian calendar derived its name (in the languages of Western Europe), as it did its form, from the Roman pagan calendar (see Calendar [Roman]), which it gradually SUPERSEDED. " [84].

"I. Calendar of Filocalus ["Philocalus"; "Calendar of 354"; etc.].—The earliest festival lists which have come down to us belong to the local church of Rome. " [84].

"2. Gothic calendar.—A fragment of a list of martyrs, in the Gothic language, of the end of the 4th cent., has been published by Mai from an ancient palimpsest in the Ambrosian library at Milan (Script. Vet. v. 66), and by Migne (PL xviii. 878). It contains 38 days only". [85].

"3. Calendar of Polemius Silvius.—A calendar of complete framework, i.e. with all the days of the year inserted, was drawn up by Polemius Silvius in 448....Christian commemorations are connected with 10 days only, and include Christmas, St. Stephen, Epiphany, St. Vincent (Jan. 22), the Passion (March 25), the Resurrection (March 27), St. Lawrence (Aug. 10), Hippolytus (Aug. 12), and the Depositio SS. Petri et Pauli, which is assigned to Feb. 22 instead of June 29....This calendar is preserved in a single MS of the 12th cent. in the public library at Brussels". [85].

"4. Calendar of Tours.—A list of the fasts and vigils in the diocese of Tours instituted by Bishop Perpetuus (461490)". [85].

"5. Calendar of Carthage....Eugenius (d. 505). This latter date therefore marks the age of the final redaction of the calendar....Festivals in honour of NT events and personages have multiplied. " [85].

"6. Syrian calendar....In 1837 there was discovered by Dr. Henry Tattam in the monastery of St. Mary Deipara, on the Nitrian Lakes in Egypt, a codex containing—in addition to the Clementine Recognitions, Eusebius on the Theophania, and other works—an ancient calendar written in Syriac.... "

[date: earliest part: "not earlier than 362". latest part: "thus edited, the calendar in the MS [manuscript] of 411 has come down to us. "]. [85-86].

PAGE 303


from: On Roman Time, The Codex-Calendar of 354 and the Rhythms of Urban Life in Late Antiquity, Michele Renee Salzman, U. California, 1990. [Numerous illustrations].

"Today the Codex-Calendar of 354 survives only in fragments and only in copies made either from the original codex [evidence?] or from the Carolingian copy. Even the Carolingian version is lost; happily, Peiresc's detailed description of that important copy survives.7" [4].

"December survives in the R., V., and B. [see 71, etc.] manuscripts (Figs. 23, 43, 52). " [74]. [see descriptions of all manuscripts].

"the centerpiece of the Codex-Calendar of 354 was its illustrated Calendar, a section based entirely on pagan and secular imagery and recording only pagan festivals and imperial anniversaries. Thus, in 354 these pagan festivals and traditions, associated with the Roman senatorial aristocracy and the imperial government, and not the rites and traditions of the church, were accorded the greatest communal support.

The sections at issue are as follows:3

Section I Dedication to Valentinus

Section II Representations of the Public Fortune (Tyche) of Four Cities

Section III Imperial Dedication

List of Natales Caesarum

Section IV The Planets and Their Legends

Section V Effectus XII Signorum. Text and Signs of the Zodiac4

Section VI Calendar Text and Illustrations

Distichs of the Months5

[*Tetrastichs of the Months]

Section VII Portraits of the Consuls

Section VIII List of Consuls

Section IX Easter Cycle

Section X List of Urban Prefects of Rome

Section XI Depositions of the Bishops of Rome

Section XII Depositions of Martyrs

Section XIII List of Bishops of Rome

[*Section XIV Regions of the City of Rome (Notitia)]

[*Section XV World Chronicle (Liber Generationis)]

Section XVI Chronicle of the City of Rome (Chronica Urbis Romae)"


'Perhaps the most famous crux ["puzzle"] is the notation for 29 June in the Depositions of the Martyrs [Section XII]: "Petri in Catacumbas et Pauli Ostense, Tusco et Basso Cons A.D. 258. "61 [(?) A.D. (and B.C.) "was invented by Dionysius Exiguus" (d. 556 (Cam. Bio. Dict.)) "c. AD 500—after 525"] This, the earliest record of the veneration of the two saints Peter and Paul in Rome, omits any mention of the Shrine of the Apostles on the Vatican Hill, a notation that one would expect given Constantine's building of the Basilica of St. Peter.' [46].

[Christian apologetics follow].

PAGE 304

"The apostolic cult is recorded in this list of martyrs [Section XII] a second time, by the Festival of St. Peter's Chair on 22 February, a holiday commonly understood to commemorate the day on which the Apostle Peter took up office as first bishop of Rome.64 But why include this Christian holiday in a martyrology [a probable interpolation]?" [47].

"The Calendar reinforces other evidence for the enduring vitality of the cult of Sol....The cult of Sol had so many devotees that Augustine [354 - 430] considered it necessary to preach against them.115" [151].


from: Greek and Roman Chronology, Calendars and Years in Classical Antiquity,

Alan E. Samuel, U. Toronto, C.H. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung München, 1972.

[See: 4, 5].

"Alexandria1 [Egyptian Calendar]

29 Aug. I Thoth2

28 Sep. I Phaophi

28 Okt. I Hathyr

27 Nov. I Choiach

27 Dec. I Tybi "1The Egyptian revolving year was fixed

26 Jan. I Mecheir to the julian year in 30 B.C., when Thoth 25 Feb. I Phamenoth I was on August 29. " [177].

27 Mar. I Pharmouthi

26 Apr. I Pachon

26 May I Payni

25 Jun. I Epeiph

25 Jul. I Mesore

24 Aug. I Epagomenal" [177].

PAGE 305


from: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1995, Vol. 20. [article by: "The Editors"].

'The Christian Era is the era now in general use throughout the world. Its epoch, or commencement, is January 1, 754 AUC (ab urbe condita—"from the foundation of the city [of Rome]"—or anno urbis conditae—"in the year of the foundation of the city")....

THE CHRISTIAN ERA WAS INVENTED by Dionysius Exiguus [d. 556 (Cam. Bio. Dict.)] (c. AD 500—after 525), a monk of Scythian birth resident in Italy....

Somehow Dionysius reckoned the birth of Christ to have occurred in 753 AUC; but the Gospels state that Christ was born under Herod the Greati.e., at the latest in 750 AUC. Dionysius' dating was questioned by the English saint Bede in the 8th century and rejected outright by the German monk Regino of Prüm at the end of the 9th. Nevertheless, it has continued in use to the present day, and, as a result, the Nativity is reckoned to have taken place before the start of the Christian Era.

The new chronology was not regarded as a major discovery by its author; DIONYSIUS' OWN LETTERS ARE ALL DATED BY THE INDICTION (see below). THE USE OF THE CHRISTIAN ERA....DID NOT REPLACE THE INDICTION UNTIL THE TIME OF JOHN XIII (965-972). The Christian era did not become general in Europe until the 11th century; in most of Spain it was not adopted until the 14th and in the Greek world not until the 15th.' [589].

"The indiction was a cycle of 15 years originally based on the interval between imperial [Roman] tax assessments but during the Middle Ages always reckoned from the accession of Constantine, in 312. Years were given according to their place in the cycle of 15, the number of the indiction itself being ignored. This chronology was the most widespread in the early Middle Ages, but its use diminished rapidly in the 13th century, although public notaries continued to use it until the 16th. " [589].


from: The Christian Calendar, A Complete Guide to the Seasons of the Christian Year Telling the Story of Christ and the Saints from Advent to Pentecost, Text by L.W. Cowie and John Selwyn Gummer, G & C Merriam, 1974.

"In Rome, 25 December was the feast of the Birth of the Unconquered Sun, which commemorated the winter solstice, when the days begin to get lighter. THE CHURCH REPLACED THIS BY THE CELEBRATION OF THE BIRTH OF THE 'SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS' AND THE COMING OF THE 'LIGHT OF THE WORLD'. "


PAGE 306

[ADDENDUM D Epiphany and (more) Christmas]

from: A Greek-English Lexicon, Compiled by Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott, Revised and Augmented Throughout by Sir Henry Stuart Jones, Oxford, 1968 (1843).

[Greek word for Epiphany:] "appearance, coming into light or view...[2 Greek words] day-break, dawn, Plb. [Polybius c. 205 - c. 123 B.C.] 3·94·3....

2. esp. of deities appearing to a worshipper, manifestation, D.H. [Dionysius of Halicarnassus 1st Century B.C.] 2.68....

3. the first coming of Christ, 2 Ep.Ti.1.10; the second, I Ep.Ti.6.14, al. [al. = alibi (Latin) = elsewhere]. " [669].

[note: apparently the word Epiphany does not occur in the New Testament].


from: The Oxford English Dictionary, 1961 (1933).

"Epiphany...1. A manifestation or appearance of some divine or superhuman being. " [243].


from: Webster's Third New International Dictionary, 1961 (c1909).

"2epiphany...Gk epiphaneia...appearance, manifestation, fr. epiphanes coming to light, appearing...1 a: an appearance of revelatory manifestation of God or of a divine being or a god <the ~ of Jesus at the Transfiguration> <the prophetess of the ancient Greeks prophesied on the day of the god's ~> b: an incarnation of God or a god in early form <the ~ of God in Christ> <Greek goddesses that had rabbit and pig epiphanies>". [764].

PAGE 307


from: Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 1974 (1957).

"EPIPHANY....Feast of the Church on 6 Jan. It originated in the E., where it was celebrated in honour of the Lord's Baptism (sometimes also in connexion with the Nativity [evidence?]) from the 3rd cent. onwards. *Clement of Alexandria (d. c. 217) reports that the *Gnostic sect of the *Basilideans observed a feast in honour of Christ's Baptism around this time of year (Strom., i. 21 [see Addendum E])". [465].

Excursus: from: Handbook of Biblical Chronology, Jack Finegan, Princeton U., 1964.

'But if Jesus was born in midwinter, 5/4 B.C....,perhaps in December, 5 B.C....,and baptized in, say, November A.D. 26 (counting the fifteenth year of Tiberius from his joint rule of the provinces and taking the latest reckoning in terms of the several possible calendars and methods of counting...), then an equally strict interpretation of Lk 3:23 is possible to the effect that Jesus was baptized probably only a month or two before his thirtieth birthday..., i.e., at the time when he quite literally "began to be about thirty years of age. "' [274].


from: Religious Holidays and Calendars, An Encyclopaedic Handbook, Aidan Kelly, Peter Dresser, Linda M. Ross, Omnigraphics, 1993.

[note: "no" references. Bibliography].

"CHRISTIANS INCORPORATED THE CELEBRATION OF OTHER RELIGIONS INTO THEIR OWN TRADITIONS....One new festival the church established about this time [fourth century] was EPIPHANY. The Alexandrian Church of Isis had long celebrated the day which became Epiphany as the birthday of Osiris from the Virgin. The Mysteries of Isis originated under the Ptolemies as an Egyptian form of the Eleusinian Mysteries of Greece [?] and had been imported into Rome by the first century B.C.E. For several centuries, the Alexandrian Church of Isis represented serious competition to the Christian Church in the Roman world. It was from the tradition of the Alexandrian Church that Christianity garnered the practice of having daily liturgical services in large ornate temples. " [15-16].

PAGE 308


from: Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, James Hastings, ed., Scribner's Sons, 1961, Vol. V. ["Epiphany", by Kirsopp Lake (see article "Christmas", 273-274)].

"EPIPHANY.—This is the name usually given to the Christian feast held on January 6th. The early history of the feast is obscure [obscured by Christian superimposition!], but it certainly [evidence?] was generally OBSERVED BY A.D. 325, AND WAS PROBABLY NOT YET UNIVERSAL [EVIDENCE?] IN 311. "


[Note: Kirsopp Lake and other prominent Christian authors, try to implant the origins of "Christmas" (nativity festival, etc.), in the history of Epiphany (implying, since the birth of "Jesus", "his" nativity festival was subsumed in the Epiphany).].

"Still earlier is the evidence of Clem. Alex., who states that the Basilidians observed the feast of the Baptism on Jan. 6,5 but his words seem distinctly to imply that the feast was not observed in Catholic circles. The evidence for the celebration of the feast among Gnostics is, therefore, about a century earlier than that for its existence among Catholics. " [331].

"The original choice of Jan. 6. [Epiphany]—The solution of this problem is unattainable at present. The fact which stands out is that the earliest evidence for the feast is that of the Basilidians [Alexandria, Egypt]. We have every reason for believing that these Gnostics were syncretistic in their methods, and this draws attention to a story in Epiphanius [c. 315 - 403 (St)] (Panarion 51) as to the feast which used to be held in Alexandria in the Koreion, or Temple of Kore, on Jan. 6. He says that on the eve of that day it was the custom to spend the night in singing and attending to the images of the gods. At dawn a descent was made to a crypt, and a wooden image was brought up, which had the sign of a cross, and a star of gold, marked on hands, knees, and head. This was carried round in procession, and then taken back to the crypt; and it was said that this was done because 'the Maiden' had given birth to 'the Aeon [(Gnostic) yours to define].' With this may be compared the statement of Macrobius (i. 18. 9) [in Latin] [see following Excursus (310)]:" [332].

PAGE 309

Excursus: from: Macrobius [5th century], The Saturnalia, Translated with an Introduction and Notes, Percival Vaughan Davies, Columbia U., 1969.

["Book 1, Chapter 18", 9 (and 10)] "[9] Likewise, statues of Liber Pater [Apollo (Sun)] represent him sometimes as a child and sometimes as a young man; again, as a man with a beard and also as an old man, as for example the statue of the god which the Greeks call Bassareus4 and Briseus,5 and that which in Campania the Neapolitans worship under the name Hebon. [10] These differences in age have reference to the sun, for at the winter solstice the sun would seem to be a little child, like that which the Egyptians bring forth from a shrine on an appointed day, since the day is then at its shortest and the god is accordingly shown as a tiny infant.6 Afterward, however, as the days go on and lengthen, the sun at the spring equinox acquires strength in a way comparable to growth to adolescence, and so the god is given the appearance of a young man. Subsequently, he is represented in full maturity, with a beard, at the summer solstice, when the sun's growth is completed. After that, the days shorten, as though with the approach of his old age—hence the fourth of the figures ["old man"] by which the god is portrayed. " [129]. [See: "Liber, 128-34 passim"].

["Book I, Chapter 18", 7] "[7] I first maintained that Apollo is to be indentified [sic] with the sun, and I afterward explained that Liber Pater is himself Apollo; and so there can be no doubt but that the sun and Liber Pater are to be regarded as manifestations of the same deity. " [129].

PAGE 310

Excursus: from: The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Barbara G. Walker, Harper & Row, c1983.

[Note: much information; research to corroborate, etc.].


[Temple of Liber dedicated 493 BC (Scullard [269], 277)]

Rome's Father Bacchus was also Liber Pater, consort of the Goddess Libera ["invoked where men feared impotency. " (Guide to the Gods, 1992, 436)], or Libra. Their divine marriage took place at the LIBERALIA on March 17, later Christianized as St. Patrick's Day, since Patrick or Patricius was a Celtic form of the same god.1

His Greek form was Dionysus Liber, annually reborn as the Divine Child laid in a winnowing-basket or manger [source(s)?]. This ceremony was adopted into the legend of the infant Christ [evidence?], called a son of the god once worshipped as Liber in Jerusalem [taking liberties with the text of Tacitus (see following Excursus)].2

[(footnote2) "2. Tacitus, 660. " ("Tacitus. Complete Works. New York: Modern Library, 1942. " (see following Excursus))]

When the Roman temple of the Great Mother was converted into the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, the manger ceremony remained an essential part of its Christmas observances. Usener claimed the church was founded by Pope Liberius, possibly a confusion with the name of the pagan god.3 (See Dionysus.)

Votaries of Liber were "libertines. " The modern meaning still evokes their orgiastic rites. "Liberty" was also derived from their cult feast of the Liberalia, when, as part of the festivity, slaves were temporarily free and permitted to behave as if they were masters [applies to the Saturnalia (only?)]. This practice passed into medieval Carnival customs.' [537].

PAGE 311

Excursus: from: The Complete Works of Tacitus, Edited, and with an Introduction, by Moses Hadas, Modern Library, 1942.

[Tacitus c. 55 - 120 (Roman historian)].

[See: "The History", Book V, 1.—13.].

"From the fact, however, that their priests used to chant to the music of flutes and cymbals, and to wear garlands of ivy, and that a golden vine was found in the temple, some have thought that they worshipped Father Liber, the conqueror of the East, though their institutions do not by any means harmonize with the theory; for Liber established a festive and cheerful worship, while the Jewish religion is tasteless and mean. " [660].

["The History", Book V, 5.].

"Probably nothing will in the end throw so much light on the origin of the Epiphany feast, and also on that of Baptism, as a general study of the primitive belief of the connexion between water, the spirit world, and the CYCLE OF THE SUN. "

[End of article] [332].


from: A Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, [Sir] William Smith, ed., In Two Volumes.—Vol. I, Kraus, 1968 (Burr 1880).

["Christmas (Festival of)", by Robert Sinker, Librarian of Trinity College, Cambridge].

'History of Festival. ["Christmas"]

We do not find in the earliest Christian times uniformity of observance as to the day on which our Lord's Nativity was commemorated. The earliest allusion to it is made by Clement of Alexandria, and is of so much importance that we shall give it at length. After speaking of the year of our Lord's birth, he proceeds: "And there are some who over curiously...[Greek word] assign not only the year but even the day of the birth of our Saviour, which they say was in the 28th year of Augustus, on the 25th day of Pachon.b And the followers of Basilides [Gnostic sect] celebrate also the day of His baptism...[Greek words] spending the night before in readings, and they say that it was in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar, on the 15th of the month Tubi, but some say that it was on the 11th of the same month. . . . Further, some of them say that he was born on the 24th or 25th of Pharmuthi. " (Stromata, lib. i. c. 21, vol. i. p. 407, ed. Potter). The two days here specified as those on which the Nativity was celebrated, Pachon 25, and Pharmuthi 24 or 25, are respectively May 20, April 21 [(now) 19] or 22 [(now) 20]'. [358].

PAGE 312

[footnote] "f IT WILL BE NOTICED THAT THE WESTERN CHURCH MARKS THE EPIPHANY BY A GREEK NAME, AND THE NATIVITY BY A LATIN NAME. It is a reasonable inference that the former took its rise in the East, and was thence introduced into the West; while THE LATTER ["NATIVITY"] AS A SEPARATE FESTIVAL WAS OF DISTINCTLY WESTERN GROWTH. " [360].

'From the above-quoted language of Chrysostom [c. 347 - 407 (St)] ["Homily of Chrysostom to the people of Antioch"], we may notice; (1) that about the year 386 A.D. the festival of the Nativity, as distinct from and independent of the Epiphany [No "hard evidence" has been presented to confirm that the Epiphany, in the first three centuries A.D., encompassed the Nativity], was a novelty of a few years' standing in the East; (2) that Chrysostom believed [Chrysostom (Greek: "golden mouth") was a famous preacher. A professional "believer"!] that the Western Church had celebrated an independent festival "from the beginning and by old tradition [evidence?];" (3) that the change was met with opposition, and therefore would be gradual.' [361].

"Whether before the time of Chrysostom [Kellner (282) lists a Christmas celebration, December 25, 379, Constantinople, Gregory Nazianzus (also: Bishop Flavian, preceded Chrysostom)], any part of the Eastern Church observed the Nativity on December 25, it is difficult to say. " [361].

"The result of all this investigation then is roughly this. In the case of the Eastern Church there is no certain evidence pointing to a general celebration of the Nativity on December 25 before the time of Chrysostom [c. 386]. Till then it has been held on January 6 in conjunction with the Epiphany ["every" author invokes this. Evidence? Pious hopes (demand characteristics [see #3, 57, 289.])!], and even [sic!] after this date [c. 386] some churches of the East retained for some time their old plan [description?]. " [361].

'In the West WE ARE TOLD [by Chrysostom (St)] that the festival had been recognized, and celebrated on December 25 "from the beginning. " WE ARE NOT ABLE TO PRODUCE ANY VERY ANCIENT WITNESSES FROM WESTERN FATHERS, but may fairly assume that it had existed sufficiently long for Chrysostom to be able to use reasonably and without fear of contradiction such a word as...[Greek word]. We have also called attention to the recognition of it in ancient calendars ["ancient calendars" evidence is not impressive (obscure, 4th century, etc.), and not improved (as evidence) in later authors (see presentations herein)]. " [361].

'Since the time of Chrysostom, the Nativity has been received by all churches of Christendom as one of their most important festivals. Thus, in a sermon attributed to Gregory of Nvssa [Gregory of Nyssa (St) c. 330 - c. 395], BUT OF DOUBTFUL AUTHENTICITY, it is said: "Now is heard accordant throughout the whole inhabited world the sound of them that celebrate the feast" (Patrol. Gr. xlvi. 1148). Chrysostom (In B. Philogonium 4, vol. i. 497) speaks of it as second in importance to no festival, "which a man would not be wrong in calling the chief...[Greek word] of all festivals. "' [more noise, from Gregory of Nyssa, and Chrysostom!]. [361-362].

PAGE 313

"It is curious that in one of his epistles Augustine [354 - 430] does not seem to recognize the Nativity as a festival of the first order [of any order?]". [362].


from: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1994, Vol. 24. ["Mystery Religions", by Reinhold Merkelbach (1918 - ) (See: The International Who's Who 1995-96, 1035)].

"In the Christian congregations of the first two centuries, the variety of rites and creeds was almost as great as in the mystery communities; few of the early Christian

congregations could have been called orthodox according to later standards. THE DATE OF CHRISTMAS WAS PURPOSELY FIXED ON DECEMBER 25 TO PUSH INTO THE BACKGROUND THE GREAT FESTIVAL OF THE SUN GOD, AND EPIPHANY ON JANUARY 6 TO SUPPLANT AN EGYPTIAN FESTIVAL OF THE SAME DAY. The Easter ceremonies rivalled the pagan spring festivals. The

religious art of the Christians continued the pagan art of the preceding generations. The Christian representations of the Madonna and child are clearly the continuation of the representations of Isis and her son suckling her breast. The statue of the Good Shepherd carrying his lost sheep and the pastoral themes on Christian sarcophagi were also TAKEN OVER from pagan craftsmanship. " [713].

PAGE 314


from: The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Barbara G. Walker, Harper & Row, c1983. [Note: much information; research to corroborate, etc.].


FOR ITS FIRST THREE CENTURIES, THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH KNEW NO BIRTHDAY FOR ITS SAVIOR. During the 4th century there was much argument about adoption of a date. Some favored the popular date of the Koreion, when the divine Virgin gave birth to the new Aeon in Alexandria.1 NOW called Twelfth Night or Epiphany, this date is still the official nativity in Armenian churches, and celebrated with more pomp than Christmas by the Greek Orthodox.2" [166].

"Roman churchmen tended to favor the Mithraic winter-solstice festival called Dies Natalis Solis Invictus, Birthday of the Unconquered Sun.3 Blended with the Greek sun-festival of the Helia by the emperor Aurelian, this December 25 nativity also honored such gods as Attis, Dionysus, Osiris, Syrian Baal, and other versions of the solar Son of Man who bore such titles as Light of the World, Sun of Righteousness, and Savior.4 Most pagan Mysteries celebrated the birth of the Divine Child at the winter solstice. Norsemen celebrated the birthday of their Lord, Frey, at the nadir of the sun in the darkest days of winter, known to them as Yule. The night of birth, Christmas Eve, was called Modranect, Latin matrum noctem, the Night of the Motheroriginally a greater festival than Christmas Day.5" [166].

PAGE 315

[ADDENDUM E Clement of Alexandria]

from: The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Translations of The Writing of the Fathers down to A.D. 325, The Rev. Alexander Roberts [1826 - 1901], D.D., and [Sir] James Donaldson [1831 - 1915], LL.D., Editors, Eerdmans, 1962 (1867-), Vol. II.

["The Stromata, or Miscellanies. " "Book I. Chap. XXI. "].

[Clement of Alexandria c. 150 - c. 215] 'And our Lord was born in the twenty-eighth year, when first the census was ordered to be taken in the reign of Augustus. And to prove that this is true, it is written in the Gospel by Luke as follows: "And in the fifteenth year, in the reign of Tiberius Caesar, the word of the Lord came to John, the son of Zacharias. " And again in the same book: "And Jesus was coming up to His baptism, being about thirty years old,"2 ["2Luke iii. I, 2, 23. "] and so on. And that it was necessary for Him to preach only a year, this also is written: 3["3.... Isa. lxi. I, 2. "] "He hath sent Me to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD. " This both the prophet spake, and the Gospel. Accordingly, in fifteen years of Tiberius and fifteen years of Augustus; so were completed the thirty years till the time He suffered. And from the time that He suffered till the destruction of Jerusalem are forty-two years and three months; and from the destruction of Jerusalem to the death of Commodus, a hundred and twenty-eight years, ten months, and three days. From the birth of Christ, therefore, to the death of Commodus [Commodus died Dec. 31, 192] are, in all, a hundred and ninety-four years, one month, thirteen days. And there are those who have determined not only the year of our Lord's birth, but also the day; and they say that it took place in the twenty-eighth year of Augustus, and in the twenty-fifth day of Pachon [May 20]. And the followers of Basilides [Alexandria, Egypt ("In...828, Venice...stole the relics of St Mark from Alexandria". [see #6, 166])] hold the day of his baptism as a festival, spending the night before in readings.

And they say that it ["baptism"] was the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar, the fifteenth day of the month Tubi [January 10]; and some that is was the eleventh of the same month [January 6]. And treating of His passion, with very great accuracy, some say that it took place in the sixteenth year of Tiberius, on the twenty-fifth of Phamenoth; and others the twenty-fifth of Pharmuthi and others say that on the nineteenth of Pharmuthi the Saviour suffered. Further, others say that He was born on the twenty-fourth [April 19] or twenty-fifth [April 20] of Pharmuthi.4' [333].

[See: Egyptian calendar, Addendum C, 297-306].

[Note stylistics! Compare: #3, 67, 350. ("transitional tags") (also 348., 349.). Relationship?].

PAGE 316


from: Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, James Hastings, ed., Scribner's Sons, 1961, Vol. III. ["Christmas", by Kirsopp Lake].


(a) Clement of Alexandria's statement as to the practice of the Basilidians may, but need not, mean that they observed a Feast of the Nativity. If they did, it was either on Jan. 6 [No! date for "baptism"! May 20, and April 19 and April 20, are birth-dates mentioned by Clement] or on Apr. 19-20 (for the evidence, see II. I). Clement's words do not necessarily mean that the Orthodox had no Feast of the Nativity, but certainly do not imply the contrary. He [Clement] himself dated the Nativity on Nov. 18 (see Strom. i. 147, 17 [ed. Sylberg], and cf. õ II. I, below). " [601].

[the "Nov. 18" date is an idea of this author (Kirsopp Lake [605]). Inappropriate!].

"It would be very curious if it really were true that in Egypt the view obtained that Jesus was a seven months' child, for exactly the same belief was held about Osiris. " [605].


from: The Catholic Encyclopedia, c1908, Vol. IV.

"Clement's style is difficult, his works are full of borrowed excerpts, and his teaching is with difficulty reduced to a coherent body of doctrine. " [46].


from: New Catholic Encyclopedia, c1967, Vol. III.

"Stromata ["patchwork" (New Schaff-Herzog Ency., 1958, V. 3, 137)] (tapestries—a term used for a work of very free composition comparable to an anthology or miscellany), in eight books, is the most important of Clement's extant writings, and is a veritable mine of ideas, but it defies analysis. The absence of a plan and the deliberate obscurity of style make for difficult reading. Certain principal themes dominate the whole: the relations between Christianity and *Hellenism, and between faith and philosophy". [943].

PAGE 317


from: Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis, Books One to Three, Translated by John Ferguson, The Catholic University of America Press, c1991.

"Textual Tradition

(29) The Stromateis survives in an eleventh-century manuscript from Florence (L = Laurentianus V 3), which has been supposed to have belonged, like Parisinus 451 (preserving Protrepticus) to Arethas, Archbishop of Caesarea. It is carelessly written, with errors of names and numbers, phrases omitted and the like. The only other manuscript is the sixteenth-century Parisinus Supplementum Graecum 250, which is in the direct line of descent from the earlier manuscript and of no independent value. " [15].


from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology,

[Sir] William Smith, ed., In Three Volumes—Vol. I, AMS, 1967 (1844).

["Clemens Alexandri'nus", by Samuel Davidson].

"It cannot safely be questioned, that Clement held the fundamental truths [sic!] of Christianity and exhibited genuine piety. But in his mental character the philosopher predominated. His learning was great, his imagination lively, his power of perception not defective; but he was unduly prone to speculation. " [786].

"He [Clement] is supposed to have leaned more to the Stoics than to any other sect. He seems, indeed, to have been more attached to philosophy than any of the fathers with the exception of Origen. " [786].

"The Stromata are in eight books, but PROBABLY THE LAST BOOK DID NOT PROCEED FROM CLEMENT HIMSELF. The treatise is rambling and discursive, without system, order, or method, but contains much valuable information on many points of antiquity, particularly the history of philosophy. " [787].

"His Hypotyposes in eight books...contained, according to Eusebius (Hist. Eccl. iv. 14), a summary exposition of the books of Scripture. Photius [c. 810 - c. 895 (Patriarch of Constantinople)] gives a most unfavourable account of it, affirming that it contained many fabulous and impious notions similar to those of the Gnostic heretics. But at the same time he suggests, that these monstrous sentiments may not have proceeded from Clement, as there is nothing similar to them in his acknowledged works. MOST PROBABLY THEY WERE INTERPOLATED. " [787].

PAGE 318


from: Early Christian Thought and the Classical Tradition, Studies in Justin, Clement, and Origen, Henry Chadwick, Regius Professor of Divinity in the University of Oxford, Oxford, 1966.

"it remains true to say that the Church rejected the Gnostics [for example: the Basilidians (Alexandria, Egypt)] because they used reason too little rather than because they used it too much....the Church could not escape reasoned argument if it was ever to explain itself and so extend its mission to the world. A preacher in any age called to address himself to trained minds cannot [can (if he has sufficient power, etc.)] be content to assert and to reiterate, like the Bellman in Lewis Carroll's Hunting of the Snark whose principle was 'What I tell you three times is true'. "

Excursus: from: The Panarion ['or "medicine chest" (of antidotes to the poisons of the sects)' (Foreword)] of St. Epiphanius [c. 315 - 403], Bishop of Salamis [Cyprus], Selected Passages, Translated by Philip R. Amidon, S.J., Oxford, 1990 (374 - 376 C.E.).

"The reader should always take note, for example, of the times when Epiphanius mentions, usually in passing, the continued existence of a sect down to his own time, and of his complaints about the formidable obstacle to Christian mission represented by the Gnostic groups who called themselves Christians and whose licentiousness [one traditional Christian (et al.) "softening process" — precursor to attempted "absorption"!] scandalized honest pagans. " [Foreword].

"Clement [Clement of Alexandria c. 150 - c. 215 (teacher of Origen)] and Origen [c. 185 - c. 224] were not the first educated Christians to meet the philosophical question. The way had been mapped out in advance by the second-century apologists, above all by Justin Martyr [c. 100 - c. 165 (St)] who is certainly the greatest of them besides being the most voluminous. Since it is he more than anyone else who constructs the platform upon which Clement the Origen will stand, he [Justin Martyr] must detain us for a space. " [9-10].

[Justin Martyr [c. 100 - c. 165 (St)] ("most voluminous") does not mention "Christmas" (nativity festival, etc.).].

PAGE 319

[ADDENDUM F Comments]

Regarding "Christmas" (nativity festival, etc.) in the first 3 centuries A.D.: the "star" ("solo"? [valid?]) witness presented is Clement of Alexandria [c. 150 - c. 215], a witness of the Church, and resident of Alexandria, Egypt; who references a Gnostic sect, the Basilidians (Alexandria, Egypt). The Stromateis (source for "Christmas" history), of Clement of Alexandria, "survives in an eleventh-century [problematic] manuscript from Florence".

Other famous Fathers of the Church, and their contributions to the history of "Christmas" (nativity festival, etc.):

Justin Martyr [c. 100 - c. 165 (St) (Ephesus. Rome.)]? Zero!

Tertullian [c. 160 - c. 220 (Carthage, Africa)]? Zero!

Origen [c. 185 - c. 224 (Alexandria)], student of Clement of Alexandria, and prolific writer? Zero!

Eusebius [c. 263 - c. 340 (Caesarea)], "Father of Church History"

(Ox. Dict. C.C.)? Zero!

and (first 3 centuries A.D.): "Pagan" and "Jewish" witnesses for "Christmas" of the Christians? Apparently, Zero!

Note: in the first 3 centuries A.D., the Christian numismatic record (including "Christmas" [nativity festival, etc.]) is Zero!

[See: #2, 20-22, 38-39 (numismatics)].

The assumptions of the Christian authors (et al.) include (see A. B. C.):

A. An historical "Jesus".

1. Not historical (a Fictional character). See: #3, 41-104. Etc.

B. A nativity festival ("Christmas") for "Jesus".

1. No compelling evidence before the 4th century.

PAGE 320

C.The nativity festival ("Christmas") was subsumed in Epiphany.

1. Unwarranted assumption!

Note: Epiphany (as a "Christian feast") began in the 4th century. [See: Addendum D, 307-315 (Kirsopp Lake). Etc.].

Note: "Christmas", like much of Christianism ("Christianity"), developed in the notorious 4th century. See: #6, 171-174; #10, 226-233 (The Theodosian Code). Etc.

PAGE 321

[ADDENDUM G The Legends of the Saints]

from: The Legends of the Saints, Hippolyte Delehaye [1859 - 1941], Bollandist [Jesuit editor], Translated by Donald Attwater, Fordham U., 1962 (Brussels 1905).

[a Classic!]. [See: #3, 57 (288., 289.); 62-63 (315.-328. (Witnesses))].

"So, unless we strictly control our mental processes and discipline our impressions, we are liable to inject a large subjective element into our account of things, and truth will suffer. To give exact expression to a complex reality calls for sound and practised abilities and considerable effort, and consequently for a stimulus proportioned to the end in view.

It will be agreed that, ordinarily speaking, the average man has not got the mental energy required for this purpose. It is the privilege of only a few to be in the habit of analysing their thoughts and feelings and controlling the least impulses of their hearts, to such a degree that they are always on their guard against that natural tendency to mix up what we imagine with what we know. Even those whose natural gifts and education are well above the average do not invariably bring these advantages into play. " [13].

'The intellectual capacity of people at large is manifestly very limited everywhere, and it would be a mistake to suppose that in general it is improved through the influence of the more gifted. On the contrary, it is the élite which is acted on by the others, and there would be little logic in attributing special value to a popular tradition because it had grown up in a society that was not without intelligent and able members. In any crowd the better elements are swamped, and the average of intelligence is well below middling; its level can best be gauged by comparing it with the intelligence of a child.

What it comes to is that the generality of human minds can take in only a very few ideas, and those of the simplest. Its deductions are equally simple, made through a few intuitive principles, and they are often no more than mere associations of ideas or images.

The exceeding simplicity of the general mind and disposition is clearly shown in the legends it creates. For instance, the number of people and events it remembers is usually very limited; and its heroes do not live in memory side by side but replace one another, the latest comer inheriting all the qualities and achievements of his predecessors.

Antiquity has bequeathed to us outstanding examples of such "ABSORPTION"....' [15-16].

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"Popular understanding of history is no less unsophisticated. For example, its idea of the persecutions under the Roman empire. No distinction is made between the emperors who ordered or those who allowed proceedings against Christians; there is but one epithet for them, they are all impiissimus [(provisional) "wicked, abandoned men" (A Latin Dict., Oxford, 1962 (1879))], whether it be Nero, Decius or Diocletian, Trajan, Marcus Aurelius or Alexander Severus. All are equally inspired by the same insane hatred of Christianity, none has any concern but to destroy it. Often it is the emperor in person who presides at the trial of Christians, involving long journeys for himself WHICH HISTORY DOES NOT RECORD—and for good reason.

It was obvious that the head of state could not be everywhere at once, but that is no obstacle to his rage; he is worthily represented by emissaries, who scour the whole empire. Christians are outlawed everywhere, searched out and dragged before ferocious judges, who contrive to invent frightful tortures, THAT IN FACT WERE NEVER INFLICTED ON EVEN THE WORST CRIMINALS. The intervention from on high which prevents these ingenious torments from harming the martyrs throws their persecutors' cruelty into higher relief, and at the same time provides an adequate and perceptible explanation of the numerous conversions which atrocious cruelty could do nothing to stop.16

That is a miniature sketch of the persecutions as seen in popular legend. Variations in legislation and in enforcement of the laws, the very marked individuality of the great enemies of Christianity, the local character of some outbreaks in which Christians suffered, such things do not touch the mind of the people at all; THEY WOULD MUCH RATHER HAVE A SIMPLE PICTURE THAT IS BRIGHTLY COLOURED AND STRONGLY DRAWN THAN A PRODUCT OF ALL THESE COMPLICATED FACTORS. " [17-18].

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[ADDENDUM H The Theodosian Code]

from: Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, James Hastings, ed., Scribner's Sons, 1961, Vol. III. ["Christmas", by Kirsopp Lake [1872 - 1946]].

"Imperial legal ordinances.—In 389, Valentinianus issued a list of legal holidays (Cod. Theodos. ii. 8, 19) [see below]; among which only Sundays and Easter (including Holy Week and Easter Week) are reckoned. Theodosius made no change in this respect in 438, nor did Alaric in 506, but Christmas and Epiphany appear in the contemporary expansions of Alaric's work, and they were inserted in the Justinian Code of 534. It is, however, noteworthy that the regulation forbidding performances in theatres and circuses on Sunday, which existed as early as 386 [originally an exception was made for the Imperial birthdays and accession feasts, but this was repealed in 409], was in 400 [425? (see 326)] extended to the 15 days of Easter, Christmas, and Epiphany (see Cod. Theodos. XV. 5. 2, ii. 8, 20, 23-5) [see 324-326]. " [601].


from: The Theodosian Code and Novels and the Sirmondian Constitutions, Clyde Pharr, Princeton U., 1952. [See: #10, 226-233 (The Theodosian Code)].


[II, 8, 1] I.2 Emperor Constantine Augustus to Helpidius.

Just as it appears to Us most unseemly that the Day of the Sun3 ["3Dies Solis. Constantine, purposely identifies the pagan day for the worship of the sun with the Lord's Day of the Christians. " (?)] (Sunday), which is celebrated on account of its own veneration, should be occupied with legal altercations and with noxious controversies of the litigation of contending parties, so it is pleasant and fitting that those acts which are especially desired shall be accomplished on that day. I. Therefore all men shall have the right to emancipate and to manumit on this festive day, and the legal formalities4 thereof are not forbidden.

Posted on the fifth day before the nones of July at Cagliari in the year of the second consulship of Crispus and Constantine Caesars.July 3, 321. " [44].

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[II, 8, 19] "19.8 Emperors Valentinian, Theodosius, and Arcadius Augustuses to Albinus, Prefect to the City.

We order all days to be court days.9 It shall be lawful for only those days to remain as holidays which throughout two months a very indulgent year has recognized as a respite from toil for the mitigation of summer heat and for the harvesting of the autumn crops.10 I. We also set aside the kalends of January (January I) as a customary rest day. 2. To the aforementioned days We add the natal days of the greatest cities, Rome11 and Constantinople,12 to which the law ought to defer, since it also was born of them. 2. [sic] We count in the same category the holy Paschal days, of which seven precede and seven follow Easter; likewise the Days of the Sun3 (Sundays) which revolve upon themselves at regular intervals. 4. It is necessary for Our anniversaries also to be held in equal reverence, that is, both the day which brought forth the auspicious beginning of Our life and the day which produced the beginning of Our imperial power.

Given on the seventh day before the ides of August at Rome in the year of the consulship of Timasius and Promotus.August 7, 389. " [44].

[II, 8, 25] "(After other matters.) On the Lord's Day, which is commonly called the Day of the Sun, We permit absolutely no amusements to be produced, even if by should be the day to which are assigned the solemn rites that are due to the birthday.17 ["17Natalis dies, the Birthday of Our Lord?"]

Given on the kalends of April at Ravenna in the year of the eighth consulship of Honorius Augustus and the third consulship of Theodosius Augustus.April 1, 409.19" [45].


[XV, 5, 2] "2. Moreover, We issue the forewarning that no person shall transgress Our law4 which We formerly issued, namely, that no one shall give a spectacle for the people on the Day of the Sun (Sunday) or disturb divine worship by holding such celebrations.

Given on the thirteenth day before the kalends of June at Heraclea in the year of the consulship of Emperor Designate Honorius and the Most Noble Evodius.May 20, 386; 392-395.5" [432].

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[XV, 5, 5] "On the following occasions all amusements of the theaters and the circuses shall be denied throughout all cities to the people thereof, and the minds of

Christians and of the faithful shall be wholly occupied in the worship of God: namely,

ON THE LORD'S DAY, which is the first day of the whole week, ON THE NATAL DAY AND EPIPHANY OF CHRIST, and on the day of Easter and of Pentecost....


Given on the kalends of February at Constantinople in the year of the eleventh consulship of Theodosius Augustus and the first11 consulship of Valentinian Caesar.February 1, 425." [433].

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[ADDENDUM P Thomas Paine]

from: The Writings of Thomas Paine [1737 - 1809], Collected and Edited by Moncure Daniel Conway [1832 - 1907], 4 Vols., Vol. III, c1895.


(Sent to the President [Thomas Jefferson], Christmas Day, 1802.)" ["379"].

"—I congratulate you on THE BIRTHDAY OF THE NEW SUN, NOW CALLED CHRISTMAS DAY; and I make you a present of a thought on Louisiana.

T.P. " [380].


from: The Writings of Thomas Paine [1737 - 1809], Collected and Edited by Moncure Daniel Conway [1832 - 1907], 4 Vols., Vol. IV, c1896.

[The following phenomenal expression from Thomas Paine, thanks to: The Book Your Church Doesn't Want You to Read, Editor Tim C. Leedom, 1995 (1993). Found at the office of "The Truth Seeker Company", San Diego, CA, 7/3/96. A "Must See" book! Page 19: "Astro-Theology", Jordan Maxwell. Thomas Paine quotation, from the Editor, Tim C. Leedom.

Also, I thank the above, for stimulating a refocus on Thomas Paine.].


"[This paragraph is omitted from the pamphlet copyrighted by Madame Bonneville in 1810, as also is the last sentence of the next paragraph.—Editor.]" [293].

[from: '"Origin of Freemasonry," 1805....This essay was published posthumously by Marguerite de Bonneville.' (Thomas Paine Apostle of Freedom, Jack Fruchtman, 1994, 491)].

[footnote] '1This essay ["Origin of Free-Masonry"] appeared in New York, 1818, with an anonymous preface of which I [Moncure Conway] quote the opening paragraph:

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"This tract is a chapter belonging to the Third Part of the "Age of Reason," as will be seen by the references made in it to preceding articles, as forming part of the same work. It was culled from the writings of Mr. Paine after his death, and published in a mutilated state by Mrs. Bonneville, his executrix. Passages having a reference to the Christian religion she erased, with a view no doubt of accommodating the work to the prejudices of bigotry. These, however, have been restored from the original manuscript, except a few lines which were rendered illegible. " Madame Bonneville published this fragment in New York, 1810 (with the omissions I point out) as a pamphlet....—Editor.' [290].

[See: #3, 85, Reference 200. (Thomas Paine, Dupuis, and Volney)].


"As to the book called the Bible, it is blasphemy to call it the word of God. It is a book of lies and contradictions, and a history of bad times and bad men. There are

but a few good characters in the whole book. THE FABLE OF CHRIST AND HIS TWELVE APOSTLES, WHICH IS A PARODY ON THE SUN AND THE TWELVE SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC, COPIED FROM THE ANCIENT RELIGIONS OF THE EASTERN WORLD, IS THE LEAST HURTFUL PART. EVERY THING TOLD OF CHRIST HAS REFERENCE TO THE SUN. His reported resurrection is at sunrise, and that on the first day of the week; that is, ON THE DAY ANCIENTLY DEDICATED TO THE SUN, and from thence called SUNDAYIN LATIN DIES SOLIS, THE DAY OF THE SUN; as the next day, Monday, is Moon-day. But there is no room in a letter to explain these things....

I have now, my friend, given you a fac simile of my mind on the subject of religion and creeds, and my wish is, that you make this letter as publicly known as you find opportunities of doing.

Yours, in friendship,

N.Y. Aug. 15, 1806. THOMAS PAINE. " [423].

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