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Who is the Greek God of the Sun?

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581082.  Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:03 pm Reply with quote

nuttyskin wrote:
Mithras ... whose cult largely provided the (as it were) press-pack materials for the new boy when the Empire re-formatted to Christianity.

A controversial assertion, perhaps. Roman Mithraism would appear to post-date Christianity (the earliest known Mithraic artefact is dated to 90AD) - and if that's true then any borrowing of ideas would be more likely to have gone in the opposite direction.

587710.  Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:28 pm Reply with quote

I thought the egyptian jackal god was the same as the greek sun god... maybe im mistaken :S

742873.  Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:07 pm Reply with quote

There was also Eos, who was specifically the goddess of the sunrise. First sentence of the Illiad: 'rhodo daktylos eos', translated to English iirc as 'Rosy fingered Dawn.' Prompting the endless schoolboy joke of 'lucky old Dawn.'

Ion Zone
742907.  Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:11 pm Reply with quote

the foreign cult of Mithras, another solar deity; as well as Sol Invictus, "the unconquered sun", whose birthday was December 25th and whose cult largely provided the (as it were) press-pack materials for the new boy when the Empire re-formatted to Christianity.

I'm afraid I've royally debunked this one, Mithras has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity. The cult is also a bit of a mystery, very little is known about them.

Mythras, synopsis.

Mithras and Christianity

747877.  Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:54 pm Reply with quote

Eishkimojo wrote:
It's a common misconception that Apollo is the Greek god of the sun, but he is in fact the god of light, prophecy, art, song, and poetry.

Odd; I always thought Apollo the god of agriculture and archery, of plague and healing. You didn’t mention any of these.

Sometimes he combined this aspects, as in Book Ⅰ of the Iliad, in which the Archer for nine days assailed the Greeks with plague‐arrows:
    And in the anguish of a father mourn’d.
    Disconsolate, not daring to complain,
    Silent he wander’d by the sounding main;
    Till, safe at distance, to his god he prays,
    The god who darts around the world his rays.

    “O Smintheus! sprung from fair Latona’s line,
    Thou guardian power of Cilla the divine,
    Thou source of light! whom Tenedos adores,
    And whose bright presence gilds thy Chrysa’s shores.

    If e’er with wreaths I hung thy sacred fane,
    Or fed the flames with fat of oxen slain;
    God of the silver bow! thy shafts employ,
    Avenge thy servant, and the Greeks destroy.”

    Thus Chryses pray’d.— the favouring power attends,
    And from Olympus’ lofty tops descends.

    Bent was his bow, the Grecian hearts to wound;
    Fierce as he moved, his silver shafts resound.
    Breathing revenge, a sudden night he spread,
    And gloomy darkness roll’d about his head.
    The fleet in view, he twang’d his deadly bow,
    And hissing fly the feather’d fates below.

    On mules and dogs the infection first began;
    And last, the vengeful arrows fix’d in man.
    For nine long nights, through all the dusky air,
    The pyres, thick-flaming, shot a dismal glare.
Or, if you prefer a more recent rendering:
    And moving off to a safe distance, over and over
    the old priest prayed to the son of sleek‐haired Leto,
    lord Apollo, “Hear me, Apollo! God of the silver bow
    who strides the walls of Chryse and Cilla sacrosanct—
    lord in power of Tenedos—Smintheus, god of the plague!
    If I ever roofed a shrine to please your heart,
    ever burned the long rich bones of bulls and goats
    on your holy altar, now, now bring my prayer to pass.
    Pay the Danaans back—your arrows for my tears!”

    His prayer went up and Phoebus Apollo heard him.
    Down he strode from Olympus' peaks, storming at heart
    with his bow and hooded quiver slung across his shoulders.
    The arrows clanged at his back as the god quaked with rage,
    the god himself on the march and down he came like night.
    Once against the ships he dropped to a knee, let fly a shaft
    and a terrifying clash rang out from the great silver bow.
    First he went for the mules and circling dogs but then,
    launching a piercing shaft at the men themselves,
    he cut them down in droves—
    and the corpse‐fires burned on, night and day, no end in sight.

    Nine days the arrows of god swept through the army.
Corpse‐fires burning day and night, no end in sight: the Iliad’s imagery never grows old—nor comforting. Once you’ve read this, it is hard not to forever think of Apollo as god of the plague.



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