ⓘ Sol Invictus

Sol Invictus

ⓘ Sol Invictus

For the folk music band, see Sol Invictus band.

Sol Invictus or, more fully, Deus Sol Invictus was a religious title applied to at least three distinct deities during the later Roman Empire: El Gabal, Mithras, and Sol.

The earlier cult of Sol Indiges "the native sun" or "the invoked sun" was agrarian. The title Deus Sol Invictus was formed similar to the imperial titulature pius felix invictus.

The Romans held a festival on December 25 called Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, "the birthday of the unconquered sun." The use of the title Sol Invictus allowed several solar deities to be worshipped together, including Elah-Gabal, a Syrian sun god; Sol, the patron god of Emperor Aurelian AD 270-274; and Mithras, a soldiers god of Persian origin. Emperor Elagabalus 218-222 introduced the festival, and it reached the height of its popularity under Aurelian, who promoted it as an empire-wide holiday that was a possible inspiration of Christmas.


1. Other websites

  • Gibbons Decline and Fall: Triumph of Aurelian
  • Ancient sources
  • Gibbons references for Aurelians Temple of Sol Invictus
  • Probus and Sol, includes images of coins Archived 2005-04-03 at the Wayback Machine
  • Encyclopedia Britannica Online: Sol
  • Roman-Emperors: Aurelian
  • Catholic Encyclopedia 1908: Christmas
  • Clement A. Miles, Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan 1912: December 25 and the Natalis Invicti