Re: The Real Story of Christmas...
- From: "MS" <lemec@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2005 20:17:07 -0500
The real story of Christmas....
<jwsheffield@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
> Zadok wrote:
>> <roger_pearse> is back showing his anti-Plutarch bias...
>> The second, Mithras, is undocumented before around 60AD, apart
>> > from a dubious reference in the second century writer Plutarch.
>> In fact Plutarch mentions that the rites of Mithras are being celebrated
>> the Roman province of Cilicia in 67BC.
>> Roger likes to say that this refernce is dubious, based on no facts.
>> He continues to go on about ancient sources, but when faces with an
>> source that does not agree with his preconceived ideas, then it has to be
>> The fact remains that we have no reason at all to consider that quote
>> Plutarch dubious!!
>> Roger and his great source Claussen, can't admit that the rites of
>> were in the empire 100 years before Christ was even crucified. They like
>> live in their fantasy world, where even though Mithraism was in the
>> 100 years before Jesus death, and we know it spread rapidly with the
>> soldiers, there is no way it could have been in Rome before christians.
>> Therefore Roger has to pretend that Plutarch is dubious, because it
>> contradicts his pet theory.
>> Everyone know that the winter solstice was celebrated long before Jesus
>> even born.
>> There are lots of sources.
>> Here read some of them.
>> Read it from the pen of Seneca the younger...he writes here about Rome
>> during Saturnalia around 50 A.D:
>> It is now the month of December, when the greatest part of the city is in
>> bustle. Loose reins are given to public dissipation; everywhere you may
>> the sound of great preparations, as if there were some real difference
>> between the days devoted to Saturn and those for transacting
>> business....Were you here, I would willingly confer with you as to the
>> of our conduct; whether we should eve in our usual way, or, to avoid
>> singularity, both take a better supper and throw off the toga.
>> --From the Epistolae
>> By the beginning of December, writes Columella, the farmer should have
>> finished his autumn planting. Now, at the time of the winter solstice
>> (December 25 in the Julian calendar), Saturnus, the god of seed and
>> was honored with a festival. The Saturnalia officially was celebrated on
>> December 17 (a.d. XVI Kal. Ian.) and, in Cicero's time, lasted seven
>> from December 17-23. Augustus attempted to limit the holiday to three
>> so the civil courts would not have to be closed any longer than
>> and Caligula extended it to five. Still, everyone seems to have continued
>> celebrate for a full week, extended, says Macrobius (I.10.24), by the
>> exchange of sigillaria, small earthenware figurines that were sold then.
>> Macrobius, in his Saturnalia, creates an imaginary symposium among pagan
>> intellectuals that takes place then. There, he offers an explanation for
>> varying length of the holiday. Originally, it was celebrated on only one
>> day, the fourteenth before the Kalends of January (December 19). With the
>> Julian reform of the calendar, however, two days were added to December,
>> the Saturnalia was celebrated sixteen days before the Kalends (December
>> "with the result that, since the exact day was not commonly known--some
>> observing the addition which Caesar had made to the calendar and others
>> following the old usage--the festival came to be regarded as lasting for
>> more days than one" (I.10.2). The original day was given over to the
>> honoring Ops, who personified abundance and the fruits of the earth, and
>> the consort of Saturn. As the two deities represented the produce of the
>> fields and orchards, so they also were thought to represent heaven and
>> earth. It was for this reason, says Macrobius (I.10.20), that the
>> were celebrated at the same time, the worshippers of Ops always sitting
>> prayer so that they touched the earth, mother of all.
>> In the Roman calendar, the Saturnalia was designated a holy day, or
>> on which religious rites were performed. Saturn, himself, was identified
>> with Kronos, and sacrificed to according to Greek ritual, with the head
>> uncovered. The Temple of Saturn, the oldest temple recorded by the
>> had been dedicated on the Saturnalia, and the woolen bonds which fettered
>> the feet of the ivory cult statue within were loosened on that day to
>> symbolize the liberation of the god.
>> It also was a festival day. After sacrifice at the temple, there was a
>> public banquet, which Livy says was introduced in 217 BC (there also may
>> have been a lectisternium, a banquet for the god in which its image is
>> placed in attendance, as if a guest). Afterwards, according to Macrobius
>> (I.10.18), the celebrants shouted "Io, Saturnalia!" at a riotous feast in
>> the temple.
>> The Saturnalia was the most popular holiday of the Roman year. Catullus
>> describes it as "the best of days," and Seneca complains that the "whole
>> has let itself go in pleasures." Pliny the Younger writes that he retired
>> his room while the rest of the household celebrated. Cicero fled to the
>> countryside. It was an occasion for celebration, visits to friends, and
>> presentation of gifts, particularly wax candles (cerei), perhaps to
>> the returning light after the solstice, and sigillaria. Martial wrote
>> and Apophoreta for the Saturnalia. Both were published in December and
>> intended to accompany the "guest gifts" which were given at that time of
>> year. Aulus Gellius relates in his Attic Nights (XVIII.2) that he and his
>> Roman compatriots would gather at the baths in Athens, where they were
>> studying, and pose difficult questions to one another on the ancient
>> a crown of laurel being dedicated to Saturn if no-one could answer them.
>> During the holiday, restrictions were relaxed and the social order
>> Gambling was allowed in public. Slaves were permitted to use dice and did
>> not have to work. Instead of the toga, less formal dinner clothes
>> (synthesis) were permitted, as was the pilleus, a felt cap normally worn
>> the manumitted slave that symbolized the freedom of the season. Within
>> family, a Lord of Misrule was chosen. Slaves were treated as equals,
>> to wear their masters' clothing, and be waited on at meal time in
>> remembrance of an earlier golden age thought to have been ushered in by
>> This equality was temporary, of course; and Petronius speaks of an
>> slave being asked at some other time of the year whether it was December
>> yet. Dio writes of Aulus Plautius, who was to lead the conquest of
>> cajoling his troops. But they hesitated, "indignant at the thought of
>> carrying on a campaign outside the limits of the known world." Only when
>> they were entreated by a former slave dispatched by Claudius did they
>> relent, shouting "Io, Saturnalia." (If a time of merriment, the season
>> was an occasion for murder. Commodus was strangled in his bath on New
>> eve, and Caracalla plotted to murder his brother during the Saturnalia.)
>> At the end of the first century AD, Statius still could proclaim: "For
>> many years shall this festival abide! Never shall age destroy so holy a
>> While the hills of Latium remain and father Tiber, while thy Rome stands
>> the Capitol thou hast restored to the world, it shall continue." And the
>> Saturnalia did continue to be celebrated as Brumalia (from bruma, winter
>> solstice) down to the Christian era, when, by the middle of the fourth
>> century AD, its rituals had become absorbed in the celebration of
>> Did you read that part where Livy says that the saturnalia was introduced
>> Rome in 217BC.
>> How about, It was an occasion for celebration, visits to friends, and the
>> presentation of gifts, particularly wax candles (cerei), perhaps to
>> the returning light after the solstice, and sigillaria.
>> I love that prophecy, that the saturnalia will continue as long as the
>> runs. And it has become true.
>> > The 25th of December was, I understand, called dies natalis solis
>> > invictis -- the day of the birth of the unconquered sun. But this
>> > precedes all of these deities, and means only 'the day the sun starts
>> > to get stronger.'
>> The Saturnalia was introduced in Rome in 217BC, per Livy.
>> And later it became the birthdate of Sol Ivictus. The Sun God.
>> Then it was also adopted for the birth of Mithras, and finally much
>> it became the birth of Jesus.
>> Prehaps Roger has a source that will tell us when December 25th was first
>> celebrated for the birth of Jesus??
>> Do you have a date Roger??
>> That about says it all!!
>> Did anyone see any history quoted by Roger??
>> I didn't see one source at all!!
>> What was it that Celsus wrote??
>> "There is nothing new or impressive about their ethical teaching; indeed,
>> when one compares it to other philosophies, their simplemindedness
>> apparent." (53).
>> Right on, nothing new!!
>> All the best.
> Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the time
> of Herod the great and Augustus. As to the time of
> year, it was at a time when sheep could be kept out
> all night. December 25 is the date in the church calendar
> when the record of Jesus's birth in the Gospels are read.
> Please give the date of the birth of mithra. My guess is" once
> upon a time". Please use documents that were copied in the
> "churches" of mithra that trace back to his deciples.
> addenum: I have read Origen's unanswered refutation
> of Celsus.