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Pagan Origin of Partialist Doctrines by Pitrat

Aurelian built at Rome the temple of the sun

Rivers were reputed as being sacred and divine, because of their utility to vegetation, to animals, and to commerce; and because nations considered water as one of the first principles of nature, and one of the most efficacious agents of the universal life of the Great-Being in which they believed. In Thessalia a sacred crow was fed in honor of the sun. This bird is seen yet on the monuments of Mithra, in Persia. The temples of old Byzantium were consecrated to the sun, to the moon, and to Venus. Their idols represented them; also the star Arcture, and the twelve signs of the Zodiac. Rome and Italy had also a vast number of monuments of worship addressed to nature, and to its principal agents. Tatius, coming to Rome to share the sceptre of Romulus, erected altars and temples to the sun, to the moon, to Saturn, to light, and to fire. The undying fire, or Vesta, was the most ancient object of worship of the Romans; virgins had the care to perpetuate it in the temple of this Goddess, as the wizards did in their Pyrees. "It was," Jornandes said, "an image of the eternal lights which shine in the heavens."

In Rome there was a famous temple called Tellus, or of the earth, in which the senate often met. The earth was called mother, because it was considered as a deity as well as the manes. There was in the Latium a fountain of the sun, and, near it, two altars upon which Aeneas, when landing in Italy, sacrificed. Romulus established the games of the circus to honor both the sun, who in his course measures the year, and the four elements which he modifies by his mighty influence. Aurelian built at Rome the temple of the sun, and decked it with gold and precious stones. Augustus, before Aurelian, had ordered the images of the sun and of the moon to be brought from Egypt, in order to adorn his triumph over Anthony and Cleopatra. The moon had a temple on the mount Aventine.

In Sicily oxen were consecrated to the sun; and the island itself was called the Island of the Sun. The oxen which the companions of Ulysse ate when they landed, were consecrated to this god. The citizens of Assora adored the Chrysas river, that bathed their walls. At Enguyum the people revered the mother-goddesses, the same deities honored in Crete; namely, the major and minor Ursas. In Spain the people of Betic had built a temple to the morning star. The Accitans had erected to the god Sun, under the name of Mars, a statue whose head imitated the rays of the sun. At Cadix the sun was also adored, under the name of Hercules. All the nations of northern Europe, called Celtes, worshiped fire, water, the air, the sun, the moon, the stars, the trees, and the springs. The conqueror of Gaul, Caesar, writes that the Germans immemorially adored the visible cause, and its principal agents, the sun, the moon, fire or Vulcain, and the earth, under the name of Herta. Near Narbonne, a city of Gaul, a temple was dedicated to the wind Circius which purified the atmosphere. At Toulouse there was a temple of the sun. The Franks professed the same religion.

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