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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Gods, Non-Olympian ▸ SolView Options:  |  |  |   

Sol

Sol sometimes called Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the solar deity in Ancient Roman religion. Worship of Sol began early but seems to have become more significant from the reign of Aurelian until the abolition of paganism under Theodosius I.


Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C.

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In October 42 B.C. the Republican army was defeated by the legions Antony and Octavian at Philippi. Cassius and Brutus committed suicide. Brutus' body was brought to Antonius' camp, where he cast his purple paludamentum over his dead body and ordered an honorable funeral for his erstwhile comrade. The Republican cause was crushed; Rome rested in the hands of the Second Triumvirate.
SH87854. Silver denarius, Crawford 496/1, Sydenham 1168, BMCRR II Gaul 60, RSC I 12, Sear CRI 128, SRCV I 1467, VF, nice portrait, dark toning, obverse slightly off center, light marks and scratches, some porosity, tiny edge splits, weight 3.270 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 0o, military mint with Antony in Greece, 42 B.C.; obverse M ANTONI IMP, bare head right; reverse III - VIR - R P C (counterclockwise from upper left), distyle temple, radiate facing head of Sol on medallion within; ex Savoca Coins, auction silver 25, lot 608; rare; $950.00 (807.50)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

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RS86634. Silver denarius, RIC IV 123, RSC III 448, BMCRE VI 950, Hunter III 68, SRCV II 7916, Choice EF, excellent portrait, attractive Sol, well centered and stuck, attractive toning, some very light marks and scratches, weight 2.377 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 234 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse P M TR P XIII COS III P P, Sol advancing left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm and flying behind, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, whip in left hand; $140.00 (119.00)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

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Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers. In 274 the Roman emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to 387 and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them. The date 25 December was selected for Christmas to replace the popular Roman festival Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun."
RB73721. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 538d, BMCRE VI 593, Hunter III 154, SRCV II 8004, Cohen IV 449 var. (bust), Choice aVF, nice portrait, well centered, nice green patina with some smoothed red areas on the reverse, light corrosion, weight 21.746 g, maximum diameter 31.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 234 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse P M TR P XIII COS III P P, Sol advancing left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, whip in left hand, S - C across field below center; $90.00 (76.50)


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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The Latin word comiti, during imperial times, indicated a minister of the emperor. Even the two consuls where called "comites." The reverse legend therefore reads: "to the unconquered Sun, minister [of Constantine]."
RL86831. Billon follis, RIC VII Rome 136 (R2), SRCV IV 16103, Cohen VII 536, VF, well centered, dark patina, double struck, weight 2.838 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Rome mint, 318 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SOLI INVICTO COMITI (to the unconquered Sun, minister [of the Emperor]), Sol standing half-left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand, T in wreath left, RT in exergue; ex Beast Coins, ex FORVM (2010); very rare; $85.00 (72.25)


Aurelian, August or September 270 - October or November 275 A.D.

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On 25 December 274, on the third day after the solstice and day of rebirth of the Sun, Aurelian dedicated a temple to Sol Invictus (Unconquered Sun). Sol Invictus was the official sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers. The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine I. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to 387, and there were enough devotees in the fifth century that the Christian theologian Augustine found it necessary to preach against them.
RA87898. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 1551, RIC V 152, BnF XII 636, Cohen VI 183, SRCV III 11587, Venra 5610 - 5658, Hunter IV 63 var. (1st officina), Choice VF, well centered and struck, much silvering, edge splits, weight 3.451 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, 4th Officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 4th issue, Nov 274 Sep 275; obverse IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse PROVIDEN DEOR (Foresight of the gods), Fides on left standing to right, holding standard in each hand, facing Sol, on right, standing left, raising his right hand commanding sunrise and holding globe with his left hand, QXXT in exergue; ex Beast Coins; $85.00 (72.25)


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.

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Oriens is Latin for "east." Literally, it means "rising" from orior, "rise." The use of the word for "rising" to refer to the east (where the sun rises) has analogs from many languages: compare the terms "Levant" (French levant "rising"), "Anatolia" (Greek anatole), "mizrahi" in Hebrew (from "zriha" meaning sunrise), "sharq" in Arabic, and others. The Chinese pictograph for east is based on the sun rising behind a tree and "The Land of the Rising Sun" to refers to Japan. Also, many ancient temples, including the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, were built with their main entrances facing the East. To situate them in such a manner was to "orient" them in the proper direction. When something is facing the correct direction, it is said to have the proper "orientation."
RS87916. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 213, RSC IV 167, Hunter III 167, SRCV III 8626, Choice VF, well centered on a broad flan, light marks, some die wear, small edge cracks, weight 4.077 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 30o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 242 - 244 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ORIENS AVG (the rising sun of the Emperor), Sol standing slightly left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left; ex Beast Coins; $85.00 (72.25)


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.

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Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers. In 274 the Roman emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to 387 and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them. The date 25 December was selected for Christmas to replace the popular Roman festival Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun."
RS76202. Silver denarius, RIC IV 111, RSC IV 39, Choice VF, excellent portrait, well centered, toned, porous, light marks, weight 3.115 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 1 Jan 241 - Jul 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse AETERNITATI AVG, Sol standing slightly right, radiate head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand; $70.00 (59.50)


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.

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During Gordian's reign, the Roman Empire was threatened on multiple fronts. In 238, Goths from Ukraine crossed the Danube and devastated the Roman Empire up to the border with Anatolia. In 240, Africa revolted. Also in 240, Franks from northwest Germania raided the Rhine frontier. In 242, the cities of the Cimmerian Bosporus were evacuated because Goths controlled the territory.
RB65147. Bronze as, RIC IV 297b, Cohen V 44, SRCV III 8773, VF, well centered, weight 10.483 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 4th issue, 241 - 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse AETERNITATI AVG, Sol standing slightly right, head left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $50.00 (42.50)


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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On 8 October 314, Constantine the Great defeated Licinius in the Battle of Cibalae, near Colonia Aurelia Cibalae (modern Vinkovci, Croatia). Licinius lost all of the Balkans except for Thrace and fled to Sirmium. Peace negotiations were initiated, but unsuccessful.
RL86258. Billon follis, Hunter V 180 (also 2nd officina), RIC VII Rome 19, SRCV IV 16096, Cohen VII 536, VF, well centered, some silvering, weak centers, scratches, some porosity, tiny encrustations, weight 3.103 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, 314 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SOLI INVICTO COMITI (to the unconquered Sun, minister [of the Emperor]), Sol standing slightly left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand, R - F flanking at sides, R*S in exergue; $45.00 (38.25)


Gallic Empire, Postumus, Summer 260 - Spring 269 A.D.

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Oriens is Latin for "east." Literally, it means "rising" from orior, "rise." The use of the word for "rising" to refer to the east (where the sun rises) has analogs from many languages: compare the terms "Levant" (French levant "rising"), "Anatolia" (Greek anatole), "mizrahi" in Hebrew (from "zriha" meaning sunrise), "sharq" in Arabic, and others. The Chinese pictograph for east is based on the sun rising behind a tree and "The Land of the Rising Sun" to refers to Japan. Also, many ancient temples, including the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, were built with their main entrances facing the East. To situate them in such a manner was to "orient" them in the proper direction. When something is facing the correct direction, it is said to have the proper "orientation."
RS64646. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 316, RIC IV 213d, Elmer 568, Cunetio 2454, Schulzki AGK 49, SRCV III 10964, Hunter 96 var. (no P), VF, nice portrait, well centered, toned, some silvering, edge cracks, die wear, weight 2.733 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 267 - 268 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from front; reverse ORIENS AVG (the rising sun of the Emperor), Sol advancing left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding sunrise, whip in left hand, P left; $36.00 (30.60)




  



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