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Christian worship of the Sun (1)

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12 Assyrian Identity

02 Religious and ideological symbols and iconographic motifs

01 Religious and ideological doctrines and imagery

5th century CE
Roman Empire
Christian-Roman philosophers and scholars

Leo I, Sermon 27.4:
From such customs as this has the following godlessness been engendered, where the sun - as it rises at daybreak - would be worshipped from the higher elevations by certain sillier people. Even some Christians think that they behave devoutly when, before arriving at the basilica of the blessed Apostle Peter (which has been dedicated to the one living and true God), they climb the steps which go up to the platform on the upper level, turn themselves around towards the rising sun, and bow down to honor its shining disk. This thing, done partly through the fault of ignorance and partly in a spirit of paganism, eats away at me and grieves me very much. Even if some of these perhaps revere the Creator of this beautiful light rather than the light itself, still we must refrain from even the appearance of this homage. When someone who has left behind the worship of the gods finds this among us, will they not bring this aspect of their former persuasion along with them, thinking it credible - upon having seen it to be something that both Christians and unbelievers hold in common?

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Leo I, Sermon 27.4


Maas 2000, 180Maas, Michael (ed.). Readings in Late Antiquity. A Sourcebook. London, New York: Routledge 2000.

Amar Annus

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