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The Temptation of Christ :

 An example of the halo circle

The sun, the source of life and fertility is revered in many cultures. Embodiment of light in the form of the Egyptian god Ra, Apollo and Helios will be among the Greeks. The cult of Mithras, the Persian sun god, is the origin of the Christmas party. AA75
The influence of this pagan sun worship explains the presence of a ring of light, the halo circle around the heads of saints and icons of Christianity.
The Temptation of Christ

MI 285 H.: 3,45 m. ; L: 2.41 m.

Ary Scheffer   
Dordrecht (Netherlands), 1795

Sully 2 floor
Chassériau room 63
Commissioned for the Galerie du Luxembourg
in 1849, started before 1851 and
not yet delivered in 1858, this large canvas
held the last ten years of life Scheffer.
The numerous expansions and show
repentance well incessant changes that
the artist has made to its composition.

Only the face of Christ,
any loan of a metaphysical gentleness
was never touched by the painter.

  The halo circle and the influence of the pagan sun worship

In the Greek and Roman art the sun-god Helios and Roman emperors are often represented with a radiant crown. It has not been used in early Christian art because of its pagan origin. As of the middle of the IV th century   Christ is thus represented. It was not until VI th century that the halo appeared in most representations of the Virgin Mary and other saints. AA77
« Halos that artits of the Middle Age put around the head are a remmant of the worship of the sun. »  AA76

La Nativité et l'Adoration des Mages MI 523
Denon 1er étage salon carré salle 3
No Christian text does not specify what day of the year was born Jesus Christ. Christmas is not part of the celebrations followed by the early Christians, and not in the lists published by Irenaeus and Tertullian. Gradually will appear desire to historicize the birth of Jesus.

In the fourth century, the date of December 25th was chosen primarily to replace the pagan festivals.  AA66
The choice of December 25th is closely related to the existence of pagan Roman festivals held at year end. Include the Saturnalia in honor of Saturn, god of agriculture, and the combined festivals of two sun gods, Sol among the Romans and the Persians Mithra. The Nativity gradually absorbed other solstice ritual. Solar imaging was used to represent the risen Christ and the solar disk became the halo of saints. AA78
Disque dédié à
Sol Invictus
Argent, pièce romaine
IIIè siècle
Pessinus, Asie mineure
Sol Invictus (Latin undefeated Sun)
is a solar deity appeared in
the Roman Empire in the third century.
It incorporates aspects of mythology
Apollo and the cult of Mithras,
experiencing great popularity
in the Roman army.
The Emperor Aurelian (270-275) ensures
an official place in Rome in proclaiming
the undefeated Sun is the main boss
of the Roman Empire

The influence of sun worship, especially that of Mithra,
the Persian sun-god, is at the origin of  the feast of Christmas

«The choice of 25 December appeared around 330 to cover the pagan festivals celebrated at the winter solstice. This period has been marked in ancient times, during the Saturnalia celebrated in Rome in honor of the old master of Saturn weather or when the 'Sol Invictus' (the invincible sun), come worship the Persian god Mithras. »  AA70
Panel of Christ and Abbot Mena E 11565
wax painting and tempera on
fig wood VIII century AD
Denon showcase Mezzanine Room C 6
The church of the monastery Bawit is reconstituted party in this room. On the side
of the altar was suspended one of the oldest images of Christ, the accompanied showing
an abbot. It is also one of the first appearances of a light halo around the
heads of the saints  A151
In the Bible the sun is never deified because impersonal force, it is created by God as a great light to illuminate the earth and set the agenda. The existence of a cult of the sun in the kingdom of Judah is recorded by the prophet Ezekiel. "They bowed toward the east, before the sun" (Ezekiel 8:16).

This apostate behavior went against the Law (Deuteronomy 4:19) and the words of the psalmist: "Yes, sun shield, YHWH! [...] He gives grace and glory. "(Psalm 84:11, Chouraqui). Years earlier King Josiah had yet abolished the worship of the sun god. - 2 Kings 23: 5
Kudurru King
Meli-Shipak II II Sb 22
Richelieu Rd-ch
Room 3
Title under the protection of the gods,
these steles
stone, carved
and included in
both sides
are the carrier
acts of donations decided by
the sovereign 
On this point,
it's all great deities symbolized
by their emblem that are collected
in a true symbolic microcosm
tiered bunk registers.
On the orb of the stele like the heavens
are held astral deities, Sin, the moon,
Shamash, the sun, and Ishtar,
in the form of the star appearing
the planet Venus.
The gods are represented by
their symbols: tiaras with six rows of horns
for Anu and Enlil, ram head
and fish-goat for Ea / Enki,
and finally the emblem
Earth Goddess, Ninhursag
At the time of writing the Bible, many believed that various gods inhabited the world and that they ruled the sun, moon and stars.
It is remarkable to note that the Hebrew prophets did not have to deify their universe, to get rid of these mythical gods, for the simple reason that they had never believed in such gods. It is their belief in one true God who preserved them from these superstitions. 


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