The Ancient Greeks And Romans

Ngebray.com,- Like the Egyptians, the ancient Greeks and Romans worshipped many gods. The ancient Greek civilisation lasted from around 700 BCE to 338 BCE. Roman civilisation developed from about 753 BCE. It ended around 450 CE. Some of the Greek and Roman gods were similar but were known by different names.

The greek god of the sun was called ‘Hellios’. He lived in a wonderful palace in the east, and every day he drove a golden chariot across the sky. In the evening, he rested in a palace in the west, then sailed a golden boat with wings back to the east, to rise again the next day. Helios wore a crown shaped like the rays of the sun. He had two sisters: Selene, the goddess of the moon; and Eos, the goddess of the dawn.

This ancient Greek silver coin, which shows the sun god Helios, was minted in 200 BCE. (Picture from ebay.com)

This ancient Greek silver coin, which shows the sun god Helios, was minted in 200 BCE.
(Picture from ebay.com)

The Romans held a festival to the sun around the day of 25 December each year. The festival celebrated the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. That was the day the sun proved itself to be undefeated, because from then onwards the days grew longer and lighter, and winter was coming to an end. The Romans called their sun  god ‘Sol’. Like Helios, Sol drove a golden chariot across the sky and wore a flaming crown. Another Roman name for the sun was ‘Sol Invictus’, which meas ‘the unconquered sun’. The Romans believed that Sol, the sun god, drove a golden chariot across the sky.

Sol ‘The Sun God’ (Picture from wikipedia.org)

Sol ‘The Sun God’ (Picture from wikipedia.org)

Sol simply means ‘sun’ in Latin, the language of the ancient Romans. Can you see where our words ‘solar’ and ‘solstice’ come from?