Featured Image: by vhspositive
While searching for an inspiring artifact for my post about the dies natalis of Sol Invictus yesterday, I came across several far-right uses of “Sol Invictus”, including art of the current American president as the god with rays streaming from his head, and a would-be American politician who legally changed his name for recognition purposes (X).
This level of ignorance is hilarious. The far-right may wish to represent itself as “unconquered”, but dressing alike in polo shirts and khakis while carrying patio torches with toy shields is just embarrassing.
Sol Invictus was the special protector of the Roman Emperor, and while we know these guys have a fetish with dictators, we also know that the Roman Empire didn’t reserve privilege for people with light-colored skin.
Sol Invictus was also a divine patron of the ethnically- and racially-diverse Roman army. Sol was the beloved ally of Mithras, a god who promoted friendship and loyalty among the soldiers of many colors and cultures who served together in that diverse army.
I just rolled my eyes at the alt-right fail, and it in no way diminished my enjoyment in the festival. I was pleased with the artifact I found for my featured image; it seemed especially appropriate because, unlike the torch used by far-right racists, the Roman clay oil lamp brought light to the barracks and the household for peaceful, civilized activities such as reading and writing.
By your pure law, the constant foe of evil,
Direct my steps, and pour your sacred light
In rich abundance on my darkened soul!
– from the “Hymn to the Sun” by Proclus Lycaeus (412-485 C.E.) (X)