Sunday, February 12, 2017


Augustus and the Sibyl by Caron

Jesus was born in the reign of Augustus and crucified in the reign of Tiberius.
There are many stories from that time and many sources, The Golden Legend being one.
One story recounted by Mary Beard:
"It was the day of Jesus’s birth and the emperor Augustus serendipitously asked the pagan prophetess, the Sibyl, if there would ever be someone born more powerful than himself; the Sibyl showed him the answer in the sky, where a vision the Virgin and child appeared.
But in more detailed versions of the story there are links to buildings and dedications in Rome: in particular to the church of the Ara Coeli on the Capitol in Rome. One story was that Augustus set up, in response to the vision, an Ara Primogeniti Dei, meaning “Altar of the Firstborn of God.” Later this became the nucleus church of the Ara Coeli (the church we still walk past, on the left, on the way up to the Capitol)."

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