A new harvest of myths

Christmas is coming, and with it comes the annual flood of stale old stories cynically designed to cast doubt on whether Christmas is a Christian festival, and eagerly believed by those who feel that way inclined. 

The favourite “authority” for these folk is Wikipedia — once one of their friends has suitably amended it, of course. 

I discovered this morning that one of these gentry had rewritten the summary of the article on Sol Invictus to tell various falsehoods about Sol Invictus being derived from Mithras.  Charmingly, the fraudster had tried to put some substance into his claims by pasting verbatim chunks of text and scholarly references from the Mithras article — material written by me, and of no conceivable relevance to Sol Invictus. 

Needless to say I deleted all this twaddle, but for how long?

While hunting around for some vaguely scholarly sources on the origins of Christmas, I came across Susan K. Roll, Towards the origins of Christmas.   There is a preview on Google books, here.  From this I formed a good opinion of the book and its referencing.  With luck I will find a PDF, and be able to use it as a source for correcting Wikipedia.

UPDATE: I found this Dilbert cartoon which somehow indicates the problem.


3 thoughts on “A new harvest of myths

  1. Thank you for the Roll reference. Now ordered! 🙂

    As for Mithras/Sol Invictus vs. Christmas I think it will never go away. These “old stories” about Christmas were predetermined when they established 25 December as the date. :\

  2. Indeed not. Xmas becomes more burdensome each year, I find. We do need to combat the incessant circulation of nonsense about Christmas at this time of year.

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