“De solstitiis et aequinoctiis” (CPL 2277) – now online in English!

I’ve written before about this interesting 4th century text, De solstitiis et aequinoctiis (On the solstices and equinoxes), here and on posts linked here, including creating an electronic text.  The author is unknown, but the work is one of the few ancient texts that labels the 25 December as the “birthday of the sun”.  It also explains why Christmas is on the 25 December – it demonstrates from a calculation that the solstices and equinoxes are the days of the birth and death of John the Baptist and Jesus.  It is the fundamental text for the “calculation theory” of why 25 December is the birthday of Christ.  But for all that it has never really been edited properly – Botte did print a text as an appendix -, and it has never been translated into any modern language.

Last year Dr Isabella Image came across my posts and very kindly offered to translate the text into English.  This she has now done, and here it is!  She has also kindly made the result public domain, so please copy it freely and use it for any purpose.

These are also accessible at Archive.org here.

It is wonderful to have this online!  Thank you, Dr Image, for generously doing this for us all!


15 thoughts on ““De solstitiis et aequinoctiis” (CPL 2277) – now online in English!

  1. I’m not a scholar or a historian but your efforts – and those of your peers- to make these ancient documents accessible and digestible are greatly appreciated! I’m truly grateful and always enjoy your posts. Thanks

  2. Very impressive and many thanks to Dr. Image for her work on a difficult text and to you for making it widely accessible.

  3. Thanks to Isabella Image! Thanks to you both for your efforts. Any unprecedented translation of Greco-Roman texts is to be celebrated. A gift to letters and studies.

  4. Hi, Roger!
    Wow! I came across your site when I was looking for an English translation of “De Solstitiis Et Aequinoctiis” referenced in “The origins of the litergical year” by Thomas J Talley.

    I wanted to make sure I have permission to place it in my website as a commentary source. Below is the link. Let me know if you have any concerns. I am currently working on having it narrated.


  5. Yes, do go ahead. I think we made it public domain, exactly so that anybody could do the sorts of things you have in mind. Thank you!

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