In the year 274, the winter solstice fell on 25 December. The Emperor Aurelian proclaimed that fixed date the Natalis Solis Invicti, the festival of the sun. Early Christians, who in those days worshiped in secret for fear of being fed to the lions, could not celebrate the birth of Jesus in the open. They appropriated the Natalis Solis Invicti for their own purposes, to avoid detection by Roman police. Christmas has been observed on 25 December ever since.
It was during the five-year reign of Aurelian that the Alamanni, Goths, Vandals, Juthungi, Sarmatians, and Carpians were decisively defeated, and the breakaway empires of Gaul and Palmyra restored, providing some respite in the Roman Age of Chaos. In 275, the Praetorian Guard honored these impressive accomplishments by stabbing Aurelian in the back repeatedly. This item is in the category "Coins & Paper Money\Coins: Ancient\Roman: Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)".
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