Ephraem Syrus (whose hymns belong to Epiphany, not to Christmas) proves that Mesopotamia still put the birth feast thirteen days after the winter solstice; i.e. The commemoration, however, of David and James the Apostle on 25 December at Jerusalem accounts for the deferred feast. its initiator, in Constantinople, where, since the death of Valens, orthodoxy was reviving. Chrysostom's episcopate lasted from 398 to 402; the feast would therefore have been introduced between these dates by Chrysostom bishop, as at Antioch by Chrysostom priest. Rome At Rome the earliest evidence is in the Philocalian Calendar (P. In the civil calendar 25 December is marked "Natalis Invicti". Again, in winter it must have been; then only field labour was suspended. Authorities moreover differ as to whether shepherds could or would keep flocks exposed during the nights of the rainy season. Hymns and Christmas offices abound in instances; the texts are well arranged by Cumont (op. Fires and blazing wheels starred the hills, houses were adorned, trials suspended and feasts celebrated (cf. For the calend mumming; the extraordinary and obscene Modranicht ; the cake in honour of Mary's "afterbirth", condemned (692) at the Trullan Council, canon 79; the Tabulæ Fortunæ (food and drink offered to obtain increase, and condemned in 743), see Tiele, op. viii, ix -- Tiele's data are perhaps of greater value than his deductions -- and Ducange (op. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.6 January; Armenia likewise ignored, and still ignores, the December festival. In the "Depositio Martyrum" a list of Roman or early and universally venerated martyrs, under 25 December is found "VIII kal. Zachary's temple service Arguments based on Zachary's temple ministry are unreliable, though the calculations of antiquity (see above) have been revived in yet more complicated form, e.g. Alexandria The first evidence of the feast is from Egypt. With Clement's evidence may be mentioned the "De paschæ computus", written in 243 and falsely ascribed to Cyprian (P. Codex Bezæ ) wrongly give the Divine words as sou ei ho houios mou ho agapetos, ego semeron gegenneka se (Thou art my beloved Son, this day have I begotten thee) in lieu of en soi eudokesa (in thee I am well pleased), read in Luke . 1000)] runs: He gar prote parousia tou kyriou hemon he ensarkos [en he gegennetai] en Bethleem, egeneto [pro okto kalandon ianouarion hemera tetradi] Basileuontos Augoustou [tessarakoston kai deuteron etos, apo de Adam] pentakischiliosto kai pentakosiosto etei epathen de triakosto trito [pro okto kalandon aprilion, hemera paraskeun, oktokaidekato etei Tiberiou Kaisaros, hypateuontos Hrouphou kai Hroubellionos. In Dan., iv, 23; Brotke; 19) "For the first coming of Our Lord in the flesh [in which He has been begotten], in Bethlehem, took place [25 December, the fourth day] in the reign of Augustus [the forty-second year, and] in the year 5500 [from Adam]. L., XVI, 219) preserves the sermon preached by Pope Liberius I at St. Tiele (Yule and Christmas, London, 1899) has collected many interesting examples. L., LVII, 492, etc.) survive as Christmas presents, cards, boxes.L., IV, 963 sqq.), which places Christ's birth on 28 March, because on that day the material sun was created. Abraham Ecchelensis (Labbe, II, 402) quotes the Constitutions of the Alexandrian Church for a dies Nativitatis et Epiphaniæ in Nicæan times; Epiphanius (Hær., li, ed. In view of a reaction to certain Jewish rites and feasts, Chrysostom tries to unite Antioch in celebrating Christ's birth on 25 December, part of the community having already kept it on that day for at least ten years. And He suffered in His thirty-third year [25 March, the parasceve, in the eighteenth year of Tiberius Cæsar , during the consulate of Rufus and Rubellio]." Interpolation is certain, and admitted by Funk, Bonwetsch, etc. Peter's, when, on Natalis Christi , Ambrose' sister, Marcellina, took the veil. L., XII, 1134) to Himerius in Spain, distinguishes the feasts of the Nativity and Apparition; but whether he refers to Roman or to Spanish use is not clear. 361 combined the feasts, though on what day is still doubtful. The strenæ ( eacute;trennes ) of the Roman 1 January (bitterly condemned by Tertullian, de Idol., xiv and x, and by Maximus of Turin, Hom. The yule log The calend fires were a scandal even to Rome, and St. This theory is best supported by the fact that certain Montanists ( Sozomen, Hist. Cels., VIII, 67, etc) had to assert that Sol was not the Christians' God; Augustine (Tract xxxiv, in Joan. L., XXXV, 1652) denounces the heretical identification of Christ with Sol. Other theories of pagan origin The origin of Christmas should not be sought in the Saturnalia (1-23 December) nor even in the midnight holy birth at Eleusis (see J. Jud., 8)], the popular instinct, demanding an exact number of years in a Divine life, would place His conception on the same date, His birth 25 December.
Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited. 754, a date first suggested two centuries later; in no year between 751 and 754 could 25 December fall on a Friday; tradition is constant in placing Christ's birth on Wednesday. Apart from this, these entries in a consul list are manifest interpolations. Vel quod dicant Solis esse natalem, ipse est Sol iustitiæ." — "But Our Lord, too, is born in the month of December . Conclusion The present writer in inclined to think that, be the origin of the feast in East or West, and though the abundance of analogous midwinter festivals may indefinitely have helped the choice of the December date, the same instinct which set Natalis Invicti at the winter solstice will have sufficed, apart from deliberate adaptation or curious calculation, to set the Christian feast there too. ; and of Nativity and Conception of the Baptist (cf. Though Rome gives three Masses to the Nativity only, Ildefonsus, a Spanish bishop, in 845, alludes to a triple mass on Nativity, Easter, Whitsun, and Transfiguration (P. These Masses, at midnight, dawn, and in die , were mystically connected with aboriginal, Judaic, and Christian dispensations, or (as by St. The second Mass was celebrated by the pope in the " chapel royal" of the Byzantine Court officials on the Palatine, i.e. Anastasia's church, originally called, like the basilica at Constantinople, Anastasis, and like it built at first to reproduce the Jerusalem Anastasis basilica -- and like it, finally, in abandoning the name "Anastasis" for that of the martyr St. The second Mass would therefore be a papal compliment to the imperial church on its patronal feast. The day became a favourite for court ceremonies, and on it, e.g., William of Normandy was crowned at Westminster. Pastores); the latter Church celebrated a second "prophetical" mystery after Tierce, in which Virgil and the Sibyl join with Old Testament prophets in honouring Christ. 29) leaves Him only twenty eight, and one-quarter years of life. the eight before the calends of January [25 December] . ., But they call it the 'Birthday of the Unconquered'. Unfortunately, there is no contemporary evidence for the celebration in the fourth century of Christ's conception on 25 March. Popular merry-making, however, so increased that the "Laws of King Cnut", fabricated c. The three Masses The Gelasian and Gregorian Sacramentaries give three Masses to this feast, and these, with a special and sublime martyrology, and dispensation, if necessary, from abstinence, still mark our usage. Peter's, reproduced in Rome the double Christmas Office mentioned by Etheria (see above) at Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Peter's, and said the third Mass at the high altar of St. At this third Mass Leo III inaugurated, in 800, by the coronation of Charlemagne, the Holy Roman Empire.Thalia was the Muse of comedy (the laughing face), while Melpomene was the Muse of tragedy (the weeping face).
In English (as was the analogous case in many other European languages), the word "play" or "game" (translating the Anglo-Saxon plèga or Latin ludus) was the standard term used to describe drama until William Shakespeare's time—just as its creator was a "play-maker" rather than a "dramatist" and the building was a "play-house" rather than a "theatre".
The enactment of drama in theatre, performed by actors on a stage before an audience, presupposes collaborative modes of production and a collective form of reception.
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