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ἀνίκητος : 'Invictus'

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 3:31 pm
by MrMacSon
ἀνίκητος : anikētos


From ᾰ̓- (a-, “not”) +‎ νῑ́κη1 (nī́kē, “conquered”) +‎ -τος (-tos)


ᾰ̓νῑ́κητος • (anī́kētos) m or f (neuter ᾰ̓νῑ́κητον); second declension
  1. unconquered, unconquerable, invincible ... E%BF%CF%82

  1. νῑ́κη


    νῑ́κη • (nī́kē) f (genitive νῑ́κης); first declension [and Νίκη]
    1. the act of winning: victory, success [+genitive = over, in something]
      1. things won in victory, fruits of victory
      2. the upper hand, advantage ... E%B7#Greek

    => νικητής : nikitís m (plural νικητές, feminine νικήτρια) : victor, winner

"...the earliest extant dated inscription that uses invictus as an epithet of Sol is [said to be] from AD 158":


"Publius Aelius Amandus dedicated this to the god Sol Invictus in accordance with the vow he had made, upon his honorable discharge from the equestrian guard of the emperor, during the consulship of Tertullus and Sacerdos"
  • Campbell, J. (1994). The Roman Army, 31—AD 337: A sourcebook. p. 43
  • Halsberghe, Gaston (1972). The Cult of Sol Invictus. Leiden: Brill.

Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum CIL VI, 715 "CIL-VI-715 photograph"

An inscription of AD 102 records a restoration of a portico of Sol in what is now the Trastevere area of Rome by a certain Gaius Iulius Anicetus.[11]: Chapter 5: pp.483–508  ... he may have had in mind an allusion to his own cognomen, which is the Latinized form of the Greek equivalent of invictus: ἀνίκητος (anikētos)
  • 11. Hijmans, Steven Ernst (2009). 'Sol: The Sun in the Art and Religions of Rome' (Thesis). Groningen, NL: University of Groningen. ISBN 978-90-367-3931-3; p.18, with citations from the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum

Another, stylistically dated to the 2nd century, is inscribed on a Roman phalera (ornamental disk):


."I glorify the unconquerable sun, the creator of light".[16],[c]
  • 16. Guarducci, M. (1957–1959). "Sol invictus Augustus". Rendiconti della Pont. 3rd series. Accademia Romana di Archeologia. 30–31: 161 ff
    c. An illustration is provided in Kantorowicz, E.H. (1961) "Gods in Uniform". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. 105 (4): p.383, fig.34

* Augustus [was] a regular epithet linking deities to the Imperial cult.[18]
  • 18. Brill, E.J. (1993). The Imperial Cult in the Latin West: Studies in the ruler cult of the western provinces of the Roman Empire (2nd ed.), p.87

Sol Invictus played a prominent role in the Mithraic mysteries, and was equated with Mithras.[19][20][21] The relation of the Mithraic Sol Invictus to the public cult of the [Roman] deity with the same name is unclear ... ... as_epithet

Re: ἀνίκητος : 'Invictus'

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 4:52 pm
by MrMacSon
MrMacSon wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 3:31 pm

... dated to the 2nd century, is inscribed on a Roman phalera (ornamental disk):


."I glorify the unconquerable sun, the creator of light".[16],[c]
  • 16. Guarducci, M. (1957–1959). "Sol invictus Augustus". Rendiconti della Pont. 3rd series. Accademia Romana di Archeologia. 30–31: 161 ff
    c. An illustration is provided in Kantorowicz, E.H. (1961) "Gods in Uniform". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. 105 (4): p.383, fig.34

* Augustus [was] a regular epithet linking deities to the Imperial cult.[18]
  • 18. Brill, E.J. (1993). The Imperial Cult in the Latin West: Studies in the ruler cult of the western provinces of the Roman Empire (2nd ed.), p.87

Rather than, "I glorify the unconquerable sun, the creator of light," one can see, more literally, that that says

" Creator of Light, Sun Unconquerable, Augusto " with Augusto meaning, colloquially, Augustified, as in glorified

There are several ways that could be interpretated beyond 'a link to 'the Imperial cult''

Re: ἀνίκητος : 'Invictus'

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:31 am
by Secret Alias
Remember the Roman bishop of this name from the second century.

Re: ἀνίκητος : 'Invictus'

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 4:00 pm
by MrMacSon
Secret Alias wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:31 am Remember the Roman bishop of this name from the second century.
The alleged Roman bishop of this name of the second century: All we know about 'him' is by Irenaeus using the name in the dubious list of Roman bishops:

Adv. Haers. III, 3

1. ... we are in a position to reckon up those who were by the apostles instituted bishops in the Churches, and [to demonstrate] the succession of these men to our own times; those who neither taught nor knew of anything like what these [heretics] rave about ...

2. ... that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul ... which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops ...

3. The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric ... To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telephorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus; after him, Pius; then after him, Anicetus. Soter having succeeded Anicetus, Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate ...

4. But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna ... a man who was of much greater weight, and a more steadfast witness of truth, than Valentinus, and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics. He it was who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus caused many to turn away from the aforesaid heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received this one and sole truth from the apostles ...

Adv. Haers. III, 4 has Marcion, weirdly, flourishing under Anticetus

3. For, prior to Valentinus, those who follow Valentinus had no existence; nor did those from Marcion exist before Marcion; nor, in short, had any of those malignant-minded people, whom I have above enumerated, any being previous to the initiators and inventors of their perversity. For Valentinus came to Rome in the time of Hyginus, flourished under Pius, and remained until Anicetus. Cerdon, too, Marcion's predecessor, himself arrived in the time of Hyginus, who was the ninth bishop. Coming frequently into the Church, and making public confession, he thus remained, one time teaching in secret, and then again making public confession; but at last, having been denounced for corrupt teaching, he was excommunicated from the assembly of the brethren. Marcion, then, succeeding him, flourished under Anicetus, who held the tenth place of the episcopate. But the rest, who are called Gnostics, take rise from Menander, Simon's disciple, as I have shown; and each one of them appeared to be both the father and the high priest of that doctrine into which he has been initiated. But all these (the Marcosians) broke out into their apostasy much later, even during the intermediate period of the Church.

There's this interesting post and subsequent thread of yours:
Secret Alias wrote: Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:38 pm
There is a parallel between the two bishops of Rome - one preserved with the Greek name Ανίκητος "unconqered" and the other the Roman name Victor - victorem (nom. victor) "a conqueror." Is there a relationship between the two? Could they be the same person? Or are the two related to the Polycarp martyrdom drama - viz. Polycarp and Herodes Atticus.

There are of course a number of arguments against the proposition. But let's begin by considering that the Greek equivalent of the Latin Victor is νικητής. νικητής resembles ἀνίκητος. The prefix ἀ- or ἀν- a-, an- is added to words to negate them. I don't know. Are we dealing with one and the same person seen from two different one could explain the prefix ἀ- being added by someone who denied that this bishop 'won' historically. But who was this winner/loser?

It is worth noting that first place at the Olympic games warranted the epithet νικητής. It is the most natural use of the terminology in contemporary Greek. I wonder whether Polycarp's struggle with Herodes Atticus is behind the νικητής/νικητής dynamic. Let us revisit the story of Polycarp and Herodes Atticus especially according to my understanding of a relationship between the Passing of Peregrinus and the Martyrdom of Polycarp - ... anger.html (Detering took down my more developed paper; this is all I could find for now).

The Polycarp-Herodes Atticus connection may well be a dead end. I can see obvious difficulties with the hypothesis. So what else is there?

Let's look at the Roman succession list that stands behind Irenaeus and Eusebius - i.e. from Hegesippus. The original list only went as far as Anicetus. At some point it was expanded and Irenaeus shows a list that seems to go on to Soter and Eleutherios. But Irenaeus's list is an expansion of Hegesippus. There are no absolute time markers in Hegesippus's list other than the fact that Irenaeus later used the material. When did Irenaeus's Adversus Haereses achieve its final form? When did the story about Polycarp's encounter with Anicetus which appears in a letter to Florinus attain its final form?

It just seems odd that the two names are so closely related.

Re: ἀνίκητος : 'Invictus'

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 4:01 pm
by MrMacSon
And there's this post and thread
Secret Alias wrote: Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:33 am
Philosophumena: Βύθιος καὶ Μῖξις, Ἀγήρατος καὶ Ἕνωσις, καὶ Ἡδονή, Ακίνητος καὶ Σύγκρασις, Μονογενὴς καὶ Μακαρία.

Panarion (copying out Irenaeus): Βύθιος καὶ Μῖξις, Ἀγήρατος καὶ Ἕνωσις, Αὐτοφυὴς καὶ Ἡδονή, Ἀκίνητος καὶ Σύγκρασις, Μονογενὴς καὶ Μακαρία

Against the Valentinians: Bythios et Mixis, Ageratos et Henosis, Autophyes et Hedone, Acinetos et Syncrasis, Monogenes et Macaria

Panarion 31.2 (before the citation of Irenaeus) Βύθιος καὶ Μῖξις, Ἀγήρατοςκαὶ Ἕνωσις, Αὐτοφυὴς καὶ Σύγκρασις, Μονογενὴς καὶ Ἑνότης, Ἀκίνητος καὶ Ἡδονή.
Ἀκίνητος = Unmovable (Valentinian aeon)
Ἀνίκητος = Unconquered (name of alleged bishop of Rome at the time of Hegesippus).

These terms are conjectured to have been exchanged by scribal error in a number of examples - Sophocles ... 82&f=false Proclus ... frontcover

If you look at all the 'females' in the list they all implying mixture - Μῖξις Ἕνωσις, Σύγκρασις and then Irenaeus gives the very positive Μακαρία and Epiphanius's independent source Ἑνότης 'unity.' But Ἡδονή is necessarily negative in this tradition. Philo spends a lot of time understanding the Genesis myth in terms of Ἡδονή:
Philo is here in complete accord with Plato . In the mood of high moral enthusiasm he denounces pleasure as utterly evil , but in other moods , he recognizes its place in human life . It is described as the cause of activity among men , a princess and a queen.' Many pleasures are necessary ... In this shrinking from the word Ἡδονή, Philo is at one with Plato.
So not only in Philo but in the Valentinian schema Ἡδονή is now a queen - married to either Ἀκίνητος or Αὐτοφυὴς. But what a curious 'aeon' to have in the Valentinian heavens with little in the way of commentary! Of all the aeons the presence of Ἡδονή among the 30 is most curious. One would expect Ἡδονή to be the fallen aeon but instead Irenaeus (in the various forms of the surviving polemic) concentrates on the story of the fall of Sophia.

There are some curious references in Tertullian's preservation of what we have already determined was the oldest version of the lost Greek original of the treatise. He makes reference to 'Lucifer' (Φωσφόρος) declaring:
"I have returned to you noble citizens from battle accompanied by my Lady Victory, by your Lady Joy, along with Nobility, Glory, Luck, Heroism, and Triumph." Immediately the students shouted Hooray! to Phosphorus' family. You have heard about Fortunatus, Hedone, Acinetus, Theletus. Yell Hooray! to Ptolomaeus' family. This family is that secret pleroma, the fullness of its thirty-fold divinity."
Theletus is the 'husband' of Sophia in the traditional narrative. Notice of course that Ἀκίνητος καὶ Ἡδονή are side by side here. Also there is a reference to Gaius as some sort of 'Pope' like figure (if one and the same with Gaius of Rome 'the bishop to the nations'):
we will be happy to be counted with our god [the Demiurge] from whom we received our soul-like origin. Nothing is admitted into the palace of the Pleroma except the spirit-like swarm of Valentinus. These men then, men destined to enter the Pleroma, are unclothed first; to be unclothed means to put aside the souls with which they are only apparently endowed. They return to the Demiurge these souls which they received from him. They become spirits entirely metaphysical, immune to restraint or detection; in this fashion they are received invisibly into the Pleroma-- secretly, if this is the way it is! What then? They are handed out to the angels who accompany Saviour. As sons, do you suppose? No. As valets perhaps? Not even this. As ghosts? I wish even this were the case! What, then, if you are not ashamed to say? As wives! For marriages they will play "Rape the Sabines" among themselves. This is the reward for being "spirit-like"; this is the prize for believing.

These are proper little stories; for example, you, Marcus, or you, Gaius, at present bearded in this body and in this soul a stern husband (severus maritus), father, grandfather, or great-grandfather-- certainly masculine enough--then, in this harem of a Pleroma, by some angel you might be (in nyphone Pleromatis ab angelo). . . ; by my silence I have already said it. Anyway perhaps you might give birth to some new aeon (et forsitan parias
aliquem novissimum Aeonem). In place of the usual torch and veil I imagine that famous mysterious fire will blaze out to solemnize the ceremony, and will devastate the entire universe, then be reduced to nothing, after it has incinerated everything. That will be the end of their myth. But I am certainly the rash one for betraying, even in jest, such a great mystery. I should be afraid that Achamoth (i.e. Sophia), who wanted to be unrecognized even by her own son, may rage; that Theletus may become angry; that Fortunata may be irritated. But why worry? I am the Demiurge's man. It will be my fate to return after death to a place where there is no giving in marriage, where we are to be further clothed rather than unclothed (II Cor. 5); where even if I were unclothed of my sex, I would be classified as an angel, neither male nor female. No one will do anything to me since he will not find me as male then.
Am I reading too much in here that Ἀκίνητος or Ἀνίκητος may have had a similar role to Marcus or Gaius insofar as he was a bishop seated alongside a spiritual 'wife' - Ἡδονή? 'Anicetus' only comes to us from the Hegesippus/Irenaeus reporting. Polycarp and Hegesippus himself seem to have met the bishop. But what if Polycarp was Hegesippus (Joseph is after all 'the fruitful' = many-fruit bough or son). Then the reporting about Valentinus might also come from this source too. The name is ascribed to a bishop of Rome who was understood to be a heavenly aeon.

Re: ἀνίκητος : 'Invictus'

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 4:19 pm
by MrMacSon
In Greek mythology, Anicetus was one of twin sons of Heracles (who, in turn, was the son of Zeus and Alcmene; & a half-brother of Dionysus).

They are said to have been born after the hero Heracles' mortal death and ascent to Olympus, where he gained immortality and married the goddess Hebe (Hesiod, Theogony). Along with their immortal father, Anicetus and Alexiares are the guardians and gatekeepers of the gates of Mount Olympus.

Anicetus is the name of a freedman of the Roman emperor Nero who, along with the freedman Beryllus, tutored the young emperor. After tutoring Nero, Anicetus was made commander of the fleet (praefectus classis) at Misenum in 59 AD. He was later employed by the emperor to murder Nero's own mother, Agrippina the Younger, which he eventually achieved by stabbing her. This Anicetus was subsequently induced by Nero to confess having committed adultery with Nero's wife, Claudia Octavia. Anicetus was banished to Sardinia

As SA notes in a post quoted above there was a pirate by this name who may fit this banished Anicetus, though Anicetus the pirate has a separate Wikipedia entry - - which cites Tacitus' Histories 3 as saying [that that] Anicetus had been a freedman of King Polemon II of Pontus, and had commanded the royal fleet :confusedsmiley:

Re: ἀνίκητος : 'Invictus'

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 7:56 pm
by Leucius Charinus
Earliest appearance of Sol Invictus on the Roman Imperial Coinage (197 CE). ... 998-1204-1