How would an ancient Roman interpret the 2017 Great American Eclipse?
The Romans excelled in the art of observation. Very simply they would have interpreted the omen as a sign with a preconcieved belief and applied their interpretation after future events unraveled. We now know there was no "dark age" of Roman Astronomy. Clearly they were watching the skies with the same dedication they applied to their engineering projects. From what I have presented on this website I will try to interpret the 2017 Great American Solar Eclipse from the viewpoint of an Imperial Judeo-Christian Roman.
1. The solar eclipse falls on a Monday. It is feminine. Monday is "moon day" associated with the Roman Empress. It is important to remember all religion strives to reconcile both life with death and death with life. The foundation myths of Rome emphasize key aspects of Roman Imperial thought. The Roman war god Mars raped the Princess Vestal Virgin Rhea Silvia at the time of a solar eclipse. This union gave birth to Romulus and Remus. Romulus then kills Remus at the time of a solar eclipse and founds the city of Rome. Romulus then disappears at a solar eclipse. This "triune" solar eclipse theology is central to the ancient Roman religion.
2. Not only would the Romans be looking at the solar eclipse but they would be aware of the planet Jupiter exiting the "womb of the virgin" in the constellation Virgo on September 23, 2017. Please remember the birthdate of Emperor Augustus was on September 23. This also may be the birthdate of Jesus Christ, please see earlier posts.
3. Taken together these signs would signify the birth of a great person or new kingdom. As I discussed earlier, signs in the heavens are interpreted very differently among certain cultures. We know today that the Star of Bethlehem was likely interpreted on the Antioch Ram coin series as an imperial justification to annex Judea as a Roman province in 6 AD. Solar eclipses were viewed as a good sign by the Second Temple Jewish priests for the preservation of the Temple against foreign sieges. The Romans viewed solar eclipses as a sign from Mars to expand Roman domination.
4. With birth comes pain, conflict and anguish, then joy and celebration follow. Roman soldiers would sometimes view war as a respite from the continual training for conflict.
5. Astrology is an abomination before God. It attempts to give precedence over events in nature as having power over God's children. God, through His only Son Jesus Christ is the only source of salvation and power. The heavens can be thought of as a "billboard." This concept is clearly communicated in Holy Scripture. Something or someone is coming soon. Emperor Augustus died on August 19, 0014. The Roman Era is about to end. I just pray that I will be with the Lord Jesus Christ, forever.