Emperor Probus, Reign 276-282 AD, Rome Mint, Eclipse of 279 AD

This coin was minted by Emperor Probus in Rome in 279 AD. Note the solar eclipse symbol at the base of the reverse. It likely commemorates the victories over the Germanic tribes since the year 276 AD when Probus came to power. He was governor of Syria and Egypt prior to becoming emperor and saw several eclipses in the middle east. This coin along with the next demonstrates that the Romans saw the eclpise as validation of their German conquests. The eclipse of 279 AD was only seen in the Germanic regions and this coin would have been used as propaganda both in Rome and above the Danube river. Photo by Sebastian Sondermann

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2000 years ago the cross was a Roman symbol of death and terror. Jesus Christ transformed this symbol into a universal sign of God's love, hope and resurrection. Solar eclipse events are recorded in Roman mythology during the conception of Romulus and Remus by the war god Mars and during the foundation of the city of Rome. The solar eclipse to the Romans was a sign from their gods that war was upon the Earth. The solar eclipse symbol of the star/pellet within the crescent on Roman coins and legionary standards was also a sign of their god's approval of Roman domination over conquered lands. Fifteen hundred years later, the "Our Lady of Guadalupe" Icon was presented to the New World as an inverted Roman Legionary Standard. Jesus Christ changed these symbols of Roman domination and slavery into an everlasting sign of God's love and compassion.