It was Aurelian
I write to correct an historical misstatement in Rabbi Shammai Engelmayer’s article, “There’s nothing ‘light’ about Chanukah’s message” (November 26). He wrote, “In 274 C.E., the emperor Constantine reformed December 25 into the birthday of Sol Invictus….” In 274, the emperor was Aurelian, not Constantine. Constantine was emperor decades later.
[RABBI ENGELMAYER REPLIED: That’s right. It was Aurelian who did that in 274. Constantine made Sol into the god who made the emperors, and even minted coins to that end, but in his last 13 years (after a military victory which was preceded, or so he said, by a flash of light in the shape of a crossI, he stopped doing such pagan things.]