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Synagogue Helios

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Synagogue Helios
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Photo Comments

In the center of the Zodiac was a depiction of the sun god, Helios, riding on a chariot pulled by horses (destroyed).

Here we see Helios, the Greek god of the sun, raising his right hand in greeting.  In his left hand Helios holds a whip and a celestial globe that is divided into four quarters by bands that stand for the equator and a meridian.

"A disk of light encircles the young god's head, and seven rays of multicolored light emanate from his hair, a motif repeated in the star to the right of the whip, which is surrounded by seven-pointed rays.  Around Helios's left shoulder is a purple cloak fastened by a circular clasp.  The right shoulder of his white tunic is covered by a yellow square, probably a segmentum, which was worn by emperors and very high Roman officials."

The above description is from Shanks, Hershel. “Synagogue Excavation Reveals Stunning Mosaic of Zodiac and Torah Ark.” Biblical Archaeology Review vol. 10, no. 3 (1984): 32–44.

This synagogue dates to the 4th-5th centuries.