The crowns suspended in churches suggested doubtless the sumptuous pensile luminaries, frequently designated from a very early period as coronae, in which the form of the royal circlet was preserved in much larger proportions, as exemplified by the remarkable corona still to be seen suspended in the cathedral at Aix-laChapelle over the crypt in which the body of Charlemagne was deposited."
The personification of the two great luminaries - the sun and the moon - was the first step in the unfolding of this system, and this was followed by placing the other deities where Shamash and Sin had their seats.
This is the teacher of Asia,"they shouted," this is the father of the Christians: this is the destroyer of our gods: this is the man who has taught so many no longer to sacrifice and no longer to pray to the gods."13 And after the execution they refused to deliver up his bones to the Christians for burial on the ground that" the Christians would now forsake the Crucified and worship Polycarp."14 Polycarp was indeed, as Polycrates says," "one of the great luminaries" (peyitXa 6Tocxeia) of the time.
I) to deal only with the luminaries of the heaven and their laws.
The generally recognized principal Avatars do not, however, by any means constitute the only occasions of a direct intercession of the deity in worldly affairs, but - in the same way as to this day the eclipses of the sun and moon are ascribed by the ordinary Hindu to these luminaries being temporarily swallowed by the dragon Rahu (or Graha, " the seizer") - so any uncommon occurrence would be apt to be set down as a special manifestation of divine power; and any man credited with exceptional merit or achievement, or even remarkable for some strange incident connected with his life or death, might ultimately come to be looked upon as a veritable incarnation of the deity, capable of influencing the destinies of man, and might become an object of local adoration or superstitious awe and propitiatory rites to multitudes of people.