The Romans called the sun ‘sol invictus’ or “the unconquered sun”. This was quite a compliment coming from the Romans who figured they could conquer just about anything. In fact, the Romans attempted several voyages to the sun, the first of which involved setting out at daybreak in a boat and trying to get to the edge of the world by sunset. The plan was to leap onto the surface of the sun while it was touching the horizon but after the soldiers returned, suspiciously claiming they had made it but not found anything worth killing, it was clear a different approach was needed. At this point, the great astronomers of the day were released from prison and pardoned for the crime of criticizing the first voyage.

The Roman’s next attempt was made using Chinese firework technology in the hopes of lifting soldiers into the sky and carrying them through the heavens. The resulting incineration of the seventh legion and three high ranking generals was praised by the Emperor as “a great orgy of light and screams” and thought of as a roaring success until he found out that the soldiers were supposed to be shot into the air and not merely detonated on the ground. It was at this point that the greatest astronomers of the day were committed to the planks, as crucifixion was called in their time.

Today we know that it was a good thing that the Romans did not succeed because if they had the Sun would be populated with Italians and we would have fought them in WWII (a war which we ironically symbolize using the hated system of Roman numerals). Many people today believe that the Sun is too hot to live on. These people think that because if you look straight at the sun you go blind. I think this problem could be fixed with sunglasses.

2 thoughts on “My Junior High Report on the Sun

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