Religion Past and Present

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(614 words)

[German Version]

I. Religious Studies

The myth and symbolism of the phoenix (Gk ϕοῖνιξ/phoínix, probably “Phoen. [= purple] bird”) are determined by the solar tradition (Sun; hence, parallels inter alia to the Egyp. sun-bird, benu): it comes from the East (India, Arab countries), dies through immolation, appears periodically (Tacitus, Annales VI 28), is a symbol of the resurrection (II) of Christ as the true sun (or, more generally: 1 Clem. 25; Tert. Res. 13), and has the colors of the sun (nimbus of rays). Its dwelling …

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Felber, Anneliese and Thümmel, Hans Georg, “Phoenix”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 23 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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