When I actually saw sundogs for the first time my own previous knowledge of such things concerned the famous three suns seen at the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross in Herefordshire on 2nd February 1461. The quick-thinking Edward, Duke of York (soon to be King Edward IV) claimed the phenomenon as a sign of the Holy Trinity, signifying that God was on his side. Ever after, Edward adopted the “sun in splendour” as one of his badges.
Now I have learned of another instance of three suns, this time in Stockholm, on 20th April, 1535. There is a painting of this event, known in Swedish as the Vädersolstavlan, which means “the sun dog painting”.
To read more, go to http://dreamdogsart.typepad.com/art/2012/06/v%C3%A4dersolstavlan-the-sun-dog-painting.htmland
There are numerous sites concerning this momentous event in Stockholm’s history.
A video of a modern parhelion can be seen here.