The Sun, in its apparent motion along the ecliptic through the year, passes over the background of distant stars. However, given that we can't observe those stars due to the brightness of the Sun, how were the ancient astronomers able to identify which star the Sun appears to be over or near to?
The only possible explanation I can come up with is that they observed the morning sky just before dawn (while stars were still visible) or the night sky just after sunset and so they couldn't really identify the precise location of the Sun on the celestial sphere but they could describe its position in rather general terms, which is why they might say, e.g. that the Sun is in the constellation of the Capricorn. Am I missing something?