The Tarsus Club, and the NWO.....

The Bull is sac [click image to enlarge] The Tarsus Club is a membership only annual retreat for global innovators with an emphasis on strengthening global networking, leadership skills and relationship building.

In today’s era of globalization, it is more important than ever for global leaders to form trusting and long lasting relationships with their peers around the world. The Tarsus Club aims to facilitate this process in hopes of fostering greater understanding between nations, business, and individuals. Growing interdependence necessitates that we transcend and influence traditionally nationalistic systems of governance.

More effective methods of international cooperation must be fostered across the world to achieve the stability and order we all desire in the new world.

Murray Chance
Chairman and President of the
Tarsus Club Steering Committee

The Chance family has been involved with the Tarsus Club for several generations, dating back to the 1600s when the family was intrinsic to the formation of the British East India Company. After receiving a Doctorate of Law from Harvard, Murray Chance served as the U.S. assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, a position in which he won two Distinguished Service medals. In 1969 he took over for his father as the Chairman of Chance Investments where he continues to serve on the board of directors. He has worked as an advisor to three sitting US presidents, and sits on the board of The Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg Group and the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the current co-chairman of the EU-Japan Business Dialogue Round Table and chairman of the European Academy of Business in Society. He is also a member of the board of numerous North American and European companies. In 2009, the newspaper EUobserver credited Chance as "one of the leading forces that helped create the euro in the 1990s". A movie was made about this club, and in order to do this it was infilterated by pe"ople to expose this global society, and it is now being shown on " NetFlix," and it is called "Conspiracy. And how it is a very ancient club, and the Bull is it's symbol, and the bull is seen world wide in many Plazas, such as in New York City, and it is seen by the public everyday. This ancient society goes way back before the time of Jesus Christ. It has many top world leaders as members, and it is a global organization, and top cooperations are run under gobal groupTarsus Club 2005 | North America | Europe | Asia Pacific | Middle East | South America | Africa. .Here is the main web site- More- More- IMAGES of this Ancient Society- More- More -

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bluesbaby5050: The Roman Cult of Mithras...........

he Roman deity Mithras appears in the historical record in the late 1st century A.D., and disappears from it in the late 4th century A.D. Unlike the major mythological figures of Graeco-Roman religion, such as Jupiter and Hercules, no ancient source preserves the mythology of the god. All of our information is therefore derived from depictions on monuments, and the limited mentions of the cult in literary sources.

The temples of Mithras were always an underground cave, featuring a relief of Mithras killing the bull. This "tauroctony", as it is known today, appears in the same format everywhere, but with minor variations. Other standard themes appear in the iconography.

The cult was all male. There were seven degrees of initiation. Different ritual meals were associated with each stage.

The modern study of Mithras begins just before 1900 with Franz Cumont's Textes et Monuments (TMMM). This two volume work collected all the ancient evidence. Cumont presumed that Mithras was merely the Roman form of the ancient Indo-Persian deity Mitra or Mithra. In the mid-50's Cumont's pupil Maarten Vermaseren published a new collection of monuments, the CIMRM, which added the archaeological discoveries of the last 50 years, but also highlighted how poorly the archaeology supported the Cumontian theory. At the 1971 international conference on Mithraic studies, Cumont's theory was abandoned in favour of a Roman origin for the cult.

The ancient writer Justin Martyr referred to one of the ritual meals of the cult as being a parody of Christianity. In some speculative passages Cumont sometimes tried to interpret some Mithraic ideas in Christian terms. Consequently various modern myths came into being. These appear as fact in older scholarly literature, and sometimes in non-specialist academic literature even today. For the most part these errors appear in non-scholarly literature.

1. The cult myth
The basic version of the cult myth is attested by literary sources, but, primarily, by depictions in the cult images in the temples. The latter are difficult to interpret.

It is certain that Mithras is born from a rock.1 He is depicted in his temples hunting down and slaying a bull in the tauroctony (see section below). He then meets with the sun, who kneels to him. The two then shake hands, and dine on bull parts. Little is known about the beliefs associated with this.2 The ancient histories of the cult by Euboulos and Pallas have perished.3 The name of the god was certainly given as Mithras (with an 's') in Latin monuments, although Mithra may have been used in Greek.4

Some monuments show additional episodes of the myth. In the paintings at Dura Europos (CIMRM 42), the story begins with Jupiter fighting against the giants. This is followed by a mysterious depiction of a bearded figure reclining against a rock, with the leaves of a tree above. This figure is sometimes thought to be Oceanus. Then the normal myth is depicted. The same episodes appear as a prologue also in CIMRM 1430, a relief from Virunum, and CIMRM 1359 from Germany.

In the painted Mithraeum at Hawarte in Syria, further scenes appear. Mithras is depicted with a chained demon at his feet, while in another scene he is depicted attacking a city manned by the demons. These scenes appear to follow the normal myth.

2. History
See History and Development of Mithras.

In antiquity, texts refer to "the mysteries of Mithras", and to its adherents, as "the mysteries of the Persians."5 But there is great dispute about whether there is really any link with Persia, and its origins are quite obscure.6

The mysteries of Mithras were not practiced until the 1st century AD.7 The unique underground temples or Mithraea appear suddenly in the archaeology in the last quarter of the 1st century AD.8

During the 2nd and 3rd centuries, the archaeology includes a great many Mithraea, some of which are rebuilt and enlarged during this period.

It is difficult to trace when the cult of Mithras came to an end. Beck states that "Quite early in the [fourth] century the religion was as good as dead throughout the empire."9 Inscriptions from the 4th century are few. Clauss states that inscriptions show Mithras as one of the cults listed on inscriptions by pagan senators in Rome as part of the "pagan revival" among the elite.10 There is no evidence that the cult still existed in the 5th century.11Iconography
Much about the cult of Mithras is only known from reliefs and sculptures. There have been many attempts to interpret this material.

3.1. The Mithraeum

CIMRM 229. The Mithraeum at the Baths of Mithras in Ostia Antica.
The architecture of a temple of Mithras is very distinctive.12 Porphyry, quoting the lost handbook of Eubolus13 states that Mithras was worshipped in a rock cave. The Mithraeum reproduces this cave, in which Mithras killed the bull.14 The format of the room involved a central aisle, with a raised podium on either side.15

Mithraic temples are common in the empire; although very unevenly distributed, with considerable numbers found in Rome, Ostia, Numidia, Dalmatia, Britain and along the Rhine/Danube frontier; while being much less common in Greece, Egypt, and Syria.16 More than 420 Mithraic sites have now been identified.17

Mithraea are commonly located close to springs or streams; fresh water appears to have been required for some Mithraic rituals, and a basin is often incorporated into the structure.18 There is usually a narthex or ante-chamber at the entrance, and often other ancillary rooms for storage and the preparation of food. The term mithraeum is modern; in Italy inscriptions usually call it a spelaeum; outside Italy it is referred to as templum.19 uch about the cult of Mithras is only known from reliefs and sculptures. There have been many attempts to interpret this material.

3.1. The Mithraeum

CIMRM 229. The Mithraeum at the Baths of Mithras in Ostia Antica.
The architecture of a temple of Mithras is very distinctive.12 Porphyry, quoting the lost handbook of Eubolus13 states that Mithras was worshipped in a rock cave. The Mithraeum reproduces this cave, in which Mithras killed the bull.14 The format of the room involved a central aisle, with a raised podium on either side.15

Mithraic temples are common in the empire; although very unevenly distributed, with considerable numbers found in Rome, Ostia, Numidia, Dalmatia, Britain and along the Rhine/Danube frontier; while being much less common in Greece, Egypt, and Syria.16 More than 420 Mithraic sites have now been identified.17

Mithraea are commonly located close to springs or streams; fresh water appears to have been required for some Mithraic rituals, and a basin is often incorporated into the structure.18 There is usually a narthex or ante-chamber at the entrance, and often other ancillary rooms for storage and the preparation of food. The term mithraeum is modern; in Italy inscriptions usually call it a spelaeum; outside Italy it is referred to as templum.19

3.2. The Tauroctony:In every Mithraeum the centrepiece was a representation of Mithras killing a sacred bull; the so-called tauroctony.20

The image may be a relief, or free-standing, and side details may be present or omitted. The centre-piece is Mithras clothed in Anatolian costume and wearing a Phrygian cap; who is kneeling on the exhausted bull, holding it by the nostrils with his left hand, and stabbing it with his right. As he does so, he looks over his shoulder towards the figure of Sol. A dog and a snake reach up towards the blood.21 A scorpion seizes the bull's genitals. The two torch-bearers are on either side, dressed like Mithras, Cautes with his torch pointing up and Cautopates with his torch pointing down.22

The event takes place in a cavern, into which Mithras has carried the bull, after having hunted it, ridden it and overwhelmed its strength.23 Sometimes the cavern is surrounded by a circle, on which the twelve signs of the zodiac appear. Outside the cavern, top left, is Sol the sun, with his flaming crown, often driving a quadriga. A ray of light often reaches down from the sun to touch Mithras. Top right is Luna, with her crescent moon, who may be depicted driving a chariot.

In some depictions, the central tauroctony is framed by a series of subsidiary scenes to the left, top and right, illustrating events in the Mithras narrative; Mithras being born from the rock, the water miracle, the hunting and riding of the bull, meeting Sol who kneels to him, shaking hands with Sol and sharing a meal of bull-parts with him, and ascending to the heavens in a chariot.

Sometimes Cautes and Cautopates carry shepherds' crooks instead.24

3.3. The Banquet of the Sun

CIMRM 641. Sol and Mithras banqueting with Luna and the twin divinities Cautes and Cautopates, his attendants. Marble, side B of a two-sided relief from Fioro Romano, 2nd or 3rd century AD.
The second most important scene after the tauroctony in Mithraic art is the so-called banquet scene.25 The two scenes are sometimes sculpted on the opposite sides of the same relief. The banquet scene features Mithras and the Sun god banqueting on the hide of the slaughtered bull. On the specific banquet scene on the Fioro Romano relief, one of the torchbearers points a caduceus towards the base of an altar, where flames appear to spring up. Robert Turcan has argued that since the caduceus is an attribute of Mercury, and in mythology Mercury is depicted as a psychopomp, the eliciting of flames in this scene is referring to the dispatch of human souls and expressing the Mithraic doctrine on this matter. Turcan also connects this event to the tauroctony: the blood of the slain bull has soaked the ground at the base of the altar, and from the blood the souls are elicited in flames by the caduceus.26

3.4. The lion-headed figure
See also Aion.

CIMRM 312-3. Lion-headed god from Ostia.
A unique feature of the Mithraeum is the naked lion-headed figure sometimes found in Mithraic temples.27 He is entwined by a serpent, with the snake's head often resting on the lion's head. The lion's mouth is often open. He is usually represented having four wings, two keys (sometimes a single key) and a scepter in his hand. Sometimes the figure is standing on a globe inscribed with a diagonal cross. A more scarcely represented variant of the figure with a human head is also found. Although animal-headed figures are prevalent in contemporary Egyptian and Gnostic mythological representations, the Leontocephaline is entirely restricted to Mithraic art.28

Although the exact identity of the lion-headed figure is debated by scholars, it is largely agreed that the god is associated with time and seasonal change.29 An example is CIMRM 78-79 from the Mithraeum in Sidon.

In one monument only the name Arimanius appears against what seems to be the same figure. This label is probably derived from the Greek translation of the name of the Zoroastrian demon Ahriman. The inscriptions refer to "Arimanius" as "deus" (= "a god").30

4. Initiation into the mysteries of Mithras
In the Byzantine encylopedia known as the Suda there is an entry "Mithras", which states that "no one was permitted to be initiated into them (the mysteries of Mithras), until he should show himself holy and steadfast by undergoing several graduated tests."31 Gregory Nazianzen refers to the "tests in the mysteries of Mithras".32

A series of five frescos at the Mithraeum of ancient Capua (today Santa Maria Capua Vetere in Campania) depict what may be the rituals for some of the grades of initiation. They are very damaged and hard to interpret. The first shows a blindfolded naked man; in the second he is also kneeling and his hands are bound behind him; in the third he is no longer blindfolded and is being crowned; in the fourth he is being restrained from rising; in the fifth he is lying on the ground as if dead.33

CIMRM 187 - Initiation ceremony 1.

CIMRM 188 - Initiation ceremony 2.

CIMRM 191 - Initiation ceremony 3.

CIMRM 194 - Initiation ceremony 4.

CIMRM 193 - Initiation ceremony 5.
Number of entries: 5
Seven grades of initiation into the mysteries of Mithras are listed by St. Jerome.34 There is probably a connection between the number of grades and the seven planets, and there is evidence commending the priests to the protection of the god for each planet.35 A mosaic in the Ostia Mithraeum of Felicissimus depicts these grades, with heraldic emblems that are connected either to the grades, although they may just be symbols of the planets.36 It has been suggested, however, that most followers of Mithras were simply initiated, and the seven grades are in fact grades of priests.37

The grades are associated in mosaics in the Mithraeum of Felicissimus, Ostia, with certain objects. Three objects are given for each grade; one seems to be the symbol of the grade, while the other two are symbols of the god or goddess.38 In the Santa Prisca Mithraeum in Rome, the grades are listed with an inscription next to each, commending the grade-holder to a planetary deity. This gives us the following infortmation:Grade Symbols in the Ostia mosaic St. Prisca Greeting
Corax (raven) raven, beaker (the caduceus is a symbol of Mercury) (Mercury)
Nymphus (bridegroom) or Gryphus lamp (a diadem and a now unrecognisable object are symbols of the goddess and planet Venus) "Nama to the Bridegrooms, under the protection of Venus!"
Miles (soldier) sling-bag, helmet, lance "Nama to the Soldiers, under the protection of Mars!"
Leo (lion) the fire-shovel (the rattle, sistrum and thunderbolt refer to Jupiter) Nama to the Lions, under the protection of Jupiter!"
Perses (Persian) akimakes (Persian hooked dagger) (the crescent moon and stars refer to Luna) "Nama to the Persians, under the protection of the Moon!"
Heliodromus (sun-runner) torch (the rayed crown and whip are symbols of the sun) "Nama to the Runners of the Sun, under the protection of the Sun!"
Pater (father) libation bowl (the staff and sickle refer to Saturn) "Nama to the Fathers, from East to West, under the protection of Saturn!"
In addition, there is mention in the inscriptions of a pater patrum. This is probably not a higher grade, but instead connected with the fact that there could be several initiates of grade pater, and that one of them became the pater for them all.40 Likewise at one Mithraeum there was a pater leonum, a "Father of the lions".41 42

Admission into the community was completed with a handshake with the pater, just as Mithras and Sol shook hands. The initiates were thus referred to as syndexioi, those "united by the handshake".43 The term is used in an inscription44 and derided by Firmicus Maternus45.

5. Mithras and other gods

CIMRM 821. Mercury.
Many Mithraea contain statues dedicated to gods of other cults, and it is common to find inscriptions dedicated to Mithras in other sanctuaries.46 Mithraism was not an alternative to other pagan religions, but rather a particular way of practising pagan worship; and many Mithraic initiates can also be found worshipping in the civic religion, and as initiates of other mystery cults.47

5.1. Phanes
See Mithras and Phanes.

Mithras is sometimes depicted in a similar manner to the Orphic deity Phanes.

5.2. Sol, Helios, Sol Invictus
Mithras is always described as "sol invictus" (the unconquered sun) in inscriptions.48. But Sol and Mithras were different deities.49 The vagueness of the term invictus means that it was used as a title for a number of deities.50 Mithraism never became a state cult, however, unlike the official late Roman Sol Invictus cult.51

Although Mithras himself is called Sol Invictus, "the Unconquered Sun", he and Sol appear in several scenes as separate persons, with the banquet scene being the most prominent example. Other scenes feature Mithras ascending behind Sol in the latter's chariot, the deities shaking hands and the two gods at an altar with pieces of meat on a spit or spits. One peculiar scene shows Sol kneeling before Mithras, who holds an object, interpreted either as a Persian cap or the haunch of the bull, in his hand.52

5.3. Jupiter Dolichenus
The Mithraea at Carnuntum appear to have been constructed in close association with contemporary temple of Jupiter Dolichenus,53. Two Mithraea were discovered in Doliche in Commagene itself (modern Gaziantep in Turkey). The publishers proposed a date of the 1st century A.D., but generally a 2nd-3rd century date is preferred, and the temples related to Rhine-frontier Mithraea.54

5.4. Mithras and Christianity
See Mithras and Christianity.

The idea of a relationship between early Christianity and Mithras is based on a remark by the 2nd century Christian writer, Justin Martyr, who accused the cultists of Mithras of imitating the Christian communion rite.55 Based upon this, Ernest Renan in 1882 depicted two rival religions: "...if the growth of Christianity had been arrested by some mortal malady, the world would have been Mithraic,"56 But in fact the two groups did not have similar aims, and there was never any chance of this occurring.57

6. Bibliography
6.1. Further reading
There is an immense number of books and articles, most of them derivative. The following list is intentionally confined to the most essential items.

Roger Beck, "The Mysteries of Mithras: A New Account of Their Genesis," Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 88, 1998 (1998) , pp. 115-128.
Roger Beck, "Mithraism since Franz Cumont," Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, II.17.4, 1984, pp.2002-2115. Important summary of the changes to Mithras scholarship.
Roger Beck, Beck on Mithraism: Collected works with new essays. Ashgate, 2004. Google Books preview here.
Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras: the god and his mysteries, Translated by Richard Gordon. New York: Routledge, 2000. Pp. 198. ISBN 0-415-92977-6 here. An excellent concise view of the current consensus.
Franz Cumont, Textes et monuments figurés relatifs aux Mystères de Mithra : pub. avec une introduction critique, 2 vols. 1894-6. Abbreviated as TMMM. Vol. 1 is an introduction, now obsolete. Vol. 2 is a collection of primary data, online at here, and still of some value.
Richard Gordon, Frequently asked questions about the cult of Mithras. Some common misconceptions, and the comments of a professional Mithras scholar.
John Hinnells (ed.), Proceedings of The First International Congress of Mithraic Studies, Manchester University Press (1975).
Reinhold Merkelbach, Mithras: ein persisch-römischer Mysterienkult, 1994. Google books preview here.
Robert Turcan, Mithra et le mithriacisme, Paris, 2000.
David Ulansey, The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World, Oxford University Press, 1989. An interesting account, widely read online, but not accepted by scholars.
Maarten J. Vermaseren, Corpus Inscriptionum et Monumentorum Religionis Mithriacae, The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff, 1956, 2 vols. Abbreviated as CIMRM. The standard collection of Mithraic reliefs.
6.2. External links
The Electronic Journal of Mithraic Studies. Academic site.
Mithraeum A website with a collection of monuments and bibliography about Mithraism.
L'Ecole Initiative: Alison Griffith, 1996. "Mithraism". A brief overview with bibliography.
Franz Cumont, "The Mysteries Of Mithra". 1903. Elderly English translation of the obsolete introduction to his book.
David Ulansey's article "The Cosmic Mysteries of Mithras" from ''Biblical Archaeology Review'', summarizing his book ''The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries'' (Oxford Univ. Press, 1989).
Google Maps: Map of the locations of Mithraea
Richard Gordon's FAQ.
1 Commodian, Instructiones 1.13: "The unconquered one was born from a rock, if he is regarded as a god." Also copious depictions in monuments.
2 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p. xxi: "we possess virtually no theological statements either by Mithraists themselves or by other writers."
3 Porphyry, De Antro Nympharum tells us of both writers.
4 Richard L. Gordon, "The date and significance of CIMRM 593 (British Museum, Townley Collection)", Journal of Mithraic Studies 2, 1978, p.148-174. p. 160: "The usual western nominative form of Mithras' name in the mysteries ended in -s, as we can see from the one authentic dedication in the nominative, recut over a dedication to Sarapis (463, Terme de Caracalla), and from occasional grammatical errors such as deo inviato Metras (1443). But it is probable that Euboulus and Pallas at least used the name Mithra as an indeclinable (ap. Porphyry, De abstinentia II.56 and IV.16)."
5 Roger Beck, "Mithraism", in: Encyclopedia Iranica, 2002.
6 See detailed discussion of possible origins.
7 Manfred Clauss, tr. Richard Gordon, The Roman cult of Mithras, Edinburgh University Press, 2000, ISBN 074861396X.
8 Roger Beck, "The Mysteries of Mithras: A New Account of their Genesis", Journal of Roman Studies, 1998, 115-128. p. 118.
9 Roger Beck, "Merkelbach's Mithras" in: Phoenix 41 (1987), p. 299. On JSTOR.
10 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p. 29-30: "Mithras also found a place in the 'pagan revival' that occurred, particularly in the western empire, in the latter half of the fourth century AD. For a brief period, especially in Rome, the cult enjoyed, along with others, a last efflorescence, for which we have evidence from among the highest circles of the senatorial order. One of these senators was Rufius Caeionius Sabinus, who in 377 dedicated an altar" to a long list of gods including Mithras.
11 A supposed reference by Franz Cumont notwithstanding.
12 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.43: "The architecture of mithraea is quite special, and its characteristic configuration makes it easy to identify such temples in excavations."
13 Porphyry, De antro nympharum, c. 6.
14 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.42: "Because Mithras killed the bull in a cave, his followers likewise performed the ritual reproduction of this saving act in a cave, or rather in a shrine which reproduced that cave, in a spelaeum ('cave')."
15 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.46: "The cult-room itself (crypta) was constructed according to a traditional scheme, whose design remained virtually constant from Britain to the Black Sea. Its characteristic feature was a central aisle (fig. 7: D) flanked on each side by raised podia (E) for the initiates."
16 A map of locations appears in Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, across pages 26 and 27.
17 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.xxi: "The evidence used in this book is essentially the archaeological remains - the Mithraic temples and their contents, the inscriptions and the reliefs, whose iconographic conventions are those of Hellenistic and Roman tradition. Evidence for the cult has been found at some 420 sites. There are about 1,000 inscriptions, and 700 depictions of the bull-killing (only about half of them complete); and in addition 400 monuments with other subjects."
18 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.73: "...the importance of water for all manner of ritual purposes is revealed by the water-basins and cisterns, by the representations of Oceanus, and also by the evident desire to locate temples in the vicinity of a river or a spring. Water-basins were clearly part of the basic equipment of all mithraea."
19 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.22: "The cult spread from Italy, then. In view of the sheer amount of evidence found there, we can probably point specifically to the area of Rome and Ostia. The cult in Rome retained some peculiarities well after the first century AD, though we have no firmly datable monuments from the early period. Among these idiosyncrasies we can list the term spelaeum, ritual cave, for the mithraeum, which was not replaced by the word templum as quickly as in the provinces..."
20 David Ulansey, The origins of the Mithraic mysteries, p. 6: "Although the iconography of the cult varied a great deal from temple to temple, there is one element of the cult's iconography which was present in essentially the same form in every mithraeum and which, moreover, was clearly of the utmost importance to the cult's ideology; namely the so-called tauroctony, or bull-slaying scene, in which the god Mithras, accompanied by a series of other figures, is depicted in the act of killing the bull."
21 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.77.
22 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.98-9. An image search for "tauroctony" will show many examples of the variations.
23 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.74.
24 J. R. Hinnells, "The Iconography of Cautes and Cautopates: the Data," Journal of Mithraic Studies 1, 1976, pp. 36-67. See also William W. Malandra, Cautes and Cautopates in: "Encyclopedia Iranica".
25 Roger Beck, "In the Place of the Lion: Mithras in the Tauroctony" in Beck on Mithraism: collected works with new essays, 2004, p. 286-287.
26 Roger Beck, "The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire", Oxford University Press, 2007, ISBN 0199216134, p. 27-28.
27 R. Dussaud, "Le dieu mithriaque leontocephaline", Syria 27 (1950), p.253-260. Online here.
28 H. von Gall, "The Lion-headed and the Human-headed God in the Mithraic Mysteries," in Jacques Duchesne-Guillemin ed. Études mithriaques, 1978, p. 511: "Very characteristic of Roman Mithraic art is the type of a naked lion-headed youth. He is entwined by a snake, and the snake's head usually rests on the lion's head. The lion's mouth of this demon is usually open giving a grim and infernal impression. He is mostly represented with four wings, and further attributes are two keys (or one key) and a sceptre in each hand: sometimes he is standing on a globe (fig. 1). It must be stressed that this mythological type is entirely restricted to Mithraic art. Exact parallels are missing in contemporary Egypt and from the composite beings on Gnostic gems, though in both of these cases animal-headed creatures are numerous. There is a variant of the lion-headed Mithraic demon with an entirely human body, which also has a human head. This latter type is more scarcely represented though it must be supposed that some headless statues with a small neck and acccntuated shoulders may have belonged to the human-headed type (pl. XXX)."
29 Roger Beck, A reprinted article on the Ponza zodiac in: Beck on Mithraism, Ashgate (2004), p. 194 (original article page no. 110): "The other monuments in which a snake is associated with a zodiac are, significantly, all Mithraic, and for the most part they are monuments of the lion-headed god. There is no need for us to enter into the vexed question of who exactly this deity is. It is sufficient for our purposes 'that, from the iconography, the god was concerned with time, seasonal change and cosmic power' (Gordon, 1975: 222), a position that, I believe, few scholars would be inclined to deny. Nor shall I be attempting to prove that proposition, since my argument would then be circular. The association of the lion-headed god with time is established largely through the iconography of snake and zodiac. One cannot therefore argue that the snake and zodiac, as found at Ponza, are symbols of time because they are associated elsewhere with the lion-headed god. Rather, I wish only to demonstrate that, accepting as a premise that the snake with the zodiac is a symbol of time, and in particular of time as defined by the sun's annual journey."
30 Howard M. Jackson, "The Meaning and Function of the Leontocephaline in Roman Mithraism" in Numen, Vol. 32, Fasc. 1 (Jul., 1985), pp. 17-45. Online here. P.18: "On the provisos, however, that the statue represents a leontocephaline (it does have the usual wings and keys), that the crucial word is correctly restored, and that the word identifies the statue itself, the being's name was Arimanius, nominally the equivalent of Ahriman, the great Evil One of the Zoroastrian pantheon. In support of this admittedly shaky identification of the leontocephaline there are the facts that Arimanius is known from inscriptions to have figured as a deus in the Mithraic cult (CIMRM #369, an altar from Rome; #1773 with fig 461 and #1775, both from Pannonia) and to have been depicted by some kind of plastic image (signum Arimanium: CIMRM #222, from Ostia)."
31 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.102. The Suda reference given is 3: 394, M 1045 Adler.
32 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.102. The Gregory reference given is to Oratio 4, 70.
33 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.102-3. The frescos are CIMRM 187, 188, 191, 194 and 193.
34 Jerome, Letters 107 ch. 2, (To Laeta): "... did not your own kinsman Gracchus whose name betokens his patrician origin, when a few years back he held the prefecture of the City, overthrow, break in pieces, and shake to pieces the grotto of Mithras and all the dreadful images therein? Those I mean by which the worshippers were initiated as Raven, Bridegroom, Soldier, Lion, Perseus, Sun, Crab, and Father?"
35 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.33: "They stand in some relation to the planets: their number, seven, must have inspired the number of grades. In the important mithraeum beneath S. Prisca in Rome frescoes were discovered with figures depicting the different grades, each with a dipinto beside it commending the priests to the protection of the different planetary gods. They all begin with the word nama, a word, as we have seen (p. 8), of Persian origin, representing a particularly solemn form of greeting."
36 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p. 133: "Further evidence is offered by the Mithraeum of Felicissimus at Ostia, where there is a mosaic floor to the central aisle, divided into seven panels each with devices akin to heraldic emblems (fig. 9). We may surmise that they are related to the grades, though it is possible that are just symbols of the planets."
37 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.131: "Although it is not always clearly stated, most previous accounts assume that all Mithraists were members of one grade or another. ... Should we not rather conclude that in the cult there were, on the one hand, the great majority of Mithraists, who were simply initiated once, and, on the other, a small group of holders of the different grades, whom it would be appropriate to speak of as 'priests'?"
38 This seems to be the logical inference from the description given by Clauss, although unfortunately this is less clear for the first two grades.
39 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.133-138
40 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.138: "The name of C. Accius Hedychrus occurs on four different votives at Emerita in Lusitania (Merida, Spain). Two he himself donated, but in the case of the two others he simply gave his approval, and in them he is referred to as pater (V 774, 793). In his own inscriptions, he calls himself once pater (V 781, fig. 115) and once p(ater) patrum (V 779). This last is probably not a higher grade, but is to be connected with the fact that there could be several Fathers in one congregation, so one of them became the 'Father of (the) Fathers'."
41 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.136: "Another Umbrian Mithraist, at Sentinum (Sentino), bore the title pater leonum, 'Father of the Lions', which also suggests a rather large number of them there (V 688)."
42 At this point in the Wikipedia article are several paragraphs of rubbish, cunningly disguised to look authoritative. Consult this article for details.
43 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.152: "The pact between the deities was the model for a ceremony that concluded the acceptance of new members into the Mithraic community: the initiates were termed syndexioi, 'those who have been united by a handshake' (with the Father) (p. 105)."
44 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p. 42: "That the hand-shaken might make their vows joyfully forever" referencing CIMRM 423, dedicated by a certain Proficentius.
45 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p. 105: "the followers of Mithras were the 'initiates of the theft of the bull, united by the handshake of the illustrious father." (Err. prof. relig. 5.2)
46 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.158: "There are many examples illustrating the readiness of Mithraists to worship other divinities. ... The range of Graeco-Roman divinities to whom votives were offered in mithraea is quite considerable. ... Of all these deities, I would just like to stress the significance of Mercury for many Mithraic congregations."
47 Walter Burkert, "Ancient Mystery Cults", Harvard University Press, 1987, ISBN 0674033876, p.49.
48 Clauss, p.146: "Roman Mithras is the invincible sun-god, Sol Invictus. This is the burden, repeated a hundred times over, of the votive inscriptions from the second to the fourth centuries AD, whether in the form Sol Invictus Mithras, or Deus Sol Invictus Mithras, or Deus Sol Mithras, or Sol Mithras. There do not seem to be any significant regional or temporal variations among such formulae. In the very earliest epigraphic evidence for the Roman cult of Mithras, the god is already invoked as Sol Invictus Mithras. These facts are confirmed by the numerous votive offerings to Sol, Deus Sol, Sol Invictus, and Deus Invictus Sol which were put up in mithraea."; Clauss, p.79: "Victory is what characterises the god; his one unvarying epithet is Invictus."
49 Clauss, p.147: "On the other hand, however, Mithras and Sol are two separate deities, as can amply be demonstrated."; p.148: "Mithras is Sol, and at the same time Sol is Mithras' companion. Paradoxical relationships of this kind are to be found between many deities in antiquity. People in the ancient world did not feel bound by fixed credos and confessions which had to be consistent to the last detail: in the area of religion, a truly blessed anarchy held sway."
50 Erika Manders, Coining Images of Power: Patterns in the Representation of Roman Emperors on Imperial Coinage, A.D. 193-284, Brill, 2012, p.130: "Sol, however, did not have the exclusive right to appear as pacator orbis and invictus on third-century coins. Jupiter, Aurelian, Probus and Numerian appear as pacator orbis too, while, apart from Sol, other gods (Jupiter, Hercules and Mars) received the epithet invictus." References are given to coin types.
51 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.23-4: "The cult of Mithras never became one of those supported by the state with public funds, and was never admitted to the official list of festivals celebrated by the state and the army - at any rate, in so far as the latter is known to us from the Feriale Duranum, the religious calendar of the units at Dura-Europos in Coele Syria; the same is true of all other mystery cults too. This of course does not exclude the possibility that the emperors and their circle may have felt a more than casual personal sympathy for the cult, but they certainly tolerated, perhaps even encouraged, their subjects' adherence."
52 Roger Beck, "In the Place of the Lion: Mithras in the Tauroctony" in Beck on Mithraism: collected works with new essays (2004), p. 286-287.
53 Manfred Clauss, The Roman cult of Mithras, p.44: "One could also include Jupiter Dolichenus here: not only have votives to him been discovered in mithraea (V 1208), but Mithraic inscriptions and cult-reliefs have been found in dolichena (V 70, p. 157; V 468-70; 1729)."
54 See the article on the Doliche Mithraea for details.
55 Justin Martyr, First Apology, ch. 66: "For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, "This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body; "and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, "This is My blood; "and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn."
56 E. Renan, Marc-Aurele et la fin du monde antique. Paris, 1882, p. 579: "On peut dire que, si le christianisme eût été arrêté dans sa croissance par quelque maladie mortelle, le monde eût été mithriaste."
57 J. A. Ezquerra and R. Gordon, Romanising oriental Gods: myth, salvation and ethics in the cults of Cybele, Isis and Mithras. Brill, 2008, p.202-3: "Many people have erroneously supposed that all religions have a sort of universalist tendency or ambition. In the case of Mithraism, such an ambition has often been taken for granted and linked to a no less questionable assumption, that there was a rivalry between Mithras and Christ for imperial favour. ... If Christianity had failed, the Roman empire would never have become Mithraist.

bluesbaby5050: Mithraism and Early Christianity............

Christianity grew out of a mixture of Persian Mithraism, Judaism and the works of individuals such as St. Paul who gave us written records of this synthesis.
2.Paul and Mithraism
3.Emperor Constantine officially fused Mithraism and Christianity
4.Communion, Jewish Sacrifice, Blood, Flesh, Eating and Drinking
5.Sunday as the Day of Worship, and December 25th
7.Page Index Search

1. Mithraism

“Spirit of Spirit, if it be your will,
give me over to immortal birth so that I may
be born again - and the sacred
spirit may breathe in me.”

Prayer to Mithras

Celebrating the light and fire caused from striking of flints is an ancient tradition. Mithra is said to be forced out of a rock, wearing the Phyrygian cap holding a dagger and a torch of light. Mithra's birth is celebrated on the Winter Solstice.

Mithraism was popular in the Roman Empire with many Emperors following, not just the populace. It had seven sacraments, the same as the Catholic Church, baptism, and communion with bread and water. The Eucharist hosts were signed with a cross, an ancient phallic symbol which originated in Egypt, and the Egyptian cross (the ankh) still shows the original form which included the female symbol.

”More important even than the Vedic and Zoroastrian influences, the Mithras cult had a strong impact on Christianity. Mithras was the son of Ormuzd, and as a god of light himself, he engaged the powers of darkness, Ahriman and his host, in a bitter struggle. Mithras triumphed and cast his adversaries into the nether world. Mithras, too, raised the dead and will find them at the end of time. He, too, will relegate the wicked to hell and establish the millennial kingdom. [...]

Drews, too, believes that it was the influence of Persian, notably Mithraic, thought which led to the gradual transformation of the human figure of Jesus into a Godhead. Robertson thinks that the rock-tomb resurrection of Jesus is a direct transference of Mithras' rock birth, and that Jesus also became a sun-god like Mithras, so that they share their birthday at the winter solstice. Robertson, Niemojewski, Volney and others assert that as son-god Jesus had twelve apostles representing the twelve houses of the zodiac.”

"Jesus Versus Christianity" by Alfred Reynolds (1993)1

The roots of Mithraism go back to Zoroastrianism, a Persian religion that became popular in Greece from 390BCE. It placed Mithras in the role of a deity equal to the sun god. Its priests were Magi; the same Magi assumed to visit Bethlehem when Jesus was born. - Zoroastrian Archives

Zarathustra, a Zoroastrian magi, had predicted a Messiah, and Jesus' birth was assumed by Paul to be his possible arrival. In the Persian holy texts, the Avesta, this Messiah will appear at the end of time and bring the triumph of good over evil and make a potion of immortality for mankind from the fat of a great bull mixed with Hamoa juice.

The faithful to Mithra believed they would live in bliss after death until the Judgement of mankind. Mithra would then unlock Paradise for the faithful and come to Earth and kill all the unbaptised. All the dead would return from their graves to be judged.

All the wicked, the rejected and unbaptised would be destroyed by Mithra by fire, and those accepted into Paradise would live with Mithra forever with eternal life. After the annihilation of the unfaithful Mithra ascends into Heaven, at the end of time, after his Messiah has brought salvation to the saved, in a chariot of fire.

2. Paul and Mithraism

“St. Paul is attributed with the writing of 13 books in the Bible, 7 by himself and 6 by others in his name. He was born in Tarsus as "Saul" and adopted the Christian name of Paul after converting to what is now "Christianity". He was an early leader of the growing Christian churches around the Roman Empire, and the writings of St. Paul are the earliest existing Christian writings known to historians.”

"St Paul - History, Biblical Epistles, Gnosticism and Mithraism" by Vexen Crabtree (1999)

He mixed the Hellenic Christ theme with the Messiah theme of Judaism, and the result was the theology around the sacrificial nature that the Christ of Christianity has.

“Paul mistook the Jewish "Messiah" to mean the Hellenistic "Christ". This happened before anything was written down; it happened during Paul's conversations with people as he was working through what had happened. A messiah is a person who is a great leader who leads your people to freedom. The title was taken by Jews from Persian culture. A christ is a god-king who dies as an offering to some divine being as a sacrifice in return for prosperity, especially agricultural prosperity. Both are anointed with oil as a mystical, sexual rite.”

Christos (site down) or Jesus didn't exist (site down)

Book Cover“It was in Tarsus that the Mysteries of Mithras had originated, so it would have been unthinkable that Paul would have been unaware of the remarkable similarities we have already explored between Christian doctrines and the teachings of Mithraism. [Footnote:] Tarsus was the capital of Cilicia, where, according to Plutarch [46-125CE], the Mithraic Mysteries were being practiced as early as 67BCE”

"The Jesus Mysteries" by Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy (1999) [Book Review]2

3. Emperor Constantine officially fused Mithraism and Christianity

“During the 1st century BC, a cult of Mithra, made much progress in Rome, after enduring persecution, when some Emperors adopted the religion... Mithra became very popular among the Roman legionaries and later even among the Emperors. The worship of Mithra was first recognized by Emperor Aurelian and he instituted the cult of "Sol Invictus" or the Invincible Sun. Emperor Diocletian also a worshipper of Mithra, the Sun God, burned much of the Christian scriptures in 307 A.D.

This enabled Emperor Constantine to merge the cult of Mithra with that of Christianity that was developing much. He declared himself a Christian but at the same time maintained his ties to the Mithra cult. He retained the title "Pontifus Maximus" the high priest. On his coins were inscribed: "Sol Invicto comiti" which means, commited to the invincible sun. This new blend of the two faiths, he officially proclaimed as Christianity. Christianity spread all over the Roman Empire and Eastern Europe by massive persecution and brought an end to a variety of religions that flourished there. [...]

Until the fourth century, Mithra and Christianity were distinct but after Constantine, the two cults were blended to form the new faith that was to conquer most of the world.”

4. Communion, Jewish Sacrifice, Blood, Flesh, Eating and Drinking

The bull is seen as a symbol of Spring, of rebirth, and a very common carving is of Mithras cleansing himself in the blood of a bull. Ritual killing of bulls and washing in its blood was believed to be necessary for cleansing, eternal life and salvation. This was followed by a meal of the bulls flesh. Life anew could be created from the flesh and blood of the sacrificed bull. If a bull was not available a substitute was used by poorer congregations, such as a ram, bread or fish.

“The adherents of Mithras believed that by eating the bull's flesh and drinking its blood they would be born again, just as life itself has been created anew from the blood of the bull. Participation in this rite would give not only physical strength but lead to the immortality of the soul and to eternal light. Justin also mentioned the similarity between the Mithras ritual and the Eucharist”

"Jesus Versus Christianity" by Alfred Reynolds (1993)1

“According to the Mithraic myth, he would undergo a cultic transformation into a bull [or] a ram. He would be killed and his flesh and blood (or wine representing his blood) would be consumed by the faithful. The pictoral and sculpted scenes presenting this sacred meal were the ones which enraged Christian sensitivities, and many smashed-up Mithraeums show the traces of the fury of Christian iconoclasts. Tertullian [160CE-240CE] mentioned (De praescre., 40) this ritual of the Mithras which was a 'devilish imitation of the Eucharist'. He also mentions that the Mithraists enacted the resurrection.”

"Jesus Versus Christianity" by Alfred Reynolds (1993)3

Jewish Sacrifices
The Temple in Jerusalem had gutters built into the stone floor around the altar. Hundreds of sheep, cows, goats, and fowl were killed daily to appease the Jewish god, causing literal rivers of blood to flow from the Temple. Cleansing by blood was already an established part of Jewish tradition, but the blood of the Christ would put an end to this necessity, preached Paul.

Christianity became a synthesis of Mithraistic thought on eternal life gained from the blood of the sacrificed saviour (like a bull), the ultimate sacrifice, and Jewish rituals of ritual animal sacrifice. The cannibilistic elements of the Christian Communion, the Eucharist, and the imagery of the blood of Jesus washing away sins and granting eternal life (like Mithras), are all derived from this natural Roman merging of Judaism with Mithraism. The transformation of Mithras into a Bull or Ram which preceded the eating of his flesh and blood directly parallels the Christians Jesus' death and rebirth, his statement that his disciples should eat and drink his flesh and blood to wash away sin and gain eternal life.

5. Sunday as the Day of Worship, and December 25th

“In 313 A.D., Emperor Constantine declared December 25th to be the birthday of Jesus (December 25th was prescribed earlier as the birthday of Mithra, by emperor Aurelian). Sabbath day, which is literally Saturday (as the Jews still maintain), became Sunday as it was the day of the Sun, another element from the Mithra worship.”

“It may be mentioned here that the Greeks celebrated the birthday of their sun-god Apollo at the winter solstice. Another important point is the fact that the Christian Church abandoned the Jewish sabbath (contrary to the commandment of their God) in favour of the Mithraic day of the sun.”

"Jesus Versus Christianity" by Alfred Reynolds (1993)1

6. Conclusions

Mithraism and Judaism merged and became Christianity. Jesus, son of the Hebrew sky God, and Mithras, son of Ormuzd are both the same myth. The rituals of Christianity coincide with the earlier rituals of Mithraism, including the Eucharist and the Communion in great detail. The language used by Mithraism was the language used by Christians. St Paul as the first "Christian" bears much of the responsibility for merging the two in his preaching and teaching, and also comes from Tarsus, a major Mithraist center.

The idea of a sacrificed saviour is Mithraist, so is the symbolism of bulls, rams, sheep, the blood of a transformed saviour washing away sins and granting eternal life, the 7 sacraments, the banishing of an evil host from heaven, apocalyptic end of time when God/Ormuzd sends the wicked to hell and establishes peace. Roman Emperors, Mithraist then Christian, mixed the rituals and laws of both religions into one. Emperor Constantine established 25th of Dec, the birthdate of Mithras, to be the birthdate of Jesus too. The principal day of worship of the Jews, The Sabbath, was replaced by the Mithraistic Sun Day as the Christian holy day. The Catholic Church, based in Rome and founded on top of the most venerated Mithraist temple, wiped out all competing son-of-god religions within the Roman Empire, giving us modern literalist Christianity.

7. Page Index Search

The following pages mention this religion. The 10 most relevant are listed:

St Paul - History, Biblical Epistles, Gnosticism and Mithraism, 27 times, in the following sections:
4. Mithraism
3. Paul Combined The Greek Christ and the Hebrew Messiah
2.1. The Conversion

Christmas: Paganism, Sun Worship and Commercialism, 12 times, in these sections:
3.3. Sun Worship
3.1. The Date of the 25th

Types of Christianity in History: Who Were the First Christians?, 12 times, in these sections:
2.1. Mithraism and Christianity (200BCE +)

Animal Sacrifice and Blood Rituals in Traditional World Religions and Satanism, 9 times, in these sections:
3.3. Paganism / Mithraism

Arian Christianity (the Father is Greater than the Son): A Precursor to Modern Christianity, 6 times, in the following sections:
3. The Demise of Arian Christianity

Christianity, 3 times, in these sections:
* Top of page

The Christian Holy Bible, 3 times, in these sections:
5. Mistranslations and Errors

Anti-Semitism: 2000 Years of Christian Love, 3 times, in these sections:
2. BCE to 4th Century: The Roman Empire Tolerated Jews Until Christianity Arose

Satanism as a Mystery Religion, 3 times, in these sections:
* Top of page

The Divine Number 12: 12 Gods, 12 Disciples, 12 Tribes and the Zodiac, 3 times:
3. The 12 Tribes of Israel, 12 Disciples of God

bluesbaby5050: Mithras and Jesus..........

1. On the nature and origins of modern "pagan parallels" literature
2. Mithras had a "virgin birth"
3. Mithras "visited by Magi"
4. Mithras "died on the cross"
5. The "twelve disciples of Mithras"
See also Mithras and Christianity.

In certain sorts of literature, the claim is made that Jesus is merely a copy of Mithras. A series of statements are made about Mithras - born of a virgin, had a last supper, died, resurrected, etc - which do make him seem identical. This portrait of Mithras is entirely misleading. Some of the statements about Mithras being like Jesus have some basis, and the evidence for them is given under Mithras and Christianity. Other claims do not, and are wholly spurious, and mislead the unwary reader. In view of the wide circulation of these mistakes on the internet, it seemed useful to discuss a number of them here, and to reference them to some sample sources. Works referenced here are NOT scholarly unless otherwise noted.

1. On the nature and origins of modern "pagan parallels" literature
Collections of "sayings of the philosophers" were made in antiquity and into the medieval period. These are sometimes known as "wisdom literature" or gnomologia. One category of these consists of sayings which predict the coming and life of Christ, attributed to pagan philosophers or other notable figures. Collections of this kind formed part of the apologetic of the medieval church, which thus had a two-fold proof of Christianity; one from Jewish prophecies of Christ, one from pagan prophecies.1 Similarly early Christian writers, such as Justin Martyr, or Clement of Alexandria, were willing to point pagans to similarities in pagan cult myths, not to show that Christianity was the same as paganism, and still less derived from it, but rather to demonstrate that Christian teaching was not entirely novel or threatening and should therefore be legal.2

From the 17th century onwards, Protestant writers routinely accused the "Romanists" - the Roman Catholic Church - of basing its worship on pagan ritual.3 With the rise of anti-Christian movements such as socinianism in the 18th century, this developed in some writers into the claim that the Christ story was not different to that of older pagan legends and so was, by inference, equally untrue. The French revolutionary writer Dupuis continued this line of thought and introduces claims that Mithras was very similar to Christ. These are repeated in England by Joseph Priestley.4 well before any scholarly investigation had taken place or was possible. Further examples may be found in the early 19th century onwards,5 and are repeated afterwards, usually in rationalist or deistic writings.6

Today such claims tend to be found in low-grade literature with an anti-Christian purpose, often making crudely false claims about what is or is not known about Mithras.7

2. Mithras had a "virgin birth"

S. Stephano Rotondo. The birth of Mithras from the rock.
Some non-scholarly writers say that the birth of Mithras was a virgin birth, like that of Jesus.

No ancient source gives such a birth myth for Mithras. Rather Mithras is always described as born from solid rock.8 Scholar David Ulansey, who has suggested that Mithras might be the "outside name" of a cult of Perseus, has speculated that the idea of a rock-birth derives from the myth in which Perseus was born because Zeus visited Danae in an underground cavern.9

3. Mithras "visited by Magi"
In 1882 American writer T.W. Doane claimed that Mithras, the "mediator between God and man", was visited by Magi at the time of his birth and given gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.10

In support of his claim, Doane offered two sources. The first is "King: The Gnostics and their Remains, pp. 134 and 149", a respectable source in 1864 when it was published.11 But King's statements are purely speculative and no evidence is offered.

Doane's second source is given as "Inman: Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 353", which dates from 1868.12 Inman appears to have been a crank. But his statement is equally a piece of speculation, and does not even mention gold or frankincense.

Despite this, Doane's statement may be found, with or without reference, online in various places.13

No ancient source depicts the Magi attending the rock-birth of Mithras. He is, however, sometimes depicted attended by Cautes and Cautopates.14

4. Mithras "died on the cross"
The following claim may be found online:15

"3) According to Mithraism, before Mithra died on a cross, he celebrated a "Last Supper" with his twelve disciples, who represented the twelve signs of the zodiac.
"4) After the death of Mithra, his body was laid to rest in a rock tomb."

No ancient source records that Mithras died, still less that he did so on a cross.

This claim may perhaps be the result of some careless reading of a passage in T.W. Doane, making various claims about Mithras and then Zoroaster.16

5. The "twelve disciples of Mithras"
The earliest appearance of this claim appears to be by Godfrey Higgins in 1836, where it is unreferenced and appears in passing.17 Higgins work was apparently quarried extensively by the theosophist Madame Blavatsky.18

1 The reader is referred to studies of medieval sayings literature or gnomologia for examples. The Sharing Ancient Wisdoms project contains a number of these texts. See also posts about the subject, with some sample texts, at the Roger Pearse blog.
2 A discussion of the various approaches to the similarities in Miguel Herrero de Jáuregui, Orphism and Christianity in late Antiquity, de Gruyter, 2010, p.278-285. TODO: some quotes; For uses of allegory see J. Pépin, Mythe et allegorie: les origines grecs et les contestations judeo-chretiennes, Paris, 1976. Online here.
3 E.g. Conyers Middleton, A Letter from Rome: Shewing an Exact Conformity Between Popery and Paganism: Or, The Religion of the Present Romans to be Derived Entirely from that of Their Heathen Ancestors, 1729. Online at Google Books.
4 Joseph Priestley, The Theological and Miscellaneous Works. Ed. with Notes by John Towill Rutt, Volume 17, 1797, p.348: "This same child however, suckled by the constellation Virgo and of course one of the stars, we find presently advanced to a much higher rank. He is nothing less than the sun. From the twelve great gods of Egypt M. Dupuis says (as quoted before p 332) 'the Christians have taken their twelve apostles, the companions of God, the Father of light, whose death and resurrection they celebrate like that of Adonis in Phoenicia and Osiris in Egypt. Christ,' he says, 'has all the wonderful characters of Mithra, Adonis, Osiris &c. They all died descended into hades and rose again like him. He is the only son of an invisible Father placed beyond the visible universe and who alone retains his image.'" Referenced to Dupuis, Origene (de tous les cultes), (1794), vol. III, p.118.
5 From 1827 see George Houston, The Correspondent, 1827, p.150: "To counteract the influence of the bad principle an emanation of Ormuzd or the supreme light was sent to the world under the name of Mithra Messites or Mediator to combat Ahriman and save mankind. To obtain this end the Mithra of Magi, like the Osiris and Bacchus of the Egyptians (all signifying the sun) is born of a virgin (Isis, Ceres or the moon; or the virgin adored at Sais and mother of the sun), he is put to death by Typhon or the evil principle, descends into Hell, rises again and ascends triumphant to the celestian regions. The same thing with little difference is told of Adonis, Atys, and Serapis. They all work numberless miracles are persecuted put to death and rise again from the dead." etc.
6 An example from 1884 is this article by a certain C.E. Vredenburg, "Mythology and Religion", in The Index ...: A Weekly Paper, Volume 4; Volume 15, 1884, p.581: "The story of the Christ is by no means peculiar to Christianity. It was told in different parts of the East centuries before Jesus of Nazareth was born. It enters either wholly or in part into the mytho-theological basis of an entire group of religious systems. In the Persian religion we have it related of the divine being Mithra, who was born of a virgin in a cave on or about the 25th of December, grew to man's estate despite the conspiracy of the evil powers against him, was attended by twelve disciples, was finally killed, descended to the underworld but rose again from the dead, ascended to heaven and thereby became the redeemer of mankind. Mithra is spoken of as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. The religion of his followers contained the sacraments of baptism and the eucharist, and the doctrines of the fall of man, incarnation, atonement and final resurrection."
7 See for instance the writings of Dorothy Murdock, writing as "Acharya S" in The Christ Conspiracy, TODO: precise ref pls
8 Franz Cumont, "The Dura Mithraeum", in Mithraic Studies: Proceedings of the First International Congress of Mithraic Studies. Manchester U. Press, 1975, p. 173: "Following the cataclysm, we attend the birth of Mithra. As usual, the young θεὸς πετρογενής, already wearing his Phrygian cap, issues forth from the rocky mass. As yet only his bare torso is visible. In each hand he raises aloft a lighted torch and, as an unusual detail, red flames shoot out all around him from the petra genetrix."
9 David Ulansey, The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World. Oxford U. Press, 1989, p.35: "Another interesting area of similarity between Mithras and Perseus concerns the fact that both figures are connected with underground caverns. The Mithraic mysteries were often conducted in subterranean sanctuaries, or, where this was impossible, in temples made to look like underground caves. It is thus worthy of note that Perseus was believed to have been born in just such a subterranean enclosure. According to the story as told by Apollodorus, when Acrisius, the grandfather of Perseus, "inquired of the oracle how he should get male children, the god said that his daughter would give birth to a son who would kill him. Fearing that, Acrisius built a brazen chamber under ground and there guarded Danae. However, she was seduced, as some say, by Protus, whence arose the quarrel between them; but some say that Zeus had intercourse with her in the shape of a stream of gold which poured through the roof into Danae's lap. . . . Acrisius afterwards learned that she had got a child Perseus." If we do have here a connection between Perseus and Mithras, then there may also be a connection between Perseus' birth in the underground chamber and the so-called birth from the rock of Mithras, an event often depicted in Mithraic iconography."
10 T.W. Doane, Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions, 7th ed., 1910. Online at Project Gutenberg here. P.152: "Mithras, the Persian Saviour, and mediator between God and man, was also visited by "wise men" called Magi, at the time of his birth.[152:8] He was presented with gifts consisting of gold, frankincense and myrrh.'[152:9]". I have used the 1910 edition, as this is probably the source of more recent claims, but the claim is doubtless found in earlier editions also.
11 Charles William King, The Gnostics and Their Remains: Ancient and Medieval, 1864 (online here). (A 2nd ed. 1887 is online at here). p.133-4: "The importance attached to the names of the three Magi [in medieval Christianity] is probably connected with certain reminiscences of the ancient Mithraic worship... The notion that the three Kings typify each one of the three ancient divisions of the earth - the first being painted as a European, the second as an Asiatic, the third as a Negro - seems borrowed from some ancient representation of the same regions, so personified, attending at the 'birth of Mithras,' or the Natale Invicti, on December 25th." and p.149, in which the idea is repeated.
12 Thomas Inman, Ancient faiths embodied in ancient names; or, An attempt to trace the religious belief, sacred rites, and holy emblems of certain nations, Vol. 2, Self-published in London and Liverpool, 1868. Online at here, and p.353: "No one can, for a moment, suppose that the Magi, who came to adore Jesus and his mother, were Christians, making Christian offerings; the context, indeed, paints them as Eastern Asiatics and they are represented making the same oblations as they would to Mithra, Mai-Mri, or Mriam, in their own district."
13 E.g. J.D. Stone, "Mithras = Christianity?", here. Accessed 25 April 2014. "Hundreds of years before Jesus, according to the Mithraic religion, three Wise Men of Persia came to visit the baby savior-god Mithra, bring him gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense."
14 TODO: Include an example relief, probably from a German bas-relief.
15 J.D. Stone, "Mithras = Christianity?" here. Accessed 26 April 2014.
16 T.W. Doane, Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions, 7th ed., 1910, p.194-5. Online here:"Mithras, who was "Mediator between God and man,"[194:9] was called "The Saviour." He was the peculiar god of the Persians, who believed that he had, by his sufferings, worked their salvation, and on this account he was called their Saviour.[194:10] He was also called "The Logos."[194:11] The Persians believed that they were tainted with original sin, owing to the fall of their first parents who were tempted by the evil one in the form of a serpent.[194:12] They considered their law-giver Zoroaster to be also a Divine Messenger, sent to redeem men from their evil ways, and they always worshiped his memory. To this day his followers mention him with the greatest reverence, calling him "The Immortal Zoroaster," [Pg 195]"The Blessed Zoroaster," "The First-Born of the Eternal One," &c.[195:1] "In the life of Zoroaster the common mythos is apparent. He was born in innocence, of an immaculate conception, of a ray of the Divine Reason. As soon as he was born, the glory arising from his body enlightened the room, and he laughed at his mother. He was called a Splendid Light from the Tree of Knowledge, and, in fine, he or his soul was suspensus a lingo, hung upon a tree, and this was the Tree of Knowledge."[195:2] How much this resembles "the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints."[195:3]
17 Godfrey Higgins, Anacalypsis: An Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil of the Saitic Isis; or, an Inquiry into the Origin of Languages, Nations and Religions, London: Longman, 1836, vol. 1, p.781 : "The number of the twelve apostles, which formed the retinue of Jesus during his mission, is that of the signs, and of the secondary genii, the tutelary gods of the Zodiacal signs which the sun passes through in his annual revolution. It is that of the twelve gods of the Romans, each of whom presided over a month. The Greeks, the Egyptians, the Persians, each had their twelve gods, as the Christian followers of Mithra had their twelve apostles. The chief of the twelve Genii of the annual revolution had the barque and the keys of time, the same as the chief of the secondary gods of the Romans or Janus, after whom St. Peter, Bar-Jona, with his barque and keys, is modelled." No footnote is given; is the phrase "followers of Mithra" intended to be in brackets?
18 Tim Maroney, preface to M. Blavatsky, The Book of Dzyan, Chaosium, 2000, p.25: "This two volume [Isis unveiled] set was largely derived in form and title from the monumental two-volume work of comparative religion by Godfrey Higgins..."

bluesbaby5050: Mithras and Phanes..........

In Orphism, the deity Phanes1 emerged from the world egg at the beginning of time, bringing the universe into existence. There is evidence that this Orphic speculation influenced the cult of Mithras sometimes.2

There is some literary evidence connecting Mithras and Phanes, or interchanging them. A list of the eight elements of creation appears in both Zenobius and Theon of Smyrna; most of the elements are the same, but in Zenobius the seventh element is 'Mithras', in Theon it is 'Phanes'.3

That the two could be identified is shown by a Greek inscription from Rome, CIMRM 475, which gives a dedication by a "pater" and priest to Zeus-Helios-Mithras-Phanes.4,5

CIMRM 860, a relief from Vercovium / Borcovecium (Housesteads) on Hadrian's Wall shows a deity holding a dagger and a flame and emerging from the cosmic egg, which is represented both as such and by the shape of the zodiacal ring.6 The item was found in the Mithraic cave at Housesteads, between two altars inscribed to Mithras, and in front of the main cult relief.7

CIMRM 985, a similar relief, was found inside a Mithraeum at Trier in 1928, between two altars, one to Mithras and one to Sol, and again there may have been the main cult relief behind it. It depicts the cosmic birth of Mithras from the rock inside a zodiac. Mithras is holding the globe of the world, and reaching out to touch the zodiac.8 CIMRM 985. Mithras and the zodiac.

These have similarities to a relief in the Galleria Estense in Modena, originally from Mutina or Rome, which shows Phanes rather than Mithras in much the same context.9 This shows Phanes coming from an egg with flames shooting out around him, surrounded by the twelve signs of the zodiac, in an image very similar to that at Newcastle.10

CIMRM 695. Phanes and the egg.

Ulansey has commented on the various similarities between Mithras, Phanes, Aion and the lion-headed god, including that the Modena relief, originally Orphic, came into the hands of an initiate of Mithras, according to an inscription scratched on it.11

1 Details about this being, with ancient sources, may be found at the Theoi site here.
2 Clauss, M., The Roman cult of Mithras, p. 70.
3 M. Clauss, p.70 n.84. Zenobius Proverbia 5.78 (in Corpus paroemiographorum Graecorum vol. 1, p.151). Theon of Smyrna gives the same list but substitutes Phanes. See Albert de Jong, Traditions of the Magi: Zoroastrianism in Greek and Latin literature, p.309 on this; and more info on the Zenobius passage here and the Theon passage here.
4 Von Gall, p.523, gives this as CIMRM 475.
5 Ulansey, David, The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries, pp.120-1. Excerpts here. "The identification between Mithras and Phanes indicated by CIMRM 860 is also explicitly attested by an inscription found in Rome dedicated to 'Zeus-Helios-Mithras-Phanes' and another inscription dedicated to 'Helios-Mithras-Phanes'."
6 Clauss, M. The Roman cult of Mithras, p. 70, photo p.71. CIMRM 860 is now at the Museum of Antiquities, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU.
7 John Bell, "A catalogue of the Roman altars and inscribed and sculptured stones in the collection of the society of antiquaries, Newcastle-upon-Tyne", in The Gentleman's Magazine, vol. 166 (1839), p.183 f., p.184: "52. - A sculptured bust of Mithras between the two hemispheres, surrounded by the twelve signs of the Zodiac; it was also found in the Mithraic Cave at Housesteads, between nos. 51. and 53. -- Presented by the same". (i.e. by George Gibson, esq. Other entries indicate that all the material was found in 1822)
8 Vivienne J. Walters, The cult of Mithras in the Roman provinces of Gaul, p.108-110, item 39 with bibliography, "A stone relief from Trier (Augusta Treverorum), now in the Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Trier, Inventory no. S.T.9981. See plate XVIII. Google books preview here. "At Housesteads, which has produced perhaps the closest parallel for the Trier relief, there was a cult relief behind the egg birth and flanking altars." On p.25 the author suggests that the same may have been true here at Trier.
9 Hubertus von Gall, The Lion-Headed and the Human-Headed God in the Mithraic Mysteries in: Jacques Duchesne-Guillemin(ed.), Études Mithriaques, p.511-526, p.522. Google Books preview here. CIMRM 695-6, fig. 197. Von Gall states that some scholars believe that the Housesteads relief is in fact a Phanes sculpture which has been reused by the Mithras cult.
10 Vermaseren, M., The miraculous birth of Mithras, p.287 n.10. The relief is in the Estense Museum in Modena, Italy. See also F. Cumont, Mithra et l'Orphisme, RHR CIX, 1934, 63 ff; M. P. Nilsson, "The Syncretistic Relief at Modena", Symb. Osi. XXIV, 1945, 1 ff.
11 Ulansey, David, The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries, p.120.

HebrianDaniel: do you know Tarsus is city

do you know Tarsus is city somewhere in ancient Mesopotamia.
and in hebrew we call it Tarshis. תרשיש

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