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Mithras
August 28, 2010 2:12 PM   Subscribe

Bull-Killer, Sun Lord. "Foreign religions grew rapidly in the 1st-century A.D. Roman Empire, including worship of Jesus Christ, the Egyptian goddess Isis, and an eastern sun god, Mithras."
posted by homunculus (28 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
I once made a coffee mug that read "Mithras is the Reason for the Season".
posted by munchingzombie at 2:17 PM on August 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


FWIW, Mithraism is central to William Gaddis' The Recognitions. (Hey, everything revolves around the sun....). Here's another view of Rome's Mithraeum.

Many thanks for these links.
posted by chavenet at 2:19 PM on August 28, 2010


Mithras is pretty neat, but it seems like he could have a stronger post.
posted by paisley henosis at 2:29 PM on August 28, 2010


Very interesting insight to the 1st Century religion!
posted by vhof at 2:33 PM on August 28, 2010


Map of Mithraea
posted by homunculus at 2:34 PM on August 28, 2010


It was typical of Rudyard Kipling that he made a generous attempt to give the Mithraists a voice.
posted by gdav at 3:06 PM on August 28, 2010


I still remember my first Mithraeum, underneath the church of San Clemente in Rome. I tell you, you never forget it, your first Mithraeum.

And if you do remember your first Mithraeum, you probably guffawed like I did when you first heard Battlestar Galactica make reference to Mithras.
posted by jrb223 at 3:07 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Even today most of us celebrate Mithras on Dies Natalis Solis Invicti. December 25th.
posted by Justinian at 3:20 PM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Kid Rock (Warning: YouTube) tried to bring him back.
posted by conifer at 3:21 PM on August 28, 2010


I first heard about Mirthras (and lots of other god legends, or legendary gods, or whatever) in the fun hour-long documentary "The God Who Wasn't There".
posted by dancestoblue at 3:49 PM on August 28, 2010


From the fog of my self- taught religion classes, one of the factors in Mithras' fade was that it had no role for women?
posted by The Whelk at 4:07 PM on August 28, 2010


I find it interesting that the Phrygian cap that Mithras is shown wearing meant 'liberty' to ancient Romans. The same cap was later used on the Liberty Poles of the American revolution and the heads of the Sans-Culottes of the French Revolution. It's the same cap that Liberty is shown wearing on old US $1 coins, and is the cap on the heads of Smurfs.

It is now being marketed to the Tea Party. I really hope that it catches on, because the ones wearing it who know some history will be constantly bothered by people asking 'hey, what's up with the Smurf hat?' by people who do not know history.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 4:25 PM on August 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Plus they have connections to international communism, so extra.
posted by The Whelk at 4:44 PM on August 28, 2010


what, the Smurfs?
posted by kuujjuarapik at 4:46 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


what, the Smurfs?

Absolutely: From each according to their smurf, to each according to their smurf.
posted by joe lisboa at 4:49 PM on August 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


Ein Gespenst schlumpft um in Europa – das Gespenst des Schlumpfheit...
posted by No-sword at 5:26 PM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


These new deities will never last, by Crom!!
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:33 PM on August 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


There's an Egyptian Museum in San Jose run by the Rosicrucians. They have a planetarium. I went to see the show in the planetarium expecting to learn something new about stars and the universe. Well, it was about the stars, and the universe, and how it all ties into Mithras.

So I guess there are still people following this stuff.
posted by eye of newt at 6:01 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I checked my own link, and apparently the show is still going on at the museum's planetarium! The website mentions a Dr. Davis Ulansey, so I did a search, and found his website on the Mithras.
posted by eye of newt at 6:13 PM on August 28, 2010


From the fog of my self- taught religion classes, one of the factors in Mithras' fade was that it had no role for women?

So they say, the experts, yes.
posted by IndigoJones at 6:26 PM on August 28, 2010


So they say, the experts, yes.-- IndigoJones

Channeling Yoda, you are.
posted by eye of newt at 6:34 PM on August 28, 2010


I could tell you everything I know about Mithras, but then I'd have to drag you down into a hastily dug trench, knife you in the gut and wallow in your steaming blood.
posted by felix betachat at 7:01 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I tried that once in college and it was so not worth it.
posted by The Whelk at 8:51 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


one of the factors in Mithras' fade was that it had no role for women?

That and the whole "killing pagans who won't convert" post-Constantine.
posted by rodgerd at 9:05 PM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well that's hardly unique now.
posted by The Whelk at 9:14 PM on August 28, 2010


Mithras as discussed on QI. Dara Ó Briain's comment at 2:36 is tops.
posted by John Shaft at 2:52 AM on August 29, 2010


They have a planetarium. I went to see the show in the planetarium expecting to learn something new about stars and the universe. Well, it was about the stars, and the universe, and how it all ties into Mithras.

I've seen this, too! Although I went into it knowing I was in for a pile 'o Mithras, so maybe it wasn't so jarring. The Rosicrucian Museum is well worth a visit for people in San Jose, assuming you like your museums not too tightly connected to verifiable "facts."
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:27 AM on August 29, 2010


I for one welcome our new Bull Overlords.
posted by ovvl at 2:25 PM on August 29, 2010


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