An essay on mithranism and christianity

Mithraism, a sect of Zoroastrianism characterized by the worship of Mithra as the defender of the truth, was a monotheistic mystery religion prevalent in the ancient Roman empire before the acceptance of Christianity in the fourth century. Followers of Mithra became less common after the Roman emperors banned their cults, and Christianity gained the popularity once belonging to Mithraism.

An essay on mithranism and christianity

Mankind's savior Known as the Light of the world Have you ever wondered why December 25th was chosen to An essay on mithranism and christianity the birth of Christ? If the accounts in the Bible are correct, the time of Jesus birth would have been closer to mid-summer, for this is when shepherds would have been "tending their flocks in the field" and the new lambs were born.

Strange enough there is an ancient pagan religion, Mithraism, which dates back over 2, years that also celebrated the birth of their "savior" on that date. The most obviously similar of these is Mithraism. Roman Mithraism was a mystery religion with sacrifice and initiation.

Like other mystery cults, there's little recorded literary evidence. What we know comes mainly from Christian detractors and archaeological evidence from Mithraic temples, inscriptions, and artistic representations of the god and other aspects of the cult.

Account Options

Cumont came to believe the religion spread westward from Eastern Roman provinces. However, as Griffith explains, there is little evidence of a Zoroastrian Mithra cult and most evidence for Mithraic worship comes from the western portion of the empire from which Cumont correctly deduced that "Mithraism was most popular among legionaries of all ranksand the members of the more marginal social groups who were not Roman citizens: The Dawning of the Age of Aries Ulansey says the main problem with basing Mithraism on a Zoroastrian cult is that there is no evidence that the Zoroastrians' Mithra practiced bull killing, the central aspect of Roman Mithraic iconography.

An image of Mithras killing the bull holds pride of place in each mithraeum cave-like temple for the worship of Mithras. Ulansey believes the images of Mithras slaying the bull are actually astronomical star maps.

In support of this he points out that all the figures represented in the iconography have a place in the constellations Taurus, Canis Minor, Hydra, Corvus, and Scorpio. He says that the other iconography and even the initiation ceremonies are consistently astronomical.

An essay on mithranism and christianity

Mithras' place as bull-slayer has cosmological significance because, if Ulansey is right, Mithraists attribute to their god the ability to shift the equinox from the constellation of Taurus to Aries: His killing of the bull symbolizes his supreme power: Twenty papers from the fourth international Mithraic congress held in Rome in For over three hundred years the rulers of the Roman Empire worshipped the god Mithras.

There is mention of Mithra or Mitra et al beforebut only as a minor diety and without much information. The faith spread east through India to China, and reached west throughout the entire length of the Roman frontier; from Scotland to the Sahara Desert, and from Spain to the Black Sea.

Blog Archive

In Rome, more than a hundred inscriptions dedicated to Mithra have been found, in addition to 75 sculpture fragments, and a series of Mithraic temples situated in all parts of the city. One of the largest Mithraic temples built in Italy now lies under the present site of the Church of St.

Clemente, near the Colosseum in Rome. The widespread popularity and appeal of Mithraism as the final and most refined form of pre-Christian paganism was discussed by the Greek historian Herodotus, the Greek biographer Plutarch, the neoplatonic philosopher Porphyry, the Gnostic heretic Origen, and St.

Jerome the church Father. Mithraism was quite often noted by many historians for its many astonishing similarities to Christianity. The faithful referred to Mithra as "the Light of the World", symbol of truth, justice, and loyalty.In considering claims for Mithraism's influence on Christianity, it is important to remember that Mithraism was a very secretive, initiatory cult whose beliefs, practices and imagery were not known to the outside world.

Read essay online and leave comment here. Armenians were the first race to accept christianity, Gregory the illuminator spread christianity to the west.

Talk:Eucharist/Archive 3 Christianity, Dionysus' followers, as well as another god, Pan, are said to have had the most influence on the modern view of Satan as animal-like and horned." This is quoted from, Classical Myth Third Edition, a. May including independents and international information an essay on walt whitman the american conscience of the 19th century Paleo-Indians migrated from Asia to the North American mainland at least Unity offers a practical, nondogmatic approach to Christianity that helps people of all faiths lead happier, healthier, and more prosperous lives.

Unity emphasizes that God is good and that God's will for humankind is good. Iranian "Mithra" and Sanskrit "Mitra" are believed to come from an Indo-Iranian word mitra meaning contract / agreement / covenant.

Modern historians have different conceptions about whether these names refer to the same god or not. Mithraism and Christianity.

The Christian religion: introduction