Author: D. Jason Cooper
Publisher: Weiser Books
Release Date: 1996-06-01
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
Known as Mitra to the Indians, Mithra and Zarathustra (Zoroaster in Greek) to the Iranians, and Mithras to the Romans, this is the oldest of all living deities. Mithras was recognized as the greatest rival of Christianity, a greater threat even than the religion of Isis. If Rome had not become Christian, it would have become Mithrasian. Mithraisians had a sacrament that included wine as a symbol of sacrificial blood. Bread in wafers, or small loaves marked with a cross, was used to symbolize flesh. The priestly symbols were a staff, a ring, a hat, and a hooked sword; members were called brothers, and priests were called "Father." Mithras was born on December 25th. He offered salvation based on faith, compassion, knowledge, and valor. He appealed to the poor, the slave and the freeman, as well as to the Roman aristocracy, the militia, and even to some emperors. The Christians sacked his temples, burned his books, and attacked his followers; they desecrated his temples, and built their own churches on the same foundations as the old Mithraic temples. Cooper examines Mithras and his religion in the most complete study ever done. He explores the various forms of this god--worshiped from Lisbon to modrn Bangladesh, from the Scottish border to the Russian Steppes--and investigates the worship. This is an exciting journey into living mythology, the history of a living god, and will fascinate modern Western readers who want to know more about the spiritual path--whether they want to better understand contemporary Christianity, the basis of many contemporary ideaologies, mythology, or the Western Mystery Tradition.
Author: Franz Valery Marie Cumont
Publisher: Cosimo, Inc.
Release Date: 2007-04-01
Mithraism was a Roman mystery cult that drew upon the mythology of Mithras from the Persian Zoroastrian religion. In this unique book, first published in 1903, Cumont explains how the Roman version differed from the original worship of Mithras and then identifies those rituals that have some historical accuracy. Often, the Roman rituals preserved only the external trappings of Zoroastrian worship, such as using animals skins during rites and designating caves as holy places. Cumont also shows his readers how Mithraism adopted beliefs and rituals from other sources as well, creating the cult in its fully realized form. He then goes on to show how the cult fell from favor and was finally overwhelmed by Christianity. Students of history and religion, as well as anyone interested in cult religions, will find this book an intriguing journey through an obscure era.Belgian archaeologist and historian FRANZ-VALERY-MARIE CUMONT (1869-1947) wrote numerous books, often making use of his interest in philology and the study of instructions. Among his books is Life After Roman Paganism (1922).
Author: Roger Beck
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
Release Date: 2006-01-12
A study of the religious system of Mithraism, one of the 'mystery cults' popular in the Roman Empire contemporary with early Christianity. Mithraism is described from the point of view of the initiate engaging with its rich repertoire of symbols and practices.
Author: Giorgio De Santillana
Publisher: David R. Godine Publisher
Release Date: 1977-01
Ever since the Greeks coined the language we commonly use for scientific description, mythology and science have developed separately. But what came before the Greeks? What if we could prove that all myths have one common origin in a celestial cosmology? What if the gods, the places they lived, and what they did are but ciphers for celestial activity, a language for the perpetuation of complex astronomical data? Drawing on scientific data, historical and literary sources, the authors argue that our myths are the remains of a preliterate astronomy, an exacting science whose power and accuracy were suppressed and then forgotten by an emergent Greco-Roman world view. This fascinating book throws into doubt the self-congratulatory assumptions of Western science about the unfolding development and transmission of knowledge. This is a truly seminal and original thesis, a book that should be read by anyone interested in science, myth, and the interactions between the two.
Author: Godfrey Higgins
Publisher: Cosimo, Inc.
Release Date: 2007-06-01
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
Or, An Attempt to show, that The Druids were the Priests of Oriental Colonies Who Emigrated from India; and were the Introducers of the First or Cadmean System of Letters, and the Builders of Stonehenge, of Carnac, and of Other Cyclopean Works, in Asia and Europe. Complete with many informative prints and maps. Partial Contents: Necessity of Etymology; Alphabets; Changes in Language; Druids acquainted with Letters; Irish, Greek, and Hebrew Letters the same; Hieroglyphics; Ciphering invented before Letters; Virgil a Druid; Genesis; Persia, India, and China, the Depositaries, not the Inventors of Science; Who the Celtf were; Affinity between the Latin, Sanscrit, and Celtic; Term Barbarian; Arrival of Phoenician Colonies in Ireland; Origin of Irish Fables; Derivation of the word Britain; Hero Gods; Derivation of the words: Albion, Druid, Vates and Bards; Britain known to Aristotle; Road to Britain lost, like that to America and Australia; magnetic Needle; Ancient Oracles founded by Celtf; Druids probably Pythagoreans; Cross common to Greeks, Egyptians, and Indians; Monograms of Christ; Druids admitted the Creation of Matter; Festivals removed by the precession of the Equinoxes; Druid Festival of Christmas; Mother of the Gods; Baal; Gods of India and Ireland the same; Chaldees of the Jews; St. Patrick; A single Plain Stone the Origin of Idolatry; Rocking-Stones or Logan Stones; Circular Temples, Stonehenge and Abury; Stonehenge not a Roman, Saxon, or Danish Work; Ancient Superstitions respecting Numbers; Observations on Hebrew Chronology; Hierarchy of the Druids; Druids Assertors of their Country's Liberty; Immortality of the Soul and Metempsychosis; Druids had an excellent System ofMorals; Mistletoe and other Sacred Plants; Institution of Priesthoods an Evil.
Author: Albert Bell
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: 1998-09-18
The timeless message of the New Testament applies to people of every culture and generation. Yet there is great value in understanding the world in which that message was first revealed - its social manners, politics, religious customs, and culture. Exploring the New Testament World, written by classics and Bible scholar Dr. Albert A. Bell, Jr., illuminates the living context of the New Testament, immersing its readers in the intriguing world of Jesus and the early church. An authority on ancient Greek and Roman language, culture, and history, Dr. Bell writes in a readable style that is accessible and enjoyable to any reader - an uncommon accomplishment among New Testament scholars today. Surveying Jewish factions of the era, the social and political structure of the Roman Empire, and the philosophies and religions that surrounded the early church, Dr. Bell helps his readers learn to think like first-century Jews, Greeks, and Romans, illuminating puzzling New Testament passages for clear understanding. Comprehensive Scripture and Subject Indexes make this volume even more useful as a "manners and customs" Bible companion. This authoritative guide receives high praise from college professors and Sunday school teachers alike, proving its appeal to both popular and academic audiences. A "must-have" reference for every pastor and an indispensable resource to any Bible reader.
DIVDIVThis fascinating book explores the evolution of religious dualism, the doctrine that man and cosmos are constant battlegrounds between forces of good and evil. It traces this evolution from late Egyptian religion and the revelations of Zoroaster and the Orphics in antiquity through the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Mithraic Mysteries, and the great Gnostic teachers to its revival in medieval Europe with the suppression of the Bogomils and the Cathars, heirs to the age-long teachings of dualism. Integrating political, cultural, and religious history, Yuri Stoyanov illuminates the dualist religious systems, recreating in vivid detail the diverse worlds of their striking ideas and beliefs, their convoluted mythologies and symbolism. Reviews of an earlier edition: “A book of prime importance for anyone interested in the history of religious dualism. The author’s knowledge of relevant original sources is remarkable; and he has distilled them into a convincing and very readable whole.”—Sir Steven Runciman “The most fascinating historical detective story since Steven Runciman’s Sicilian Vespers.”—Colin Wilson “A splendid account of the decline of the dualist tradition in the East . . . both strong and accessible. . . . The most readable account of Balkan heresy ever.”—Jeffrey B. Russell, Journal of Religion “Well-written, fact-filled, and fascinating . . . has in it the making of a classic.” —Harry T. Norris, Bulletin of SOAS/div/div
Author: Walter Friedrich Otto
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Release Date: 1965
ÒThis study of Dionysus . . . is also a new theogony of Early Greece.Ó ÑPublishers Weekly ÒAn original analysis . . . of the spiritual significance of the Greek myth and cult of Dionysus.Ó ÑTheology Digest ÒWho is Dionysus? The god of ecstasy and terror, of wildness and of the most blessed deliveranceÑthe mad god whose appearance sends mankind into madness. . . .Ó In this classic study of the myth and cult of Dionysus, Walter F. Otto recreates the theological world of ancient Greek religion. Otto's provocative starting point is to accept the immanent reality of the gods. To understand the cult of Dionysus, it is necessary to reimagine the original vision of the god. Otto challenges us to understand the power of this vision not as a bloodless abstraction but as a force animating belief, to see the myth and art of Dionysus as a passionate search to regain the power of the lost god.
Author: Clive L. N. Ruggles
Release Date: 2005
Long before astronomy was a science, humans used the stars to mark time, navigate, organize planting and dramatize myths. This encyclopaedia draws on archaeological evidence and oral traditions to reveal how prehistoric humans perceived the skies and celestial phenomena.
Author: Luther H. Martin
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: 2014-11-20
The Roman cult of Mithras was the most widely-dispersed and densely-distributed cult throughout the expanse of the Roman Empire from the end of the first until the fourth century AD, rivaling the early growth and development of Christianity during the same period. As its membership was largely drawn from the ranks of the military, its spread, but not its popularity is attributable largely to military deployments and re-deployments. Although mithraists left behind no written archival evidence, there is an abundance of iconographic finds. The only characteristic common to all Mithraic temples were the fundamental architecture of their design, and the cult image of Mithras slaying a bull. How were these two features so faithfully transmitted through the Empire by a non-centralized, non-hierarchical religious movement? The Minds of Mithraists: Historical and Cognitive Studies in the Roman Cult of Mithras addresses these questions as well as the relationship of Mithraism to Christianity, explanations of the significance of the tauroctony and of the rituals enacted in the mithraea, and explanations for the spread of Mithraism (and for its resistance in a few places). The unifying theme throughout is an investigation of the 'mind' of those engaged in the cult practices of this widespread ancient religion. These investigations represent traditional historical methods as well as more recent studies employing the insights of the cognitive sciences, demonstrating that cognitive historiography is a valuable methodological tool.