Mithras vs Christ

1700 Words7 Pages
Roman Empire, Christianity and The Cult of Mithras In the modern world it has become apparent that Christianity has borrowed from pagan religions, in particular the pagan mystery cults. Christianity in itself was a mystery cult promising secrets to save your soul. The one particular mystery cult, the Cult of Mithras, is often reported as being the 'rival' of Early Christianity as well as one of the mystery cults that the Christianity most borrowed from. However this will all be conjecture and theory on what the Cult of Mithras actually believed because little evidence was written down and much of what was found was biased or used for the author's own ends. The conditions of the Roman Empire aided the spread of mystery cults and even till the eventual domination of Christianity. To compare Christianity to the Roman Cult of Mithras requires that first one has an understanding of what the Cult of Mithras was. The cult worshiped Mithras a god who controlled the heavens themselves. Mithras is usually believed to be just God and a protector of souls. Very few literary sources can be found about the Cult of Mithras, and what can be found is always comes from outside sources, such as Christian texts and Platonic philosophers. The rest of what is known comes from artifacts and temples found across the Roman Empire. One central icon of Cult of Mithras is the tauroctony which can be found in the back of every Mithraic temple. The tauroctony depicts Mithras slaying a bull with a snake, raven, scorpion, dog attacking it. Dr. David Ulansey proposes that it represents constellations symbolically and Mithras' power to control them. The bull represents the constellation Taurus, the snake Hydra, the rave Corvus, the scorpian Scorpio, and the dog Cannis Minor. There were ranks of within the cult, Corax (raven), Nymphus (bridegroom), Miles (soldier), Leo (lion), Perses (Persian),
Open Document