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Mithra, savior of the old world

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Author Topic: Mithra, savior of the old world  (Read 267 times)
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« on: December 31, 2007, 09:26:19 pm »

Mithra, savior of the old world
Mon, 31 Dec 2007 16:48:13
By Hedieh Ghavidel, Press TV, Tehran

Mithra slaying the mystic bull
On December 25th, 272 BCE, a man named Mithra was born in Eastern Iran who was hailed as the expected savior or Saoshyant.

It is said that the Saoshyant was born on a Sunday from an Immaculate (Anahid) Virgin (Xosidhag) in Sistan. He lived for 64 years among men before ascending to his Father Ahura Mazda in 208 BCE.

Mithraism was a universal religion in the ancient world with pillars founded on the Kingdom of God on earth and the brotherhood of man.

Known throughout Europe and Asia by the names Mithra, Mitra, Meitros, Mihr, Mehr, and Meher, the religion founded by him was the official religion of the two rival powers of the ancient world, the Parthian and the Roman empires.

Mithra, the Persian divinity of light who saves creation from the threat of darkness and clasps the right hand of the Sun, is a divinity of salvation. The Persians called Mithra 'The Mediator' since he was believed to stand between the light of Ahura-Mazda and the darkness of Ahriman.

While the religion of Mithra was essentially Persian, it flourished in the Roman Empire. Its concept of the life of the soul and its ascension through the seven planetary spheres was what made the religion attractive for Romans.

Many scholars of religion believe that the religion of Mithra was absorbed into Christianity and that the new religion was modeled after the ancient one.

In support of their theory they cite

1- The virgin birth of Mithra.

2- The annual celebration of his birthday on December 25th.

3- Sunday, the day of the sun, was considered a sacred day by Mithraists

4- The ritualistic baptism which was required of the faithful, who had a special wine and bread after the ceremony.

5- After his earthly mission had been completed, Mithra had his last supper with his 12 companions (after the 12 zodiac signs), whereafter he ascended to heaven to watch over his followers for all time.

6- The body of Mithra was laid to rest in a rock tomb.
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2007, 09:27:31 pm »

When a new way of thought or a new creed is introduced to a nation they often try to find similarities between the new idea and existing ones.

It makes the new way of life easily acceptable for people without feeling that something has been imposed on them.

However, many other scholars claim that liturgical and doctrinal resemblances between Christianity and Mithraism prompted Christians to attack the old creed.

Ruins of a European Mithraeum
The followers of Mithra worshiped in temples called Mithraeum which served as a meeting place. Partly underground, it was often a replica of the cave in which Mithra was said to have caught and killed a mystic bull in.

While Mithraism was the official religion of the old world why is there no evidence of Mithraic monuments or Mithraea ruins anywhere?

Excavations have revealed a Mithraeum under most old churches in Iran and Europe.

Throughout the Roman Empire and under the attack of the Christians, numerous Mithraea were abandoned, destroyed, or transformed and incorporated into Christian churches.

In Iran, the Parthian Mithraeums were first turned into Sassanid fire-temples and after the advent of Islam into mosques.

Archeological studies in Iran have revealed the remains of pre-Islamic monuments believed to have been of Mithraic nature under many of the country's mosques.

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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2007, 09:28:44 pm »

The figure of Mithra discovered in the Bishapur fire-temple removes any doubt as to the Mithraic origin of the temple.

Taq-e-Bostan, Iran
Another Parthian monument dedicated to Mithra is the Taq-e-Bostan.

Its cave-like construction and religious scenes depicting Mithra standing on a lotus flower (one of the three symbols of the savior) and angels holding pearls in their hands (the second symbol of the savior) leaves little doubt as to the origin of the monument.

Dolphins, the third symbol of Mithra, are found in various Mithraic structures in Europe.

The remnants of Mithraism have survived in Iranian mysticism, especially in the poems of Hafiz and Mowlavi.

Whether Mithra was a Persian divinity or an actual historical figure the fact remains that the religion ascribed to him has greatly influenced religious thought in the world.
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2008, 05:36:42 am »

Hello Davita,

This is a very interesting subject, mainly because of its relation with the notion of a Messiah for Jews and Christians. For my part, I have a theory on the origin of the deity Mithra.
Perhaps when I had ended to develop my theory on Atlantis, I will develop my personal views on the historical heroe who was deified as Mithra by Persians.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2008, 05:37:48 am by Titiea » Report Spam   Logged

In archeology, ancient traditions must be considered, unless new findings will prove the contrary.
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