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The Mysteries of Mithra Paperback – 12 Sep 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 56 pages
  • Publisher: TheClassics.us (12 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1230350144
  • ISBN-13: 978-1230350141
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 0.3 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,855,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Franz-Valéry-Marie Cumont (1868 – 1947) was a Belgian archaeologist and historian, a philologist and student of epigraphy. Cumont was a graduate of the University of Ghent (PhD, 1887). After receiving royal travelling fellowships, he undertook archaeology in Pontus and Armenia (published in 1906) and in Syria, but he is best known for his studies on the impact of Eastern mystery religions, particularly Mithraism, on the Roman Empire. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Format: Paperback
this work was long regarded as the final word on the Mysteries of Mithras in the Roman Empire. It's general argument is that the Roman cult of Mithras had it's origins in Persia, imparticular in the Zoroastrian teachings found in the Zend-Avesta (the Zoroastrian 'bible'). He equates the Roman Mithras with the Pesian god of light and goes on to argue that the Roman cult, popular among travelling soldiers, was indubitably Persian in origin. This scholarly book traces not only the origins of the Roman cult but also attempts to discover the rituals and litanies of the religion. The subject matter itself is tremendously exciting: Mithraism was, for a time, regarded as the main ideological rival to Christianity in the Roman world. Indeed the similarities between the two 'mystery' religions were many. However, the various illustrations in the book show just how arcane and exciting a cult it was - the main ritual seems to involve killing a bull and bathing in it's blood (paralleled in Christianity in Communion - drinking the blood of Christ), and there is a figure commonly represented called the leontocephaline god - the lion-headed god). Cumont leads the reader in a fascinating voyage of discovery to understand the meanings of the many occult symbols found on the statues (such as keys, signs of the Zodiac etc.). However, scholarship has moved on, and now it is generally agreed that Cumont's seminal work is wrong and that the cult's rituals are one of many examples of star myths (see D. Ulansey's book), and have nothing to do with Persian religion. However, 5 stars are merited simply due to the fact that this book was a defining moment in the history of Mithraic scholarship - indeed, it was the beginning of scholarship in this field - it was this book which caused the Mysteries of Mithra to be noticed and scrutinised br proceeding academics
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Very good and I would buy again. I am interested in the subject and met my requirements, a good read.
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