Mirror Frame "Mithraic mysteries"

  • Advertise with us
Project by Alexei Vibornov posted 03-20-2014 10:14 AM 1771 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Mithraic mysteries

The Mithraic Mysteries were a mystery religion practised in the Roman Empire from about the 1st to 4th centuries AD. The name of the Persian god Mithra (proto-Indo-Iranian Mitra), adapted into Greek as Mithras, was linked to a new and distinctive imagery. Writers of the Roman Empire period referred to this mystery religion by phrases which can be anglicized as Mysteries of Mithras or Mysteries of the Persians; modern historians refer to it as Mithraism, or sometimes Roman Mithraism. The mysteries were popular in the Roman military.

Worshippers of Mithras had a complex system of seven grades of initiation, with ritual meals. Initiates called themselves syndexioi, those “united by the handshake”. They met in underground temples (called mithraea), which survive in large numbers. The cult appears to have had its centre in Rome.

Numerous archeological finds, including meeting places, monuments, and artifacts, have contributed to modern knowledge about Mithraism throughout the Roman Empire. The iconic scenes of Mithras show him being born from a rock, slaughtering a bull, and sharing a banquet with the god Sol (the Sun). About 420 sites have yielded materials related to the cult. Among the items found are about 1000 inscriptions, 700 examples of the bull-killing scene (tauroctony), and about 400 other monuments. It has been estimated that there would have been at least 680-690 Mithraea in Rome. No written narratives or theology from the religion survive, with limited information to be derived from the inscriptions, and only brief or passing references in Greek and Latin literature. Interpretation of the physical evidence remains problematic and contested.

The Romans themselves regarded the mysteries as having Persian or Zoroastrian sources. Since the early 1970s, however, the dominant scholarship has noted dissimilarities between Persian Mithra-worship and the Roman Mithraic mysteries, and the mysteries of Mithras are now generally seen as a distinct product of the Roman Imperial religious world. In this context, Mithraism has sometimes been viewed as a rival of early Christianity.

-- Alexei, Ukraine.

5 comments so far

View Roger Gaborski's profile

Roger Gaborski

337 posts in 4598 days

#1 posted 03-20-2014 12:54 PM

Very interesting and nicely done. Can you tell me a little about your process and materials?

-- Roger Gaborski,

View Devin123456's profile


7 posts in 2584 days

#2 posted 03-20-2014 01:36 PM

That is cool.

View Alexei Vibornov's profile

Alexei Vibornov

37 posts in 2589 days

#3 posted 03-20-2014 01:52 PM

Thanks). Material – lime tree, painting – acrylic and oil paints.

-- Alexei, Ukraine.

View S4S's profile


2118 posts in 3531 days

#4 posted 03-20-2014 05:55 PM

Beautiful Carving and Painting .

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3026 days

#5 posted 03-26-2014 02:29 PM

Wonderful mirror frame! Awesome carving and painting. Interesting images and story. Beautiful work!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics