Research bundle on Mithraism


Mithraism, a mystery religion that flourished in the Roman Empire from the 1st to the 4th century CE, remains shrouded in enigma. Despite its prominence during its heyday, Mithraism has left behind a legacy of intrigue and speculation. This article serves as an introduction to the research bundle on Mithraism. The Mithraic research bundle consists of various articles and books that dive deeper into the history of the Mithraic mysteries.

Origins and Spread of Mithraism

Mithraism traces its roots to the Persian god Mithras, a deity associated with the sun and celestial light. The religion, however, took a distinct form within the Roman context, evolving into a mystery cult that appealed primarily to the military and elite classes. The origins of Mithraism are veiled in uncertainty, with theories suggesting influences from Persian, Babylonian, and Hellenistic traditions. Despite the ambiguity surrounding its inception, Mithraism rapidly gained popularity and spread across the Roman Empire, leaving its mark from Britain to the Eastern provinces.

Central Tenets of Mithraism

The core tenets of Mithraism were closely guarded secrets, revealed only to initiated members during elaborate ceremonies held in underground sanctuaries known as Mithraea. The religion revolved around the worship of Mithras, often depicted slaying a bull, an iconic image symbolizing the triumph of light over darkness. The initiation rites, including symbolic meals and ritualistic purification, played a crucial role in the Mithraic experience. Scholars have grappled with decoding the significance of these rituals, exploring their parallels with other ancient mystery religions and the potential psychological and spiritual impact on adherents.

Social and Cultural Influence

Mithraism’s appeal was not limited to its mystical rites; its social and cultural impact within the Roman Empire was profound. The military, in particular, embraced Mithraism fervently, with soldiers finding solace in its communal rituals and the promise of divine protection in the battlefield. The exclusivity of the cult, with its hierarchical structure and initiation process, added an air of mystique that appealed to the Roman elite. As a result, Mithraism coexisted with other religious traditions, influencing and being influenced by the broader cultural landscape of the time.

Decline and Legacy

Despite its widespread popularity, Mithraism experienced a gradual decline in the 4th century CE, coinciding with the rise of Christianity. The reasons for its demise remain speculative, with factors such as changing social dynamics, the allure of Christianity, and political shifts contributing to its downfall. While Mithraism faded into obscurity, its impact on subsequent religious developments and its mysterious allure have fueled scholarly fascination and debate.

Exploring Mithraism

The collection of research articles presented here seeks to explore various aspects of Mithraism, delving into its origins, rituals, and societal implications. Scholars from diverse disciplines have come together to unravel the layers of mystery surrounding this ancient religion. By examining archaeological evidence, deciphering inscriptions, and comparing Mithraic practices with contemporaneous belief systems, these articles aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of Mithraism and its place in the rich tapestry of ancient religious history.

The research bundle on Mithraism

The collection of research articles below promises to peel back the layers of mystery surrounding Mithraism, offering insights into a bygone era and the enigmatic cult that once held sway over the hearts and minds of the Roman Empire. It’s a good starting point for everyone that wants to get an overview of the research on Mithraism that is available. Downloading the Mithraic research bundle is completely free. Below you’ll find a list of the items in the bundle so far.

If you got any suggestions for research on Mithras we should add, feel free to contact us.

Alice Kemp-Welch

Saint Sebastian and Mithras – A suggestion

Caroline Lawrence

Interactive Mithras – Giving primary school children an introduction to Mithras

Csaba Szabo

Mithras rediscovered ii

Csaba Szabo

The reception of Roman Mithras in Transylvania in the 18th – 19th century

Donata Magrini et al

Revealing Mithras color with the ICVBC mobile lab in the museum

Ennio Sanzi

Entangled worlds

Ersin Hussein

Roman religion in the classroom – Spotlight on the mysteries of Mithras

Fozone Davani et al

Shabdiz and Golgon, Two Manifestations of Mithras and Bahram

شبدیزوگلگون،جلوههاییاز ایزدمهر و بهرام
Fraser Hunter et al

Mithras in Scotland – A Mithraeum at Inveresk

Gabriela Ingle

A fourth century tomb of the followers of Mithra

Gamze Şenergüç

Mithras and its remains in Anatolia

Goranka Lipovak

Mithra – Mithra in the light of the source

Israel Campos Méndez

The Iranian God Mithra and the Persian Achaemenid Monarchy

El dios Iranio Mithra y la monarquía Persa aqueménida
J D North

Mithras and the bull

Jaan Lahe and Martti Kalda

The Mithra Figure in India and the Mithra Figure in Iranian Religions - A Study in Comparative Mythology

Mitra kuju Indias ja Mithra kuju Iraani usundites – uurimus võrdlevast mütoloogiast
Jonas Bjørnebye

The cult of Mithras in fourth century Rome

Juan Antonio Alvarez-Pedrosa

The god who is born from the rock

El dios que nace de la roca
Jürgen Borchhardt

Golden flow the tears of the Heliades or the mithric interpretation of the Phaeton myth

Golden strömen die Tränen der Heliaden oder Die mithrische Interpretation des Phaëton-Mythos
Lus Renaut

Did the initiates of the Mithraic Mysteries get marked on the forehead

Wurden die Eingeweihten der Mithras-Mysterien auf der Stirn gekennzeichnet?
Luca Amendola

Mithras and the zodiac

M Campi

Discovering hidden architectures of ancient times

Mabobe Khorasani

Iconic reflection of the Mithraic sacrifice

بازتاب نمادین قربانی میترایی-اسطورة کشتن گاو نخستین-در هفتپیکر نظامی
Mark Stoholski

Welcome to heaven

N I Suvorova

To the question of expansion of the pontic syncretic cult of men

Nazanin Tamari

Mithra and the Arrangement of Geographical Lists in the Achaemenid and Sasanid Inscriptions

ایزد مِهر و آرایش فهرستهای جغرافیایی در کتیبههای هخامنشی و ساسانی
Nicole Belayche

Coping with images of initiation in the Mithras cult

R L Gordon

Ritual and hierarchy in the mysteries of Mithras

Sandra Blakely

Social mobility - Mithraism and cosmography in the 2nd - 5th centuries CE

Simone Cristoforetti

Mehragān Festival

Soudabeh Safari Senejani

A Study on Mithraism Signs in Motifs of Jiroft Ancient Civilizations Stone Works 5000 BC

W Max Müller

The god Mithras in Palestine

Der Gott Mithra in Palästina
Željko Miletić

Mithras Sol

Mithras Sol

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