04.13.09.Mithras.Paper

04.13.09.Mithras.Paper - GREEK AND ROMAN RELIGIONS...

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GREEK AND ROMAN RELIGIONS 04.13.09: Mithraism & Paper Pointers
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But first, midterms… Overall, very good spread again (~84% class average) Essays were good, but frequently didn’t go that last little bit and actually cite a specific instance of a ritual / practice from Warrior On IDs: 5 = thorough and specific 4 = most important points, a few things missing 3 = correct but relatively incomplete 2 = partly wrong, but still in the ball park 1 = you wrote something
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A Load of “Bull” Mithraism (See? A bull, get it? Laugh at the terrible joke if you want an A!)
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Mithra – Persian God; Mithras - ? In the Avesta , Persian literature associated with Zoroastrianism, Mithra is the champion of Ahura Mazda (the wise, ‘good’ god) and the opponent of the god of falsehoods (Ahriman) The relationship of Mithra to Mithras, the deity whose cult we’ll be looking at, is disputed. Franz Cumont has argued that there was a connection—problem: no evidence for the rites in the area of greater Iran Seems more likely that the cult was more or less Hellenistic w/ some elements borrowed from the East
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Other theories Beck: From Zoroastrian influences in the Hellenized east (i.e. syncretizing cult of Antiochus I) Ulansey: A response to the discovery by Hipparchus in the 2nd century BCE of the precession of equinoxes – that is, that the Earth’s axis wobbles, causing the equinoxes to shift—the idea being that it was precessing through the Zodiac and ending with the “bull.”
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Historical Appearances Plutarch’s Life of Pompey – pirates of Cilicia were worshippers of Mithras in the 1st century BCE (probably where Romans were first exposed to the idea) First century CE Latin poet Statius describes Mithras: “Mithras, that beneath the rocky Persean cave strains at the reluctant-following horns.” (
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04.13.09.Mithras.Paper - GREEK AND ROMAN RELIGIONS...

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