It has recently received personal attention from an expert in the subject, who not only expanded it lots, but also thoroughly checked everything others had written, and deleted rampant trolling from idiots, atheists, and occultists.
Perhaps you've heard that it is a very old Persian religion, was popular in the Roman Empire, had similarities to more recent major faiths, and may even have had some sort of influence on Christmas? Mithraism was a Roman invention not a Persian one, and therefore could not have been brought to Bethlehem by wise men from the East. The festival of Mithrasmas only became popular in Rome in the 2nd or 3rd century AD, well after the Christian Apostles began writing letters to the Romans.
Is it at all conceivable that a new age fad of 3rd century AD Rome influenced a serious religion born in 1st century Judea?
Mithraists worshipped a macho god called Mithras, whose achievements included slaughtering an animal, being born, and having lunch. It is too often forgotten that Roman geographers and generals routinely dismissed the cultures of other nations as excretum tauri (feces of the bull), yet this is the vital clue to our understanding of the icon of Mithras the bull-slayer. Why, then, was Mithras invoked by Vespasian in AD 77, when he marched against the Maccabee uprising in Judea?
The answer, clearly, is that Vespasian regarded ancient Israelite monotheism and messianism as a complete load of bull-shit.
What I said was, the festival of Mithrasmas appears to have become popular in the 2nd or 3rd century. According to Mithraism, the good god Sol sent Mithras to Earth to counter the works of the bad god Arimanus, also called Saturn or Shaitan. Some internet nerds see parallels here with Christian eschatology, and some have actually claimed that Mithraists performed a rite vaguely like baptism. This theory may be dismissed as bloody nonsense, however, because Mithraists met in nasty little underground chambers, places far too small to get a bull inside. Deleted comment: However, the recently discovered Crypta Balbi mithraeum is very large and has an indoor jacuzzi so big that worshippers could not only bathe in bull's blood, but could scrub each other's backs while doing so. The Mithraic bull-slaying scenes, or taurochtonies, often include a number of other creatures, including a snake beneath the bull, and a bird up in the top left corner. Mithraists to this day get terribly peeved at the slightest suggestion about anything done with Mithras' momma by the Roman soldier Tiberius Iulius Abdes Pantera.
Some websites will tell you that shepherds came to honor Mithras immediately after his birth; but this is actually quite wrong.
They may look like shepherds to the untrained, but all critical historians agree that they are goatherds.
The Christian festival of Christmas was almost certainly the model for the Mithraic feast of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti Pornografi, literally Day of Birth of the Invincible Sun and Fun-giver, also known as Mithrasmas. The festival of Mithrasmas was celebrated not only by initiates but also by the general public. The Mithraists also practised a form of eucharist and had sacraments plagiarized from the early Catholics. Professional standards of Mithraic priesthood shed an interesting light on the question of direct or indirect influence from other religions.
Many priests were actually pedophiles, while others misappropriated temple funds to pay for expensive vices. In the heyday of Mithraism, cult members used to put stickers on their chariots saying stuff like "Mithras rocks!", "Sol's Sole Son", and "the One True Myth".
Viewed historically, Mithras is a mind-boggling amalgam of various individuals like the Teacher of Righteousness and Apollonius of Tyana, and the dying-and-rising gods of the day, like Sol, Horus, Ra, Rama, Lama, Dionysus, Ottis, Isis, Osiris, and Bel, not to mention my personal favorite Jesus Christ.
Dishonest apologists for Mithraism will explain away these similarities by claiming that actually everyone else plagiarized from them. Modern cultists sometimes say Mustin Jartyr was mistaken in thinking that the other group was earlier.
Although it is easy to dismiss most claims about influence of Mithraism on other religions, it has to be acknowledged that the Hindus copied from Mithraists the silly practice of putting a mark on the forehead, and the Freemasons learned from them the clandestine bonding ritual of the hand-shake. Before Mithras studies became a rigorous discipline, amateur historians were uncertain whether the religion was first practised by Mesopotamian astronomer-priests, neo-Platonist occult philosophers, or Sicilian pirates. According to the anti-cult specialists at Mossad, Mithraism was invented in AD 66 by emperor Nero's catamitus (i.e.

According to those at the KGB, in AD 84 by former emperor Caligula's Incitatus senator (i.e.
The CIA's view that Mithraism was founded in Tarsus, sixth century BC, is extremely interesting, but only as evidence of what's happening to the US administration under its current President. So the only really plausible origin scenarios are those involving either Caligula's equine consul Incitatus or Nero's pretty-boy.
The founders of the cult lacked the intelligence to think of an original epithet for the newly invented god of their newly invented religion. The festival of Mithrasmas was banned as a violation of intellectual property rights, circa 350 AD, by the fair-minded emperor Constantius II. Nonetheless, not all Romans understood the need for the ban, or "War against Mithrasmas" as it was dubbed by the satirists, and the Mithraic feast was made legal again in a famous edict by Constantius' successor, the political opportunist Flavius Julianus. Readers of this encyclopedia need to be very careful when looking at internet material about Mithraism.
There are well-educated people — those fortunate enough to know something about Latin, Greek, patristics, and geometry — who find legitimate intellectual exercise in the study of an ancient superstition. Others are actually Mithraic revivalists, whose aim is brainwash you while you are young and impressionable. Finally, we have the block-heads — writers whose intentions may be good, but who lack either the aptitude or the education to distinguish between reliable sources and sources contaminated by agenda-pushing.
Mithridatic wars are wars between Mithraic scholars and would-be scholars about how to interpret the data.
Suffice to say that the chief crusader is King Richard Clor-de-Lion, formerly Sir Richard Gordon.
A lot of evidence about the Mithraists' iconography, liturgy and general illiteracy was found at the Dura mithraeum. The following links, originally inserted here by one of the trolls, are good examples of the sort of material we've warned you against. If you haven't yet made up your mind about Wikipedia, get a load of what they say about Mithraism. I would have thought even a head-banging ignoramus could see that the answer is clearly NO. A number of interpretations have been offered by the headbangers, most of them based on discredited 19th century comparative mythology rather than on thorough knowledge of the language and culture of ancient Italy. Shaitan had shat on this world, copiously and thoroughly, so that flies, demons and barbarians could breed in his dung. This is the so-called Taurobolium - bathing in the blood of a sacrificed bull, to wash away the marks of personal transgressions, e.g. The meeting places did contain little hand basins, but certainly not bathtubs large enough for the sort of ceremony imagined. This tale was probably devised to explain or justify the odd custom of hanging stockings by the chimney on the night before Mithrasmas.
They insist that the hypothesis of a miraculous foot-knitwear origin of Mithras is historically much more plausible, and some even treat it as established fact. In nativity scenes in the Roman mithreums, the only visitors shown (apart from Magi) are goatherds. The real birthday, and even the year of birth of Mithras, were unknown, but who needed such specific information to justify a great big party? They performed their rituals in many small temples called "mithreums" (or, more correctly, "mithraeums"), a lesser number of medium-sized temples called "musaeums", and a few very big ones called "mathaedrals".
Yet serious historians are unanimous that Mithras is not in fact one, but an amalgamation of many. After hearing Christian accounts of the Resurrection, some Mithraists even brashly claimed that Mithras was taken to heaven in a divine chariot, complete with his human body, at the end of his earthly life. It appears to have been a rather clumsy attempt to have a wider appeal (something for everyone) and ease of conversion (you can continue with your previous belief even after converting to Mithraism) and to be able to claim that "Our god is better than yours" (He's got everything your god has, and more).
For example, the famous early Mithraic apologist Mustin Jartyr was horrified to find the rituals of his cult being practiced by an earlier group. Present day Mithraists have also claimed that they, 19 centuries later, are better informed than Mustin, who lived just about a century after the events.

Some thought the "teaching" was brought to Rome by wise men called Magi (or Mullahs) who came from Iran or Pakistan or some such place. The theory itself may safely be discounted, however, as it's clear that Mithraism was modeled to a large extent on Christianity, and therefore could not have existed before Christ.
Whichever of these two it was, they kept their role in the cult a secret, as it would not have enhanced the reputation of either of them.
The result was a vicious, albeit brief flamum bellum (exchange of threatening messages) between Rome and Parthia, followed by an undisclosed settlement.
Conservative senators liked his position on family values, while liberals were impressed by his theological correctness.
Some don't believe in any gods at all, they're just using one cult as a stick to bash another. They will make their mithraic mumbo jumbo "set" into your brain while your thought patterns are still in a formative stage and you will be stuck with it for life. And doubly careful not to add any of their nonsense into serious reliable sites like this one.
They are conducted under the auspices of the Holy Inquisition and appropriately involve a lot of flaming. Some of the details, however, may impress the general reader as messy and gory, so a blow-by-blow account will not be given here. Unfortunately, some Mithraic sect staged a daring theft and "disappeared" it from the high security vaults of Yale University before it could be published. If everyone knew the secrets of their hymns, rites, rituals and everything, they wouldn't be a mystery anymore, would they? These four top spy agencies have dedicated specialists collecting evidence about Mithraism past and present, its connection with the Taliban, and its infiltration of Wikipedia. The Earth had become filthy, and there was only one substance that could cleanse the muck away: blood.
Yet its blood is the great sauce of redemption, without which the victory picnic of Mithras and Sol could not take place. The mithraeums, musaeums, and mathaedrals were all built underground, as the ancient cultists seem to have hoped to remain anonymous – just like many of the characters who write about Mithraism on the internet today, and probably for very similar reasons. He invented an explanation that the bad god Arimanus had gained foreknowledge of the future rituals of Mithraism, and in order to confound future Mithraists, caused the same rituals to be practiced elsewhere before Mithraism came into being.
The Zionist conspiracy theory is also quite untenable, as the Jews of the epoch of Herod the Great had other and nastier things to do than worship some creep in a dunce cap. A final "s" was added to the name in order to evade the lex talionis, as the copyright and trade mark laws were called back then.
There are also some other divinities flying around, but there is no conclusive evidence to show that the weapons were given by the divinities. They were also famous, or rather infamous, for appropriating the places of worship of other cults. They demolished the buildings where idols had been kept and orgies had been held, and they made bonfires of the appalling nonsense they found there: the naughty comics, pseudoscientific books, and general new age baloney.
Watching all this fun, even many Pagans saw the light, and began to celebrate Christmas and Easter again, instead of Mithrasmas and the absurd festival of Attis. Campbell, David Ulansey, David Jonathan, ADH Bivar and even the French headbanger Attilio Mastrocinque.
They have charming stories, charming images, charming music, charming personalities (until you cross them), charming morals (which are meant for others to follow), charming rituals and impressive networks of underground mathedrals.
A few of the would-be scholars have won redemption by asking King Richard to translate them, or by dedicating their books to the lion-king. All others experience the wrath of a hero to whom language and geographical barriers are no obstacle.

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