Historical Reprints Religion Mysteries of Mithra, The

Mysteries of Mithra, The

Mysteries of Mithra, The
Catalog # SKU1895
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Franz Cumont


Mysteries of Mithra

Franz Cumont

Mithraism, a religion from Persia and India, is probably the original source of Christianity. Franz Cuzont wrote one of the few books investigating the religion of Mithra. Apparently the church covered up this religion to keep us from seeing the truth behind Christianity's origins, and archeology during the Age of Enlightenment reopened this history to us.

IN THAT unknown epoch when the ancestors of the Persians were still united with those of the Hindus, they were already worshippers of Mithra. The hymns of the Vedas celebrated his name, as did those of the Avesta, and despite the differences obtaining between the two theological systems of which these books were the expression, the Vedic Mitra and the Iranian Mithra have preserved so many traits of resemblance that it is impossible to entertain any doubt concerning their common origin.


Preface To The French Edition
The Origins of Mithraism
The Dissemination of Mithraism In The Roman Empire
Mithra and the Imperial Power of Rome.
The Doctrine of the Mithraic Mysteries
The Mithraic Liturgy, Clergy and Devotees
Mithraism and the Religions of The Empire
Mithraic Art

Excerpt from Preface:

THE present work, in which we purpose to treat of the origin and history of the Mithraic religion, does not pretend to offer a picture of the downfall of paganism. We shall not attempt, even in a general way, to seek for the causes which explain the establishment of the Oriental religions in Italy; nor shall we endeavor to show how their doctrines, which were far more active as fermenting agents than the theories of the philosophers, decomposed the national beliefs on which the Roman state and the entire life of antiquity rested, and how the destruct on of the edifice which they had disintegrated was ultimately accomplished by Christianity.

We shall not undertake to trace here the various phases of the battle waged between idolatry and the growing Church; this vast subject, which we hope some day to approach, lies beyond the scope of the present work. We are concerned here with one epoch only of this decisive revolution, it being our purpose to show with all the distinctness in our power how and why a certain Mazdean sect failed under the Cæsars to become the dominant religion of the empire.


According to a recent theory, this god, with whom the peoples of Europe were unacquainted, was not a member of the ancient Aryan pantheon. Mitra-Varuna, and the five other Adityas celebrated by the Vedas, likewise Mithra-Ahura and the Amshaspands, who, according to the Avestan conception surround the Creator, are on this theory nothing but the sun, the moon, and the planets, the worship of which was adopted by the Indo-Iranians "from a neighboring people, their superiors in the knowledge of the starry firmament," who could be none other than the Accadian or Semitic inhabitants of Babylonia. But this hypothetical adoption, if it really took place, must have occurred in a prehistoric epoch, and, without attempting to dissipate the obscurity of these primitive times, it will be sufficient for us to state that the tribes of Iran never ceased to worship Mithra from their first assumption of worldly power till the day of their conversion to Islam.

In the Avesta, Mithra is the genius of the celestial light. He appears before sunrise on the rocky summits of the mountains; during the day he traverses the wide firmament in his chariot drawn by four white horses, and when night falls he still illumines with flickering glow the surface of the earth, "ever waking, ever watchful." He is neither sun, nor moon, nor stars, but with "his hundred ears and his hundred eyes" watches constantly the world. Mithra hears all, sees all, knows all: none can deceive him. By a natural transition he became for ethics the god of truth and integrity, the one that was invoked in solemn oaths, that pledged the fulfilment of contracts, that punished perjurers.

The light that dissipates darkness restores happiness and life on earth; the heat that accompanies it fecundates nature. Mithra is "the lord of wide pastures," the one that renders them fertile. "He giveth increase, he giveth abundance, he giveth cattle, he giveth progeny and life." He scatters the waters of the heavens and causes the plants to spring forth from the ground; on them that honor him, he bestows health of body, abundance of riches, and talented posterity. For he is the dispenser not only of material blessings but of spiritual advantages as well.

His is the beneficent genius that accords peace of conscience, wisdom, and honor along with prosperity, and causes harmony to reign among all his votaries. The devas, who inhabit the places of darkness, disseminate on earth along with barrenness and suffering all manner of vice and impurity. Mithra, "wakeful and sleepless, protects the creation of Mazda" against their machinations.

He combats unceasingly the spirits of evil; and the iniquitous that serve them feel also the terrible visitations of his wrath. From his celestial eyrie he spies out his enemies; armed in fullest panoply he swoops down upon them, scatters and slaughters them. He desolates and lays waste the homes of the wicked, he annihilates the tribes and the nations that are hostile to him. On the other hand he is the puissant ally of the faithful in their warlike expeditions. The blows of their enemies "miss their mark, for Mithra, sore incensed, receives them"; and he assures victory unto them that "have had fit instruction in the Good, that honor him and offer him the sacrificial libations."

Softcover, 8¼" x 5¼, 175+ pages

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