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Crítica: Volumen 38 - Imperio Romano

Crítica: Volumen 38 - Imperio Romano


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Desde los guerreros latinos en el monte Palatino en la época de Rómulo, hasta los últimos defensores de Constantinopla en 1453 d.C., el armamento del ejército romano evolucionó constantemente. A través de la gloria y la derrota, el guerrero romano se adaptó al rostro cambiante de la guerra. Debido al inmenso tamaño del Imperio Romano, que se extendía desde las Islas Británicas hasta el Golfo Arábigo, el equipamiento del soldado romano variaba mucho de una región a otra. Mediante el uso de materiales como cuero, lino y fieltro, el Ejército fue capaz de ajustar su equipamiento a estos variados climas. Arms and Armor of the Imperial Roman Soldier arroja nueva luz sobre los diferentes tipos de armadura utilizados por el soldado romano, y combina fuentes escritas y artísticas con el análisis de hallazgos arqueológicos antiguos y nuevos. Con una gran cantidad de láminas e ilustraciones, que incluyen pinturas antiguas, mosaicos, esculturas y representaciones de monedas, este libro ofrece al lector un registro visual incomparable de este fascinante período de la historia militar.


Reseña: Volumen 38 - Imperio Romano - Historia

San Jerónimo enumera siete grados de iniciación en los misterios de Mitra. 41 Probablemente haya una conexión entre el número de grados y los siete planetas, y hay evidencia que recomienda a los sacerdotes la protección del dios para cada planeta. 42 Un mosaico en el Ostia Mithraeum de Felicissimus representa estos grados, con emblemas heráldicos que están conectados a los grados, aunque pueden ser simplemente símbolos de los planetas. 43 Se ha sugerido, sin embargo, que la mayoría de los seguidores de Mitra fueron simplemente iniciados, y los siete grados son de hecho grados de sacerdotes. 44

Los grados están asociados en mosaicos en el Mithraeum de Felicissimus, Ostia, con ciertos objetos. Se dan tres objetos para cada grado, uno parece ser el símbolo del grado, mientras que los otros dos son símbolos del dios o la diosa. 45 En Santa Prisca Mithraeum en Roma, los grados se enumeran con una inscripción al lado de cada uno, recomendando al poseedor del grado a una deidad planetaria. Esto nos da la siguiente información: 46

Además, se menciona en las inscripciones de un pater patrum. Probablemente este no sea un grado superior, sino que esté relacionado con el hecho de que podría haber varios iniciados de grado. padre, y que uno de ellos se convirtió en el padre para todos ellos. 47 Asimismo, en un Mithraeum había un pater leonum, un "Padre de los leones". 48 49

La admisión a la comunidad se completó con un apretón de manos con el padre, justo cuando Mitra y Sol se dieron la mano. Los iniciados fueron entonces referidos como syndexioi, los "unidos por el apretón de manos". 50 El término se utiliza en una inscripción 51 y se burla de Firmicus Maternus 52.


Listas con este libro


Reseña: Volumen 38 - Imperio Romano - Historia

Una guía de los restos romanos en Gran Bretaña, 5a edición, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

los Triskeles, antiguo símbolo de Sicilia, Oxford: Archaeopress

Punta Secca. Vida y muerte en un asentamiento de aldea en la Sicilia bizantina temprana (Boletín Antieke Beschaving, Suplemento), Lovaina: Peeters

Capítulos de libros y artículos de revistas en prensa

"Sicilia", en B. Burrell (ed.), Un compañero de la arqueología del Imperio Romano , Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell

& # 8216UBC Excavaciones de la villa romana de Gerace (EN), Sicilia. Resultados de la temporada 2018 & # 8217, Mouseion 17.2 (2020) con vencimiento a principios de 2021

'Los praedia Philippianorum: una finca romana tardía en Gerace cerca de Enna ', en P. Campbell, A. Karivieri, K. Görannson y C. Prescott (eds.), Trinacria, una isla fuera del tiempo. Arqueología internacional en Sicilia, Oxford: Oxbow Books, próximamente en 2021

Proyectos de campo actuales

(1) El proyecto Gerace, La provincia de Enna, Sicilia, está investigando el emplazamiento de una villa romana en el corazón de Sicilia, situada en una tierra agrícola fértil con un extenso panorama. Fue descubierto por accidente hace 20 años cuando un torrente se desbordó y cortó una esquina de una estructura antigua, dejando al descubierto un mosaico. La posterior excavación limitada descubrió la planta en la superficie de una pequeña estructura con cinco habitaciones y un corredor irregular en forma de L. La excavación de zanjas de prueba descendiendo hasta el nivel del suelo sugirió que había pavimentos de mosaicos geométricos en un pasillo y en una habitación con ábside. Este edificio se investigó parcialmente en 2007, pero no se ha excavado por completo.

En mayo de 2012, la UBC llevó a cabo sus propias primeras investigaciones en Gerace, con la participación de un equipo de la Escuela Británica de Roma, que realizó un estudio geofísico en una amplia zona del sitio de 3 ha. Se identificó un edificio de 50 m de largo al este de la estructura con mosaicos, así como varias dependencias y la ubicación de cinco hornos. Los objetivos del proyecto Gerace, para el que se obtuvo financiación durante cinco años de la SSHRC en abril de 2013, y otros tres años en una subvención renovada en 2018, son por tanto:

(a) para excavar áreas de muestra de las estructuras romanas más extensamente

(b) establecer la cronología y las fases de construcción del sitio, determinar la fecha tanto de la construcción original de la villa como de su destrucción, y evaluar la naturaleza de cualquier ocupación post-romana

(c) evaluar la función de los distintos edificios en el sitio (¿residencial o agrícola?) y monitorear cualquier cambio a lo largo del tiempo.

(d) recuperar restos cerámicos (alfarería, lámparas, ánforas, azulejos) con el fin de comprender tanto la circulación cerámica local en la época romana como para evaluar la extensión de la cerámica importada, para comprender mejor los vínculos comerciales de Gerace con otras partes de Sicilia y del Mediterráneo

e) recuperar restos de fauna y semillas carbonizadas para establecer la gama de plantas cultivadas y animales criados (o en todo caso consumidos) por los habitantes de Gerace.

Desde mediados de mayo hasta mediados de junio de 2013, se llevó a cabo la primera temporada de excavación en Gerace con la ayuda de 13 estudiantes de la UBC. Se excavaron dos habitaciones en el 'edificio parecido a una villa' y resultaron ser habitaciones de servicio, una con un banco y una 'estación de trabajo' de piedra (hasta la altura de la cintura), así como un piso de tierra (tal vez una cocina), y la otra con yeso blanco en las paredes y piso de mortero blanco. El edificio, para el que un excavador anterior había propuesto una fecha de finales del siglo II y una fecha de principios del siglo IV por otro, no fue anterior al año 360 d.C. sobre la base de cerámica africana de engobe rojo que formaba parte del mortero blanco. piso en este ultimo. También se investigó parte del corredor pavimentado con mosaicos fuera de estas habitaciones, y el borde de lo que era claramente la piscina caliente de un pequeño baño, con piso de mortero blanco todavía. en el lugar y también se descubrió el hipocausto conservado. El edificio fue destruido por un incendio: la cerámica y dos lámparas de deslizamiento rojas africanas intactas de la segunda mitad del siglo V muestran que esto ocurrió no antes de C. 450 d.C.

Adyacente a esta estructura, el edificio de 50 m identificado por primera vez por la geofísica demostró tener un piso pavimentado de piedra intacto, pero muy pocos hallazgos hay evidencia para pensar que podría no haberse completado del todo cuando colapsó repentinamente, probablemente en un terremoto. Es claramente anterior al baño y su hoyo de fuego, que demolió parte de la pared oeste del largo edificio para proporcionar espacio para disparar el hipocausto. La cerámica en la composición del piso del edificio largo sugiere que no es anterior al segundo cuarto del siglo IV (y parte de un edificio anterior se identificó debajo) puede haber estado en construcción en el 361/3 d.C. cuando fue aplastado por un terremoto que Libanius informa que destruyó la mayoría de las ciudades de Sicilia en ese momento. La función del edificio es enigmática, aunque posiblemente se haya utilizado como establos, es más probable que haya sido un gran granero de propiedad.

Los hallazgos incluyeron 99 sellos de baldosas usando 10 troqueles diferentes, y algunos azulejos recibieron hasta tres sellos. Todos parecen haber sido parte de una sola producción, por un terrateniente llamado Philippianus cuyo nombre se repite en muchos de ellos, y fueron hechos para el techo de la villa construida después C. 370 d. C. Que podría haber criado caballos de carreras premiados en Gerace lo sugieren algunos de los sellos que muestran caballos con plumas en la cabeza, asociados también con coronas de victoria y ramas de palmera. Vegecio y otros informan que los ponis de circo sicilianos estaban muy bien valorados en el mundo romano, y Filipiano podría haberlos criado en esta zona central bien regada de Sicilia en la época romana tardía. De hecho, los caballos todavía se mantienen en la finca de Gerace hasta el día de hoy. Hay una presencia inusualmente marcada de huesos de caballo en los antiguos conjuntos de fauna, incluidos potros e incluso un diente de leche equino, lo que sugiere que había un semental en la finca. Una casa de baños, excavada entre 2016 y 2019, ha producido un mosaico intacto en su frigidarium que tiene una inscripción en los cuatro lados (únicamente en todo el Imperio Romano). De esto aprendemos el nombre de la finca (el praedia Philippianorum) y que había habido & # 8216joy por & # 8217 o & # 8216joy en & # 8217 los Capitolini (Capitolinis gaudium). Esto es una referencia a una nueva familia (¿casarse con los Philippiani?) O bien una referencia a las contiendas capitolinas en Roma (la certamina capitolina), instituido por Domiciano en el año 86 d.C. y aún vigente a fines del siglo IV. Si esta última es la interpretación correcta, esto implica que Filipiano entrenó caballos en Gerace y los inscribió para carreras de carros en estos juegos de estilo griego, en algún momento de la segunda mitad del siglo IV d.C., y ganó allí.

Los resultados de la excavación se publican en una serie de informes anuales en la revista. Mouseion y en paralelo, en italiano, en Sicilia Antiqua y ahora en Cronache di Archeologia. Un artículo adicional, sobre los sellos de baldosas encontrados en 2013, se publicó en Revista de arqueología romana 27 (2014). No se pudo realizar ninguna excavación en 2014, pero se realizó una segunda temporada de excavación en 2015. Para leer un resumen de los resultados de esa temporada, haga clic en aquí. En 2016 se llevó a cabo una tercera temporada de excavación y está disponible un resumen de los resultados. aquí. En 2017 se llevó a cabo una cuarta temporada de excavación y se encuentra disponible un resumen de los resultados. aquí . En 2018 tuvo lugar una quinta temporada, y se puede encontrar un resumen de los resultados aquí . En 2019 se llevó a cabo una última temporada de excavación, y se debía realizar una breve temporada de estudios en 2020, pero se pospuso hasta 2021 debido al coronavirus.


La historia de la antigua Roma

Los Grandes Cursos son impredecibles, no por la calidad de la información, sino por la capacidad de escucha de los profesores involucrados. Pensé que LA HISTORIA DE LA ANTIGUA ROMA estaba cargada de información interesante, pero el profesor parecía estar constantemente presionado por el tiempo. La repetición constante de frases como & quot; no tenemos tiempo para entrar & quot; o & quot; citar & apostar un tema para otro curso & quot; se volvió monótona.

Esta es una descripción decente de la Antigua Roma, particularmente para aquellos interesados ​​en la historia militar. Los Grandes Cursos son impredecibles, no por la calidad de la información, sino por la capacidad de escucha de los profesores involucrados. Pensé que LA HISTORIA DE LA ANTIGUA ROMA estaba cargada de información interesante, pero el profesor parecía estar constantemente presionado por el tiempo. La repetición constante de frases como "no tenemos tiempo para entrar en eso" o "ese es un tema para otro curso" se volvió monótona.

Esta es una descripción decente de la Antigua Roma, particularmente para aquellos interesados ​​en la historia militar de la civilización. Los temas se analizaron rápidamente, pero si algo me interesaba, podía anotarlo y profundizar por mi cuenta. En su mayor parte, los materiales están en orden cronológico, pero hubo algunas conferencias al final en las que realizó una amplia descripción de un puñado de aspectos culturalmente significativos de la vida romana. Cada uno de ellos estuvo en una sola conferencia (mujeres, el Coliseo, paganismo, cristianismo) antes de regresar al último puñado de emperadores.

Con todo, este no ha sido mi favorito. Podía escuchar las conferencias individuales, pero nada me inspiró. Y estoy profundamente interesado en la antigua Roma, así que no creo que fuera tanto el tema como el discurso despectivo. Definitivamente no es mi favorito. . más


[4] Unión en Calmar en 1397 de Suecia — Dinamarca— y Noruega—

formada por Margaret Queen de la 2 última y elegida Reina también de la anterior. † Convocó a los diputados de la 3. Stas. Genl. en Calmar — 40 de cada uno asistieron y formaron la Unión o Tratado — argumento principal utilizado por Queen — las disputas y las guerras cuando se desunieron.

Unión constaba de 3 artículos principales:

1. que los 3 Kddoms que eran cada uno electivo — sd. tener el mismo Rey para ser elegido por turnos de cada uno, con una excepción, sin embargo, a favor de la descendencia que los 3 K podrían elegir.

2. El Rey dividirá su residencia por turnos amg. cada uno, y gastar en cada uno los ingresos de cada Corona

3. Lo más importante que cada sd. mantener sus privilegios particulares del Senado —Aduanas—. Gobernadores. Magistrs — Genls. Obispos e incluso tropas y guarniciones que se tomarán de los respectivos Kigdoms. para que King sd. Nunca se permitirá emplear súbditos de uno en otro siendo considerados mutuamente como extraños.

Esta unión, por lo tanto imperfecta, aumentó la enemistad mutua y sentó las bases para nuevas y más amargas animosidades y miserias.

Peligro, si está desunido, —1 de invasión extranjera por mar — 2. de la invasión oriental, en S. Sts.16

Ejemplos de invasiones de costas indefensas † 17

Más formidable que por tierra, porque es más repentino y fácil de mantener con suministros.

Los romanos invaden Inglaterra
(a) Los sajones invaden Inglaterra
Daneses
Los normandos hacen
(B) Daneses de Francia Egipcios y fonógrafos invaden Grecia
Inglés — Irlanda Grecia lo hace. Italia
Europeos America Los cartagineses lo hacen. Italia y España
hacer. Indias Orientales Visigodos de España — Berbería
hacer. África

—Países sin armada conquistables en proporción a la extensión de la costa — Inglaterra conquistada con más frecuencia y más a fondo que Francia o España19.


Bebiendo la sal de Saturno

El acetato de plomo (II) (Pb (CH3COO) 2) es un compuesto químico tóxico, ya que contiene plomo, que tiene un sabor dulce. Aparte de su nombre, este peligroso compuesto también fue conocido en el pasado por otros nombres, incluido el azúcar de plomo y la sal de Saturno por los antiguos, y el polvo de Goulard del siglo XVIII.

Aunque el acetato de plomo (II) es perjudicial para la salud humana, los antiguos romanos lo usaban ampliamente como una forma de edulcorante artificial, especialmente en los vinos. Los escritos de algunos autores romanos antiguos indican que los romanos eran conscientes de los peligros del consumo de plomo, pero para entonces, el daño ya estaba hecho.

Acetato de plomo (II), también conocido como azúcar de plomo. (Químico de dormitorio / CC BY 3.0 )

El uso de azúcar de plomo como edulcorante artificial por los romanos se puede encontrar en los escritos de varios autores antiguos. Plinio el Viejo, Catón el Viejo y Columela (que escribió sobre la agricultura romana) escribieron que se producía un jarabe hirviendo jugo de uva sin fermentar para concentrar sus azúcares naturales. Si el jugo se reducía a la mitad de su volumen original, se llamaba defrutum, mientras que un jarabe que contenía un tercio de su volumen original se conocía como sapa.

Como el jugo se hervía en ollas hechas de aleaciones de plomo, este elemento dañino podía filtrarse en el almíbar. Al reaccionar con los iones acetato en el jugo de uva, se produjo acetato de plomo (II).

Cubo de bronce para mezclar vino con asas en forma de ganso de un termopolio (restaurante de comida rápida) en Pompeya Romana del siglo I d.C. (Mary Harrsch / CC BY NC SA 2.0 )

Puede que no haya sido el acetato de plomo (II), sino la concentración de glucosa y fructosa del jugo de uva, lo que le dio al jarabe su dulzura. Quizás fue la dulzura extra que el compuesto le dio al jarabe lo que llamó la atención de los romanos.

Según una fuente, el descubrimiento del acetato de plomo (II) como edulcorante fue un accidente. Mientras intentaban endulzar sus productos, los enólogos romanos experimentaban con varios ingredientes y técnicas de preparación. En algún momento, intentaron hervir el jugo de uva sin fermentar sobrante en hervidores de plomo. Cuando los enólogos emprendedores notaron que este procedimiento producía el jarabe más dulce, decidieron comenzar a elaborar esta sustancia en grandes cantidades.

Baco (Dioniso), Museos Vaticanos. (Wouter Engler / CC BY SA 4.0)


La historia de la antigua Roma

Regístrese en LibraryThing para saber si le gustará este libro.

No hay conversaciones de Talk actuales sobre este libro.

Los Grandes Cursos son impredecibles, no por la calidad de la información, sino por la capacidad de escucha de los profesores involucrados. Pensé que LA HISTORIA DE LA ANTIGUA ROMA estaba cargada de información interesante, pero el profesor parecía estar constantemente presionado por el tiempo. La repetición constante de frases como "no tenemos tiempo para entrar en eso" o "ese es un tema para otro curso" se volvió monótona.

Esta es una descripción decente de la Antigua Roma, particularmente para aquellos interesados ​​en la historia militar de la civilización. Los temas se analizaron rápidamente, pero si algo me interesaba, podía anotarlo y profundizar por mi cuenta. En su mayor parte, los materiales están en orden cronológico, pero hubo algunas conferencias al final en las que realizó una amplia descripción de un puñado de aspectos culturalmente significativos de la vida romana. Cada uno de ellos estuvo en una sola conferencia (mujeres, el Coliseo, paganismo, cristianismo) antes de regresar al último puñado de emperadores.

Con todo, este no ha sido mi favorito. Podía escuchar las conferencias individuales, pero nada me inspiró. Y estoy profundamente interesado en la antigua Roma, así que no creo que fuera tanto el tema como el discurso despectivo. Definitivamente no es mi favorito. ()

(48 conferencias, 30 minutos / conferencia)
Curso No. 340

Impartido por Garrett G. Fagan
La Universidad Estatal de Pensilvania
Ph.D., Universidad McMaster


1. Introducción
2. Las fuentes
3. La Italia prerromana y los etruscos
4. La Fundación de Roma
5. Los reyes de Roma
6. Sociedad real
7. Los inicios de la República
8. La lucha de las órdenes
9. Expansión romana en Italia
10. La Confederación Romana en Italia
11. La escena internacional en vísperas de la expansión romana
12. Cartago y la Primera Guerra Púnica
13. La Segunda Guerra Púnica (o Aníbal)
14. Roma en el Mediterráneo oriental
15. Explicando el surgimiento del Imperio Romano
16. "El conquistador capturado": Roma y el helenismo
17. Gobierno de la República Romana, Parte I: Senado y magistrados
18. Gobierno de la República Romana, Parte II: Asambleas Populares y Administración Provincial
19. Las presiones del imperio
20. Los hermanos Gracchi
21. Marius y Sulla
22. "La regla real de Sulla"
23. Reformas de Sulla deshechas
24. Pompeyo y Craso
25. El primer triunvirato
26. Pompeyo y César
27. "La dominación de César"
28. Vida social y cultural en la República tardía
29. Antony y Octavian
30. El Segundo Triunvirato
31. Octavio emerge supremo
32. La nueva orden de Augusto
33. La sucesión imperial
34. La dinastía julio-claudiana
35. El emperador en el mundo romano
36. La crisis del siglo III
37. La forma de la sociedad romana
38. Esclavitud romana
39. La familia
40. Mujeres en la sociedad romana
41. Un imperio de ciudades
42. Entretenimiento público, parte I: los baños romanos y las carreras de carros
43. Entretenimiento público, Parte II — Juegos de gladiadores
44. Paganismo romano
45. El ascenso del cristianismo
46. ​​La restauración del orden
47. Constantino y el Imperio tardío
48. Reflexiones sobre la "caída" del Imperio Romano


Si eres un jugador de torneos, sabrás la importancia de estar armado con un montón de "armas" de apertura. Con premios en efectivo en juego, todos quieren acumular todas las ventajas de su lado. Atrapar a tu oponente desde el principio es la mejor manera de hacerlo.

Si su rival tiene que pensar por sí mismo, no solo estará gastando todo su tiempo en el reloj, sino que también existe una gran posibilidad de que se equivoque.

Si realmente quiere obtener la ventaja en el ajedrez de competición, este magnífico paquete de 6 volúmenes es un material esencial.
La Enciclopedia de aperturas de ajedrez de 14 horas se basa en el libro más vendido del GM Lev Alburts, Roman Dzindzichashvili y Eugene Perelshteynis "Aperturas de ajedrez para negras, explicado: un repertorio completo". y “Explicación de aperturas de ajedrez para blancas”. Dos de los libros de apertura más populares de todos los tiempos.

Ahora tienes todo este material convenientemente presentado en formato de video y demostrado por el propio Roman. Además, se ha actualizado para incluir nuevas recomendaciones.

Esta es una guía de referencia completa sobre 47 aperturas diferentes y debe consultarse cuando desee cambiar las cosas y emplear una nueva idea. O tal vez ha luchado contra un sistema utilizado por uno de sus rivales y quiere saber cómo lo haría pedazos un DJ.

El GM Roman Dzindzichashvili es un experto en aperturas de renombre mundial y tiene el raro logro de haber ganado los campeonatos de Estados Unidos y Rusia. También ganó el evento World Open y, quizás lo más impresionante, ha actuado como entrenador y entrenado tanto para Anatoly Karpov como para Garry Kasparov. ¡Este es un hombre al que quieres en tu esquina!


& quot La influencia de las religiones misteriosas en el cristianismo & quot

King escribió este artículo para el curso Desarrollo de ideas cristianas, impartido por Davis. El ensayo examina cómo se desarrolló el cristianismo como una religión distinta con un conjunto de principios centrales y cómo fue influenciado por las religiones paganas que asimiló. King repite material de un artículo anterior, "Un estudio del mitraísmo", pero extiende la discusión aquí a la influencia de otras religiones misteriosas. 1 Davis le dio al ensayo una A, diciendo: “Esto es muy bueno y me alegro de tener su conclusión. No es tanto que el cristianismo haya sido influenciado por los cultos misteriosos, o tomado prestado de ellos, sino que en el largo proceso de la historia esta religión se desarrolló. Este, el cristianismo, es la expresión del anhelo de la gente por la luz, la verdad, la salvación, la seguridad.

“Es decir, con este estudio que has realizado, vemos la filosofía tanto de Religión como de Historia. Debajo de toda expresión, ya sean palabras, credos, cultos, ceremonias, está el orden espiritual, la búsqueda siempre viva de los hombres por una vida superior, una vida más plena, más abundante y satisfactoria.

“Eso es esencial. Nunca te detengas en lo externo, que puede parecer un préstamo, pero reconoce que existe la lucha perenne por la verdad, la vida más plena en sí misma. Entonces, a través de la experiencia, el conocimiento, como a través de otras formas, las manifestaciones externas de la religión cambian. Lo espiritual interior, continúa para siempre ".

El mundo grecorromano en el que se desarrolló la iglesia primitiva fue uno de diversas religiones. Las condiciones de esa época hicieron posible que estas religiones barrieran como un maremoto sobre el mundo antiguo. La gente de esa época estaba ansiosa y celosa en su búsqueda de experiencia religiosa. La existencia de esta atmósfera fue de vital importancia en el desarrollo y eventual triunfo del cristianismo.

Estas muchas religiones, conocidas como Misterio-Religiones, no eran iguales en todos los aspectos: sacar esta conclusión conduciría a una suposición gratuita y errónea. Cubrieron un rango enorme, y manifestaron una gran diversidad en carácter y perspectiva, "desde el orfismo al gnosticismo, desde las orgías de la Cabira hasta los fervoros del hermético contemplativo". [Nota al pie:] Angus, Las religiones misteriosas y el cristianismo, pag. vii. 2 Sin embargo, debe notarse que estos Misterios poseían muchas semejanzas fundamentales (1) Todos sostenían que el iniciado compartía de manera simbólica (sacramental) las experiencias del dios. (2) Todos tenían ritos secretos para los iniciados. (3) Todos ofrecieron una limpieza mística del pecado. (4) Todos prometieron una vida futura feliz para los fieles. [Nota al pie:] Enslin, Comienzos cristianos, págs. 187, 188.

No es de extrañar, en vista de la amplia y creciente influencia de estas religiones, que cuando los discípulos en Antioquía y en otros lugares predicaron a un Jesús crucificado y resucitado, se los considere heraldos de otra religión misteriosa, y que Jesús mismo deba ser tomado. para el divino Señor del culto por cuya muerte y resurrección se iba a obtener la salvación. 3 No se puede negar que existían sorprendentes similitudes entre la iglesia en desarrollo y estas religiones. Incluso el apologista cristiano tuvo que admitir ese hecho.

El cristianismo triunfó sobre estas religiones misteriosas después de un largo conflicto. Este triunfo puede atribuirse en parte al hecho de que el cristianismo tomó de sus oponentes sus propias armas y las usó: los mejores elementos de las religiones de misterio se transfirieron a la nueva religión. “A medida que se estudie más de cerca la historia religiosa del imperio”, escribe Cumont, “el triunfo de la Iglesia, en nuestra opinión, aparecerá cada vez más como la culminación de una larga evolución de creencias. Podemos entender el cristianismo del siglo V con su grandeza y debilidad, su exaltación espiritual y sus supersticiones pueriles, si conocemos los antecedentes morales del mundo en el que se desarrolló ”. [Nota al pie:] Cumont, Religiones orientales en el paganismo romano, pag. xxiv. 4 La victoria del cristianismo en el imperio romano es otro ejemplo de esa ley histórica universal, es decir, que esa cultura que conquista es a su vez conquistada. Esta ley universal se aplica especialmente a la religión. Es inevitable que cuando una nueva religión coexista junto con un grupo de religiones, del cual continuamente separa miembros, introduciéndolos en su propio medio con las prácticas de sus religiones originales impresas en sus mentes, que esta nueva religión deba Suelen asimilar con la asimilación de sus miembros, algunos de los elementos de estas religiones existentes. "Cuanto más cruzada es una religión, más absorbe". Ciertamente, el cristianismo ha sido una religión cruzada desde el principio. Es debido a este espíritu de cruzada y su soberbio poder de adaptabilidad que el cristianismo ahs haber podido sobrevivir.

Es en este punto que podemos ver por qué el conocimiento de las religiones misteriosas es importante para cualquier estudio serio de la historia del cristianismo. Es casi imposible comprender el cristianismo de principio a fin sin el conocimiento de estos cultos. 5 Debe recordarse, como se insinuó anteriormente, que el cristianismo no fue una transformación repentina y milagrosa, surgiendo, creciendo completamente como Atenea brotó de la cabeza de Zeus, sino que es una combinación de crecimiento lento y laborioso. Por tanto, es necesario estudiar los factores históricos y sociales que contribuyeron al crecimiento del cristianismo. Al hablar de la indispensabilidad del conocimiento de estos cultos como requisito para cualquier estudio serio del cristianismo, el Dr. Angus dice: “Como un trasfondo importante para el cristianismo primitivo y como el medio principal del sacramentarianismo en Occidente, no se pueden descuidar por fallar en Reconocer los valores morales y espirituales del paganismo helenístico-oriental es malinterpretar los primeros siglos cristianos y hacer una injusticia a la victoria del cristianismo. Además, mucho de los Misterios ha persistido en varias fases modernas de pensamiento y práctica ”. [Nota al pie:] Angus, Las religiones misteriosas y el cristianismo, pag. viii.

Esto no quiere decir que los primeros cristianos se sentaron y copiaron estos puntos de vista textualmente. Pero después de estar en contacto con estas religiones circundantes y escuchar ciertas doctrinas expresadas, era natural que algunas de estas opiniones se convirtieran en parte de sus mentes subconscientes. Cuando se sentaron a escribir estaban expresando conscientemente lo que había morado en sus mentes subconscientes. También es significativo saber que la tolerancia romana había favorecido este gran sincretismo de ideas religiosas. Pedir prestado no solo era natural, sino inevitable. 6

El presente estudio representa un intento de proporcionar un estudio de la influencia de las religiones de misterio en el cristianismo. Para dar una imagen completa de este tema, discutiré Cuatro de las más populares de estas religiones por separado, en lugar de verlas en masa como un gran sistema religioso único. Este último método tiende a descuidar la contribución distintiva de cada culto a la vida religiosa de la época y, al mismo tiempo, a atribuir a un culto determinadas fases de algún otro sistema. Sin embargo, en la conclusión intentaré dar aquellos aspectos fundamentales, característicos de todos los cultos, que influyeron mucho en el cristianismo.

La influencia del culto de Cybele y Attis

La primera religión oriental que invadió Occidente fue el culto a la Gran Madre de los Dioses. El personaje divino en el que se centró este culto fue el Magna Mater Deum quien fue concebido como la fuente de toda la vida, así como la personificación de todos los poderes de la naturaleza. [Nota al pie:] Willoughby, Regeneración pagana, pag. 114. 7 Ella era la "Gran Madre" no sólo "de todos los dioses", sino también de todos los hombres ". 8 “Los vientos, el mar, la tierra y el asiento nevado del Olimpo son suyos, y cuando de sus montañas asciende a los grandes cielos, el hijo de Cronos mismo cede ante ella, y de la misma manera también lo hace el otro. bendito inmortal honre a la diosa terrible ”. [Nota al pie:] Citado en Willoughby's, Regeneración pagana, pag. 115. 9

En una fecha temprana se asoció con Cibeles, la Gran Madre, una heroína-divinidad llamada Ático que personificaba la vida del mundo vegetal en particular. Alrededor de estas dos divinidades creció una “confusa maraña de mitos” en explicación de sus ritos de culto. Varios escritores dieron diferentes versiones del mito de Cybele-Attis. Sin embargo, estas diferencias específicas no tienen por qué preocuparnos, ya que los aspectos más significativos son comunes en todas las versiones. 10 En este punto nos interesa mostrar cómo esta religión influyó en el pensamiento de los primeros cristianos.

Attis fue el Buen Pastor, el hijo de Cibeles, la Gran Madre, que le dio a luz sin unión con el hombre mortal, como en la historia de la virgen María. 11 Según el mito, Attis murió, asesinado por otro o por su propia mano. A la muerte de Attis, Cybele lamentó con vehemencia hasta que resucitó en la primavera. El tema central del mito era el triunfo de Attis sobre la muerte, y el participante en los ritos del culto indudablemente creía que su apego a la deidad victoriosa aseguraría un triunfo similar en su vida.

Es evidente que en Roma hubo un festival que celebraba la muerte y resurrección de Attis. Esta celebración se llevó a cabo anualmente del 22 al 25 de marzo. [Nota al pie:] Frazer, Adonis, Attis, Osiris, pag. 166. La influencia de esta religión en el cristianismo se muestra por el hecho de que en Frigia, Galia, Italia y otros países donde el culto a Attis era poderoso, los cristianos adaptaron la fecha actual, el 25 de marzo, como el aniversario de la pasión de nuestro Señor. . [Nota al pie:] Ibid, p. 199 12

Nuevamente podemos notar que en este mismo festival de Attis el 22 de marzo, una efigie del dios fue atada al tronco de un pino, por lo que Attis fue "asesinado y colgado en un árbol". Esta efigie fue enterrada posteriormente en una tumba. El 24 de marzo, conocido como el Día de la Sangre, el Sumo Sacerdote, haciéndose pasar por Ático, extrajo sangre de su brazo y la ofreció en lugar de la sangre de un sacrificio humano, por así decirlo, sacrificándose a sí mismo. It is this fact that immediately brings to mind the words in the Epistle to the Hebrews: “But Christ being come an High Priest … neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood … obtained eternal redemption for us.”[Footnote:] Heb. 9:11, 12. Now to get back to the festival. That night the priests went back to the tomb and found it empty, the god having risen on the third day from the dead and on the 25th the resurrection was celebrated with great rejoicing. During this great celebration a sacramental meal of some kind was taken, and initiates were baptised with blood, whereby their sins were washed away and they were said to be “born again.”[Footnote:] Weigall, The Paganism In Our Christianity, pp. 116, 117. 13

There can hardly be any doubt of the fact that these ceremonies and beliefs strongly coloured the interpretation placed by the first Christians upon the life and death of the historic Jesus. 14 Moreover, “the merging of the worship of Attis into that of Jesus was effected without interruption, for these pagan ceremonies were enacted in a sanctuary on the Vatican Hill, which was afterwards taken over by the Christians, and the mother church of St. Peter now stands upon the very spot.”[Footnote:] Ibid, p. 117.

Another popular religion which influenced the thought of early Christians was the worship of Adonis. As is commonly known Antioch was one of the earliest seats of Christianity. It was in this city that there was celebrated each year the death and resurrection of the god Adonis. This faith had always exerted its influence on Jewish thought, so much so that the prophet Ezekiel[Footnote:] Ezekiel 8:14. found it necessary to scold the women of Jerusalem for weeping for the dead Tammuz (Adonis) at the very gate of the temple. When we come to Christian thought the influence seems even greater, for even the place at Bethleham selected by the early Christians as the scene of the birth of Jesus was none other than an early shrine of this pagan god—a fact that led many to confuse Adonis with Jesus Christ.[Footnote:] Weigall, op. cit., pag. 110 15

It was believed that this god suffered a cruel death, after which he descended into hell, rose again, and then ascended into Heaven. Each following there was a great festival in commemoration of his resurrection, and the very words, “The Lord is risen,” were probable used. The festival ended with the celebration of his ascention in the sight of his worshippers. 16 Needless to say that this story of the death and resurrection of Adonis is quite similar to the Christian story of the death and resurrection of Christ. This coincidence had led many critics to suppose that the story of the burial and resurrection of Jesus is simply a myth borrowed from this pagan religion. 17 Whether these critics are right in their interpretation or not still remains a moot question.

However when we come to the idea of Jesus’ decent into hell it seems that we have a direct borrow from the Adonis religion, and in fact from other religions also. Both the Apostles Creed and the Athanasian say that between the Friday night and Sunday morning Jesus was in Hades. Now this idea has no scriptural foundation except in those difficult passages in the First Epistle of Peter[Footnote:] I Peter 3:19–4:6. which many scholars have designated as the most ambiguous passages of the New Testament. In fact the idea did not appear in the church as a tenet of Christianity until late in the Fourth Century.[Footnote:] Weigall, op. cit., pág. 113. 18 Such facts led almost inevitably to the view that this idea had a pagan origin, since it appears not only in the legend of Adonis, but also in those of Herakles, Dionyses, Orpheus, Osiris, Hermes, Balder, and other deities.[Footnote:] Ibid, p. 114.

The Influence of Osiris and Isis

The Egyptian mysteries of Isis and Osiris exerted considerable influence upon early Christianity. These two great Egyptian deities, whose worship passed into Europe, were revered not only in Rome but in many other centers where Christian communities were growing up. Osiris and Isis, so the legend runs, were at one and the same time, brother and sister, husband and wife but Osiris was murdered, his coffined body being thrown into the Nile, and shortly afterwards the widowed and exiled Isis gave birth to a son, Horus. Meanwhile the coffin was washed up on the Syrian coast, and became miraculously lodged in the trunk of a tree. This tree afterwards chanced to be cut down and made into a pillar in the palace at Byblos, and there Isis at length found it. After recovering Osiris’ dismembered body, Isis restored him to life and installed him as King in the nether world meanwhile Horus, having grown to manhood, reigned on earth, later becoming the third person of this great Egyptian trinity.[Footnote:] Weigall, op. cit., pag. 119. 19

In the records of both Herodotus and Plutarch we find that there was a festival held each year in Egypt celebrating the resurrection of Osiris. While Herodotus fails to give a date for this festival, Plutarch says that it lasted four days, giving the date as the seventeenth day of the Egyptian month Hathor, which, according to the Alexandrian claendar used by him, corresponded to November 13th.[Footnote:] Frazer, op. cit., pag. 257. Other Egyptian records speak of another feast in honour of all the dead, when such lamps were lit, which was held about November 8th.[Footnote:] Ibid, p. 258. 20

It is interesting to note that the Christian feast of all Souls, in honor of the dead, likewise falls at the beginning of November and in many countries lamps and candles are burned all night on that occassion. There seems little doubt that this custom was identical with the Egyptian festival. The festival of all Saints, which is held one day before that of all Souls is also probably identical with it in origin.[Footnote:] Weigall, op. cit., pag. 121. This still stands as a festival in the Christian calendar and thus Christians unconsciously perpetuate the worship of Osiris in modern times. 21

However this is not the only point at which the Religion of Osiris and Isis exerted influence on Christianity. There can hardly be any doubt that the myths of Isis had a direct bearing on the elevation of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, to the lofty position that she holds in Roman Catholic theology. As is commonly known Isis had two capacities which her worshippers warmly commended her for. Firstly, she was pictured as the lady of sorrows, weeping for the dead Osiris, and secondly she was commended as the divine mother, nursing her infant son, Horus. In the former capacity she was identified with the great mother-goddess, Demeter, whose mourning for Persephone was the main feature in the Eleusinian mysteries. In the latter capacity Isis was represented in tens of thousands of statuettes and paintings, holding the divine child in her arms. Now when Christianity triumphed we find that these same paintings and figures became those of the Madonna and child with little or no difference.[Footnote:] Ibid, p. 123 In fact archaeologists are often left in confusion in attempting to distinguish the one from the other. 22

It is also interesting to note that in the second century a story began to spread stating that Mary had been miraculously carried to Heaven by Jesus and His angels.[Footnote:] The spreading of this story has been attributed to Melito, Bishop of Sardis. In the sixth century a festival came to be celebrated around this event known as the festival of Assumption, and it is now one of the greatest feasts of Roman Catholicism. It is celebrated annually on August 13th. But it was this very date that the festival of Dianna or Artemis was celebrated, with whom Isis was identified. Here we see how Mary gradually came to take the place of the goddess.[Footnote:] Weigall, op. cit., pag. 125. 23

The Influence Of The Greater Mysteries At Eleusis

In the first century of the Christian era the Eleusinian mystery cult was more favorable known than any of the cults of Greece. 24 Its fame and popularity was largely due to the connexion of Eleusis with Athens. The origin of this cult is obscure and uncertain. Some writers traced its origin to Egypt while others upheld Eleusis in Greece as the place of its birth.

In order to understand the type of religious experience represented by this important cult, we must turn to the myth of the rape of Demeter’s daughter by Pluto. It is stated with sufficient elaboration in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. In this myth, Persephone is depicted playing in the meadows of Mysia in Asia with the daughters of Oceanus and Tithys. While playing she was stolen by Pluto and carried off to the underworld to be his bride. The mother, frenzied with grief, rushed about the earth for nine days in search for her lost daughter, 25 As a result of her wandering, she came to Eleusis where she was seen, although not recognized, by the four daughters of Kekeas sitting near a public well called the Fountain of Maidenhood. After telling a fictitious tale of her escape from pirates, she won the sympathy of the girls who took her home and at her own request was given a job to nurse their infant brother, Demophon. After making herself known, she commanded the people of Eleusis to build her a temple. In connection with the temple, she established certain ceremonies and rites for her worship.

During her short stay at the temple of Eleusis, the whole earth grew barren. Men began to die for the lack of food while the sacrifices to the gods decreased in number because the animals were dying out. The other gods pleaded with her to relent but she refused to do so until Persephone was restored to her. Pluto, (also called Hades) therefore, at the request of Zeus released her but not before he had caused her to eat a pomegranate seed which magically required her return after a period of time. Demeter, in her joy at the restoration of her lost daughter, allowed the crops to grow once more and institute in honor of the event the Eleusinian mysteries which gave to mortals the assurance of a happy future life. 26

The significance of this story is immediately clear. It was a nature myth portraying a vivid and realistic picture of the action of life in the vegetable world in regards to the changing seasons. Every year nature passes through a cycle of apparent death and resurrection. In winter, all plants die, this represents the period of Demeter’s grief over her daughter. Spring, the time when all plants come back to life, indicates the return of plenty when the goddess maintains all life until autumn when her daughter returns to Hades and the earth becomes once more desolated.[Footnote:] Willoughby, op. cit., pag. 42. 27

The myth is also an example of poignant human experience, reflecting the joys, sorrows, and hopes of mankind in the face of death. The mysteries of human life and death are vividly enacted by Demeter, Persephone, and Hades. Hades, the god of death, stole the beloved daughter, Persephone, from Demeter, the life giver, who refused to admit defeat until she secured her daughter’s resurrection. In this legend, human beings, who are always loved and lost, are depicted as never or seldom loosing hope for reunion with their God. These fundamental human experiences and the life of nature are the main substances of the Eleusinian Mysteries. 28 To the searchers of salvation, the Eleusinian cult offered not only the promise of a happy future, but also a definite assurance of it.[Footnote:] Nilsson, Greek Popular Religion, pag. 54.

Now when we observe the modern Greek Easter festival it seems certain that it preserves the spirit if not the form of the old Eleusinian worship. In the spring, those who had shared Demeter’s grief for the loss of her daugher welcomed the return of Persephone with all the joy that the returning life of vegetation might kindle. And today similar experiences are represented by Greek Christians. After mourning over the dead Christ, represented most conspicuously by a wax image carried through the streets, there comes an announcement by the priest, on the midnight before Easter Sunday, that Christ is risen. At this moment the light from the candle of the priest is passed on to light the candles of his companions guns and firecrackers are discharged as they prepare to break the Lenten fast.[Footnote:] Fairbanks, Greek Religion, pag. 288. 29 As in the Eleusinian mysteries the modern Greek Christian finds this a moment of supreme joy. So we might say that Eleusinianism was not blotted out by Christianity. On the contrary many of its forms and some of its old content has been perpetuated in Christianity. 30

The Influence of Mithraism

Mithraism is perhaps the greatest example of paganism’s last effort to reconcile itself to the great spiritual movement which was gaining such sturdy influence with its purer conception of God.[Footnote:] Dill, Roman Society From Nero to Marcus Aurelius, pag. 585. Ernest Renan, the French philosopher and Orientalist, expressed the opinion that Mithraism would have been the religion of the modern world if anything had occured to halt or destroy the growth of Christianity in the early centuries of its existence. All this goes to show how important Mithraism was in ancient times. It was suppressed by the Christians sometime in the latter part of the fourth century a.d. but its collapse seems to have been due to the fact that by that time many of its doctrines and practices had been adopted by the church, so that it was practically absorbed by its rival. 31

Originally Mithra was one of the lesser gods of the ancient Persian pantheon, but at the time of Christ he had come to be co-equal with Ahura Mazda, the Supreme Being. 32 He possessed many attributes, the most important being his office of defender of truth and all good things. In the Avesta,[Footnote:] This is the sacred book of the religion of Iran. Mithra is represented as the genius of celestial light. He emerges from the rocky summits of eastern mountains at dawn, and goes through heaven with a team of four white horses when the night falls he still illumines the surface of the earth, “ever walking, ever watchful.” He is not sun or moon or any star, but a spirit of light, ever wakeful, watching with a hundred eyes. He hears all and sees all: none can deceive him.[Footnote:] Cumont, Mysteries of Mithra, pp. 2, 3. 33 Tarsus, the home of Saint Paul, was one of the great centres of his worship and there is a decided tinge of Mithraism in the Epistles and Gospels. Such designations of our Lord as the Dayspring from on High, The Light, the Sun of Righteousness, and similar expressions seem to come directly from Mithraic influence.[Footnote:] Weigall, op. cit., pag. 129. 34

Again tradition has it that Mithra was born from a rock, “the god out of the rock.” It must also be noticed that his worship was always conducted in a cave. Now it seems that the general belief of the early church that Jesus was born in a cave grows directly out of Mithraic ideas. The words of St. Paul, “They drank of that spiritual rock … and that rock was Christ” also seem to be direct borrow from the Mithraic scriptures. 35

The Hebrew Sabbath having been abolished by Christians, the Church made a sacred day of Sunday, partly because it was the day of resurrection. But when we observe a little further we find that as a solar festival, Sunday was the sacred day of Mithra it is also interesting to notice that since Mithra was addressed as Lord, Sunday must have been “the Lord’s Day” long before Christian use.[Footnote:] Ibid., p. 137. It is also to be noticed that our Christmas, December 25th, was the birthday of Mithra, and was only taken over in the Fourth Century as the date, actually unknown, of the birth of Jesus. 36

To make the picture a little more clear, we may list a few of the similarities between these two religions: (1) Both regard Sunday as a holy day. (2) December 25 came to be considered as the anniversary of the birth of Mithra and Christ also. (3) Baptism and a communion meal were important parts of the ritual of both groups. (4) The rebirth of converts was a fundamental idea in the two cults. (5) The struggle with evil and the eventual triumph of good were essential ideas in both religions. 37 (6) In summary we may say that the belief in immortality, a mediator between god and man, the observance of certain sacramental rites, the rebirth of converts, and (in most cases) the support of high ethical ideas were common to Mithraism as well as Christianity. In fact, the comparison became so evident that many believed the Christian movement itself became a mystery cult. “Jesus was the divine Lord. He too had found the road to heaven by his suffering and resurrection. He too had God for his father. He had left behind the secret whereby men could achieve the goal with him.”[Footnote:] Enslin, op. cit., pág. 190.

Although the above paragraph makes it obvious that there are many similarities between these two religions, we must guard against the fallacy of seeing all similarity as direct borrowing. For an instance, the sacraments of baptism and the eucharist have been mentioned as rites, which were preactice by both Christians and pagans. It is improbable, however, that either of these were introduced into Christian practices by association with the mystery cults. The baptismal ceremony in both cases (Christian and Pagan) was supposed to have the effect of identifying the initiate with his savior. But although baptism did not originate with the Christians, still it was not copied from the pagans. It seems instead to have been carried over from Jewish background and modified by the new ideas and beliefs of the Christians. The eucharist, likewise through similar in some respects to the communion meal of Mithraism, was not a rite borrowed from it. There are several explanations regarding the beginning of the observance of the Lord’s Supper. Some held that the sacrament was instituted by Jesus himself. Others saw it as an out-growth from Jewish precedents. Still others felt that, after the death of Jesus, the disciples saw in their common meal an opportunity to hold a kind of memorial service for him.

On the whole, early Christians were not greatly concerned about the likenesses between the Mithraic cult and their own. They felt at first that these competitors were not worthy of consideration, and few references to them are found in Christian literature. When Mithraism became widespread and powerful, it attracted so much attention that certain Christian apologists felt the need to present an explanation for the similarities in their respective characteristics. The only one they could offer was quite naive, but it was in keeping with the trends of thought in that age. They maintained that it was the work of the devil who helped to confuse men by creating a pagan imitation of the true religion. 38

There can hardly be any gainsaying of the fact that Christianity was greatly influenced by the Mystery religions, both from a ritual and a doctrinal angle. This does not mean that there was a deliberate copying on the part of Christianity. On the contrary it was generally a natural and unconscious process rather than a deliberate plan of action. Christianity was subject to the same influences from the environment as were the other cults, and it sometimes produced the same reaction. The people were conditioned by the contact with the older religions and the background and general trend of the time. 39 Dr. Shirley Jackson Case has written some words that are quite apt at this point. He says: “Following the lead of the apostle Paul, the Christian missionaries on gentile soil finally made of Christianity a more appealing religion than any of the other mystery cults. This was accomplished, not by any slavish process of imitation, but by serious attempt to meet better the specific religious needs that the mysteries had awakened and nourished, and by phrasing religious assurances more convincingly in similar terminology.”[Footnote:] Case, “The Mystery Religions,” The Encyclopedia of Religion, Edited by Vergilius Ferm, pp. 511–513

The greatest influence of the mystery religions on Christianity lies in a different direction from that of doctrine and ritual. It lies in the fact that the mystery religions paved the way for the presentation of Christianity to the world of that time. They prepared the people mentally and emotionally to understand the type of religion which Christianity represented. They were themselves, in verying degrees, imperfect examples of the Galilean cult which was to replace them. They encouraged the movement away from the state religions and the philosophical systems and toward the desire for personal salvation and promise of immortality. Christianity was truly indebted to the mystery religions for this contribution, for they had done this part of the groundwork and thus opened the way for Christian missionary work. Many views, while passing out of paganism into Christianity were given a more profound and spiritual meaning by Christians, yet we must be indebted to the source. To discuss Christianity without mentioning other religions would be like discussing the greatness of the Atlantic Ocean without the slightest mention of the many tributaries that keep it flowing. 40

Christianity, however, [strikeout illegible] survived because it appeared to be the result of a trend in the social order or in the historical cycle of the human race. Forces have been known to delay trends but very few have stopped them. The staggering question that now arises is, what will be the next stage of man’s religious progress? Is Christianity the crowning achievement in the development of religious thought or will there be another religion more advanced?

  1. Angus, S., The Mystery Religions and Christianity, (Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York: 1925),
  2. Cumont, Franz, The Mysteries of Mithra, (The Open Court Publishing Co., Chicago: 1910).
  3. Cumont, Franz, The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism, (The Open House Publishing Co., Chicago: 1911).
  4. Dill, Samuel, Roman Society From Nero To Marcus Aurelius, (Macmillan and Co., New York: 1905), pp. 585–626.
  5. Enslin Morton S., Christian Beginnings, (Harper and Brothers Publishers, New York: 1938), pp. 186–200.
  6. Frazer, J. E., Adonis, Attis, Osiris, (London, 1922), Vol. I.
  7. Fairbanks, Arthur, Greek Religion, (American Book Co, New York: 1910).
  8. Halliday, W. R., The Pagan Background of Early Christianity, (The University Press of Liverpool, London: N.D.), pp. 281–311.
  9. Hyde, Walter, W, Paganism To Christianity in the Roman Empire, (University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia: 1946).
  10. Moore, George F., History of Religions, (Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York: 1913), Vol. I, pp. 375–405.
  11. Nilsson, Martin P., Greek Popular Religion, (Columbia University Press, New York: 1940), pp. 42–64.
  12. Weigall Arthur, The Paganism in Our Christianity, (Hutchinson and Co. London: N.D.).
  13. Willoughby, Harold R., Pagan Regeneration, (University of Chicago Press, Chicago: 1929).

1. See “A Study of Mithraism,” 13 September–23 November 1949, pp. 211–225 in this volume.

2. S. Angus, The Mystery-Religions and Christianity (London: John Murray, 1925), p. vii: “These Mysteries covered an enormous range, and manifested a great diversity in character and outlook, from Orphism to Gnosticism, from the orgies of the Cabiri to the fervours of the Hermetic contemplative.”

3. The preceding three paragraphs are similar to a passage in King’s earlier paper, “A Study of Mithraism,” p. 211 in this volume.

4. Grant Showerman, introduction to Franz Cumont, Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism (Chicago: Open House Publishing Company, 1911), pp. xi–xii: “Christianity triumphed after long conflict … It took from its opponents their own weapons, and used them the better elements of paganism were transferred to the new religion. ‘As the religious history of the empire is studied more closely,’ writes M. Cumont, ‘the triumph of the church will, in our opinion, appear more and more as the culmination of a long evolution of beliefs. We can understand the Christianity of the fifth century with its greatness and weaknesses, its spiritual exaltation and its puerile superstitions, if we know the moral antecedents of the world in which it developed.’”

5. The preceding two sentences are similar to a passage in “A Study of Mithraism,” p. 211 in this volume.

6. The preceding paragraph is similar to passages in two of King’s earlier papers: “Light on the Old Testament from the Ancient Near East,” 14 September–24 November 1948, p. 163 in this volume “A Study of Mithraism,” p. 212 in this volume.

7. Harold R. Willoughby, Pagan Regeneration (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1929), p. 114: “Of these Oriental mystery religions the first to invade the west was the cult of the Great Mother of the Gods,… The divine personage in whom this cult centered was the Magna Mater Deum who was conceived as the source of all life as well as the personification of all the powers of nature.”

8. Willoughby, Pagan Regeneration, pag. 114: “She was the ‘Great Mother’ not only ‘of all the gods,’ but ‘of all men’ as well.”

9. Willoughby quoted from Apollonius Argonautica 1.1098 ff. (Pagan Regeneration, pag. 115).

10. Willoughby, Pagan Regeneration, pp. 116–117: “With [the Great Mother] was associated a hero-divinity called Attis who personified the life of the vegetable world particularly.… Around these two divinities, the Great Mother and the god of vegetation, there grew up a confused tangle of myths in explanation of their cult rites. Various writers, pagan and Christian, gave different versions of the Cybele-Attis myth.… The specific variations in all these diverse statements do not concern us, for certain significant elements were common to all the various versions.”

11. Arthur E. Weigall, Paganism in Our Christianity (n.p.: Putnam, 1928), p. 121: “Attis was the Good Shepherd, the son of Cybele, the Great Mother, or, alternatively, of the Virgin Nana, who conceived him without union with mortal man, as in the story of the Virgin Mary.”

12. Weigall, Paganism in Our Christianity, pp. 121–122: “In Rome the festival of his death and resurrection was annually held from March 22nd to 25th and the connection of this religion with Christianity is shown by the fact that in Phrygia, Gaul, Italy, and other countries where Attis-worship was powerful, the Christians adopted the actual date, March 25th, as the anniversary of our Lord’s passion.”

13. Weigall, Paganism in Our Christianity, pp. 122–123: “At this Attis festival a pine-tree was felled on March 22nd, and to its trunk an effigy of the god was fastened, Attis thus being ‘slain and hanged on a tree,’ in the Biblical phrase. This effigy was later buried in a tomb. March 24th was the Day of Blood, whereon the High Priest, who himself impersonated Attis, drew blood from his arm and offered it up in place of the blood of a human sacrifice, thus, as it were, sacrificing himself, a fact which recalls to mind the words in the Epistle to the Hebrews: ‘Christ being come an High Priest … neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood … obtained eternal redemption for us.’ That night the priests went to the tomb and found it illuminated from within, and it was then discovered to be empty, the god having risen on the third day from the dead and on the 25th the resurrection was celebrated with great rejoicings, a sacramental meal of some kind being taken, and initiates being baptised with blood, whereby their sins were washed away and they were said to be ‘born again.’”

14. Weigall, Paganism in Our Christianity, pag. 123: “There can be no doubt that these ceremonies and beliefs deeply coloured the interpretation placed by the first Christians upon the historic facts of the Crucifixion, burial, and coming again to life of Jesus.”

15. Weigall, Paganism in Our Christianity, pp. 115–116: “Now one of the earliest seats of Christianity was Antioch but in that city there was celebrated each year the death and resurrection of the god Tammuz or Adonis,… This faith had always exerted its influence on Jewish thought, and, indeed, the prophet Ezekiel had found it necessary to scold the women of Jerusalem for weeping for the dead Tammuz at the very gate of the Temple while, in the end, the place at Bethlehem selected by the early Christians as the scene of the birth of Jesus (for want to [sic] any knowledge as to where the event had really occurred) was none other than an early shrine of this pagan god, as St. Jerome was horrified to discover—a fact which shows that Tammuz or Adonis ultimately became confused in men’s minds with Jesus Christ.”

16. Weigall, Paganism in Our Christianity, pag. 116: “This god was believed to have suffered a cruel death, to have descended into Hell or Hades, to have risen again, and to have ascended into Heaven and at his festival, as held in various lands, his death was bewailed, an effigy of his dead body was prepared for burial by being washed with water and anointed, and, on the next day, his resurrection was commemorated with great rejoicing, the very words ‘The Lord is risen’ probably being used. The celebration of his ascension in the sight of his worshippers was the final act of the festival.”

17. Weigall, Paganism in Our Christianity, pag. 117: “This coincidence has, of course, led many critics to suppose that the story of the burial and resurrection of Jesus is simply a myth borrowed from this pagan religion.”

18. Weigall, Paganism in Our Christianity, pp. 118–119: “But there is one feature of the Gospel story which seems really to have been borrowed from the Adonis religion, and, in fact, from other pagan religions also, namely, the descent into Hell. The Apostles Creed and Athanasian Creed say that between the Friday night and the Sunday morning Jesus was in Hell or Hades… It has no scriptural foundation except in the ambiguous words of the First Epistle of Peter it did not appear in the Church as a tenet of Christianity until late in the Fourth Century.”

19. Weigall, Paganism in Our Christianity, pp. 124–125: “The popular and widespread religion of Osiris and Isis exercised considerable influence upon early Christianity, for these two great Egyptian deities, whose worship had passed into Europe, were revered in Rome and in several other centres where Christian communities were growing up. Osiris and Isis, so runs the legend, were brother and sister and also husband and wife but Osiris was murdered, his coffined body being thrown into the Nile, and shortly afterwards the widowed and exiled Isis gave birth to a son, Horus. The coffin, meanwhile, was washed up on the Syrian coast, and became miraculously lodged in the trunk of a tree,… This tree afterwards chanced to be cut down and made into a pillar in the palace at Byblos, and there Isis at length found it.… Afterwards, however, he returned to the other world to reign for ever as King of the Dead and meanwhile Horus, having grown to manhood, reigned on Earth, later becoming the third person of this great Egyptian trinity.”

20. Weigall, Paganism in Our Christianity, pp. 125–126: “Herodotus states that the festival of the death and resurrection of Osiris was held in Egypt each year, though he does not give the date… Plutarch also records the annual Osirian festival, and says that it lasted four days, giving the date as the seventeenth day of the Egyptian month Hathor, which, according to the Alexandrian calendar used by him, corresponded to November 13th. Now we know from old Egyptian records that a feast in honour of all the dead, when such lamps were lit, was held … about November 8th.”

21. Weigall, Paganism in Our Christianity, pp. 126–127: “But the Christian feast of All Souls, in honour of the dead, likewise falls at the beginning of November and in many countries lamps and candles are burnt all night on that occasion.… there seems little doubt that this custom was identical with the Egyptian festival.… the festival of All Saints, which is held one day before that of All Souls and which was first recognised by the Church in a.d. 835, is undoubtedly identical with it in origin. This still stands as a festival in the ecclesiastical calendar and thus Christians unconsciously perpetuate the worship of Osiris and the commemoration of all his subjects in the Kingdom of the Dead.”

22. Weigall, Paganism in Our Christianity, pp. 129–130: “There were two aspects of Isis which commended themselves particularly to her worshippers: firstly, that of the lady of sorrows, weeping for the dead Osiris, and, secondly, that of the divine mother, nursing her infant son, Horus. In the former capacity she was identified with the great mother-goddess, Demeter, whose mourning for Persephone was the main feature in the Eleusinian mysteries… In her aspect as the mother of Horus, Isis was represented in tens of thousands of statuettes and paintings, holding the divine child in her arms and when Christianity triumphed these paintings and figures became those of the Madonna and Child without any break in continuity: no archaeologist, in fact, can now tell whether some of these objects represent the one or the other.”

23. Weigall, Paganism in Our Christianity, pp. 131–132: “At about this time a story, attributed to Melito, Bishop of Sardis in the Second Century, but probably of much later origin, began to spread that Mary had been miraculously carried to Heaven by Jesus and His angels and in the Sixth Century the festival of the Assumption, which celebrates this event, was acknowledged by the Church, and is now one of the great feasts of Roman Catholicism,… It is celebrated on August 13th but that was the date of the great festival of Diana or Artemis, with whom Isis was identified, and one can see, thus, how Mary had gradually taken the place of the goddess.”

24. Willoughby, Pagan Regeneration, pag. 36: “Among the cults of Greece none was more favorably known in the first century of the Christian era than the Eleusinian mysteries.”

25. Willoughby, Pagan Regeneration, pag. 41: “In order to understand the type of religious experience represented by this important cult, it is necessary clearly to keep in mind the main points of the Eleusinian myth which was developed to explain and justify the cult rites. These are stated with sufficient elaboration in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter,… According to the story, Persephone,… was stolen by Pluto and carried off to the underworld to be his bride.… The mother, frenzied with grief, rushed about the earth for nine days.”

26. Willoughby, Pagan Regeneration, pag. 42: “Demeter, in her joy at the restoration of her lost daughter, allowed the crops to grow once more and instituted in honor of the event the Eleusinian mysteries which gave to mortals the assurance of a happy future life.”

27. Willoughby, Pagan Regeneration, pag. 42: “The experiential basis for this story is quite clear. It was a nature myth, a vivid depiction of the action of life in the vegetable world with the changing of the seasons. Each year nature passed through the cycle of apparent death and resurrection. In winter vegetable life was dead while Demeter, the giver of life, grieved for the loss of her daughter. But with the coming of spring the life of nature revived again, for the sorrowing mother had received her daughter back with rejoicing. Through the summer the mother abundantly maintained the life of nature until autumn, when again her daughter returned to the underworld and earth became desolate once more.”

28. Willoughby, Pagan Regeneration, pp. 42–43: “It was also a reflection of poignant human experiences, mirroring the joys, sorrows, and hopes of mankind in face of inevitable death. The three actors of the Eleusinian tragedy,… enacted the mystery of human life and death. The god of death himself stole the beloved daughter away from the life-giver but the divine mother would not give up her loved one, and in the end she accomplished her daughter’s resurrection. Here was human experience made heroic and divine for man has ever loved and lost, but rarely has he ceased to hope for reunion with the loved one. The Eleusinian myth told of these fundamental human experiences as well as of the life of nature.”

29. Arthur Fairbanks, A Handbook of Greek Religion (New York: American Book Company, 1910), p. 288: “Certainly the Greek Easter festival seems to preserve the spirit if not the forms of the old Eleusinian worship. In the spring, those who had shared Demeter’s grief for the loss of her daughter welcomed the return of Persephone with all the joy that the returning life of vegetation might kindle. And today the Greeks mourn over the dead Christ, represented most realistically by a wax image borne through the streets on a bier then at midnight before Easter Sunday the Metropolitan at Athens, the priest in smaller towns, comes out of the church announcing that Christ is risen the light from his candle is passed to the candles of his companions and on to candles throughout the crowd, guns and firecrackers are discharged, and as they prepare to break their Lenten fast the multitude drop all restraint in the expression of wild joy.”

30. Fairbanks, Greek Religion, pag. 293: “This religion was not blotted out by Christianity. On the contrary, whatever real life it had was perpetuated in Christianity, since the conquering religion had adopted many of its forms and some of the old content in these forms.”

31. Weigall, Paganism in Our Christianity, pag. 135: “It was suppressed by the Christians in a.d. 376 and 377 but its collapse seems to have been due rather to the fact that by that time many of its doctrines and ceremonies had been adopted by the Church, so that it was practically absorbed by its rival.”

32. Weigall, Paganism in Our Christianity, pp. 135–136: “Originally Mithra was one of the lesser gods of the ancient Persian pantheon, but … already in the time of Christ he had risen to be co-equal with, though created by, Ormuzd (Ahura-Mazda), the Supreme Being.”

33. The previous five sentences are similar to a passage in King’s earlier paper, “A Study of Mithraism,” pp. 213–214 in this volume. Franz Cumont, The Mysteries of Mithra (Chicago: Open Court, 1910), pp. 2–3: “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.”

34. Weigall, Paganism in Our Christianity, pp. 136–137: “Tarsus, the home of St. Paul, was one of the great centres of his worship, being the chief city of the Cilicians and, as will presently appear, there is a decided tinge of Mithraism in the Epistles and Gospels. Thus the designations of our Lord as the Dayspring from on High, the Light, the Sun of Righteousness, and similar expressions, are borrowed from or related to Mithraic phraseology.”

35. Weigall, Paganism in Our Christianity, pag. 137: “Mithra was born from a rock, as shown in Mithraic sculptures, being sometimes termed ‘the god out of the rock,’ and his worship was always conducted in a cave and the general belief in the early Church that Jesus was born in a cave is a direct instance of the taking over of Mithraic ideas. The words of St. Paul, ‘They drank of that spiritual rock … and that rock was Christ’ are borrowed from the Mithraic scriptures.”

36. Weigall, Paganism in Our Christianity, pag. 145: “The Hebrew Sabbath having been abolished by Christians, the Church made a sacred day of Sunday, partly because it was the day of the resurrection, but largely because it was the weekly festival of the sun for it was a definite Christian policy to take over the pagan festivals endeared to the people by tradition, and to give them a Christian significance. But, as a solar festival, Sunday was the sacred day of Mithra and it is interesting to notice that since Mithra was addressed as Dominus, ‘Lord,’ Sunday must have been ‘the Lord’s Day’ long before Christian times.… December 25th was the birthday of the sun-god, and particularly of Mithra, and was only taken over in the Fourth Century as the date, actually unknown, of the birth of Jesus.”

37. The preceding five sentences are similar to a passage in “A Study of Mithraism,” pp. 222–223 in this volume.

38. The preceding two paragraphs are similar to a passage in “A Study of Mithraism,” pp. 223–224 in this volume.

39. The preceding four sentences are similar to a passage in “A Study of Mithraism,” p. 224 in this volume.

40. The preceding two sentences are similar to a passage in “A Study of Mithraism,” p. 224 in this volume.


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