Posted by: Gregoryno6 | May 13, 2016

Mithras Slays The Bull.

The West Australian Museum is currently hosting the Briitish Museum’s exhibition A History of the World in 100 Objects. This is my choice for #1 – the statue of Mithras slaying the bull, dated at 100-200 AD. It’s not easy to see here, but the cape that flows out from Mithras’s shoulder is free standing; nothing to support it. His robe and underside of the cape are finished with the same care as the rest of the figure.

Mithras

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Responses

  1. Mithraism is one of the more interesting also-ran religions of the late Roman Empire.

    • There was a brief video commentary – which unfortunately I can’t find online. The expert noted that this is the first depiction in history of a god performing the sacrifice. Normally the god was a static figure to whom sacrifices were made, but Mithras was shown in the act of committing the sacrifice. And staring at the worshippers. An instruction manual, paralleling the Gospels with ‘Do this in memory of me.’
      Mithras is not only slaying the bull, he’s giving the sacrificial victim to others – in the form of animals. Again, a parallel to the New Testament, where Christ told the apostles to take the Gospel to the Gentiles.

      • Will Durant had a good line, in Caesar and Christ, that Christianity did not destroy the old pagan world, but was the last great creation of it.

        • Thanks. That looks like another one to add to the must-read list.

          • If you’ve never read Durant before, it’s a treat. The size of the scope makes it worthwhile.

            • After a little research, I get the idea that Durant holds a similar position to Robert Ardrey (African Genesis). Ardrey made ideas available to the common man that were just beginning to be accepted in academia, but have since become broadly received. Ardrey opened the door but once the door was open he was largely forgotten.
              He wrote with a touch of humour too, which probably didn’t improve his chances at a place in posterity.


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