Mithraism and Plato: Conference Paper

Wanderings and Astral Discoveries

 Antiquity Matters! Warwick Classics Department Postgraduate Colloquium (June 2013)

‘The Mithraic Mysteries: a religious manifestation of Platonic soteriological cosmology’

Abstract

Since the efforts of Franz Cumont, scholarly opinion concerning the Roman cult known as Mithraism has been divided. The lack of written evidence has led to a wide variety of opinions concerning every aspect of the cult from the purpose of its astronomical imagery, to the gender and status of its members. This disparity has led to an abundance of theories, some of which strive to present Mithraism from the point of view of a single dogma, but all suffer from the necessary flaws of conjecture. There are some scholars such as Beck, Ulansey, and Turcan who believe that on some level or another, a Platonic influence pervades every aspect of this cult, and furthermore, that we can find answers to the Mithraic Mysteries in the texts of Plato…

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