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Mitra And His Worship


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#41 Pictish Scout

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 03:15 AM

Again I see Medieval and Classic features in the Hyborean culture. Oracles seem to me very pre Christian and pre Medieval aka Classic, also the priesthood and some religious rites of the hyboreans.

Sure there are medieval/catholic influences. There is also some sort of ?dignity? in this religion, some sort of ?pride? that it makes me wonder if the hyborean mitraism isn?t in part inspired on Howard?s view on religion. Almost all the time mitraism is depicted in a very positive light.

I have no idea of Mitra?s origin as the universal (sky?) god of the Hyboreans, but maybe his cult already existed when Bori was the high god whose importance as a father god may be attested in the names of the HyBOReans and HyperBOReans. So it might have been a real revolution when they leave behind their founder god.

I think of 2 hypothesis for the origin of Mitra:

1 ? He was already a tribal/barbarian deity that existed before the founding of the hyborean kingdoms, and that may explain why Mitra is (or was) universal in these kingdoms in Conan?s time. In essence, Mitra is a god from the barbarian background of the hyboreans. Also, I think the hyborean kingdoms are gradually diverging from each other but they share their background: race, language, naming and religion.

2 ? He was created/revealed in one kingdom and his cult spread to other hyborean kingdoms through the work of preachers. I don?t see this one very likely. I don?t remember any church, temple, or priest of Mitra outside the hyborean world. So they only converted hyboreans? The only mention I remember of converting other races is the tale of Arius and Grom, decades or centuries after Conan.

#42 deuce

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 04:13 AM

Again I see Medieval and Classic features in the Hyborean culture. Oracles seem to me very pre Christian and pre Medieval aka Classic, also the priesthood and some religious rites of the hyboreans.

Sure there are medieval/catholic influences. There is also some sort of "dignity" in this religion, some sort of "pride" that it makes me wonder if the hyborean mitraism isn't in part inspired on Howard's view on religion. Almost all the time mitraism is depicted in a very positive light.


Considering that REH was taking his cue from London, there's no mystery (no pun intended) in the fact that Howard saw Mitraism as a faith to be proud of.

Also, claims to the contrary, Howard seems to have held the Catholic church in about the same esteem as the Protestant version (judging by his letters; there's a thread discussing it).


I have no idea of Mitra's origin as the universal (sky?) god of the Hyboreans, but maybe his cult already existed when Bori was the high god whose importance as a father god may be attested in the names of the HyBOReans and HyperBOReans. So it might have been a real revolution when they leave behind their founder god.

I think of 2 hypothesis for the origin of Mitra:

1 ? He was already a tribal/barbarian deity that existed before the founding of the hyborean kingdoms, and that may explain why Mitra is (or was) universal in these kingdoms in Conan's time. In essence, Mitra is a god from the barbarian background of the hyboreans. Also, I think the hyborean kingdoms are gradually diverging from each other but they share their background: race, language, naming and religion.



There is zero evidence for this. Mitraism appears to have arisen, full-blown, right before Acheron's overthrow. If anything, inspiration came from the Ibisites.

2 ? He was created/revealed in one kingdom and his cult spread to other hyborean kingdoms through the work of preachers. I don't see this one very likely. I don't remember any church, temple, or priest of Mitra outside the hyborean world. So they only converted hyboreans? The only mention I remember of converting other races is the tale of Arius and Grom, decades or centuries after Conan.



That would be "Hyborian". ;)


Of course Mitraism spread to other kingdoms. Mitra's priests/adherents cast down the power of Acheron and Set. The Hyborians of Acheron embraced the Setite faith and still couldn't hold sway, ultimately, over their fellow Hyborians. The worship of Bori couldn't accomplish the overthrow of the Nightmare Empire, but Mitraism did. The fall of Acheron explains why Mitraism spread throughout the Hyborian lands (initially).

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#43 deuce

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 04:21 AM

Again I see Medieval and Classic features in the Hyborean culture. Oracles seem to me very pre Christian and pre Medieval aka Classic, also the priesthood and some religious rites of the hyboreans.


You've been living a sheltered life, Scout. ;) "Oracles" (by other names) can be found in the Old and New Testament. Such can definitely be found in the accounts of the Celtic Church as well as the Pentecostal revivalists who made the rounds of early 20th century Texas. We know REH attended a few such revivals.

Sorry, you can't sneak in more "Classicism" that way. :)

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#44 Teutates

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 04:53 AM

There was never a link to Apep (Howard may never have even been aware of Apep).

We have already talked about this but now you decide that even physically Set can't be linked to Apep?
And REH not "being aware" of Apep? You must be joking. Let's forget about it.

You'll need to show me where REH studied Zoroastrianism. Not saying that he wasn't somewhat acquainted with it; he wrote a yarn about an Ahriman cult

When you contradict yourself like this, it shows you rely too much on correspondance that explains his influences and books written by his friends or "official" sources , but you refuse to read between the lines. So if there isn't a letter to prove that REH studied zoroastrianism, you decide that it's a big NO until we find info? Come on.
I do not care if there is no official proof: if Howard wrote some material about an Ahriman cult and based his hyborian cult on a god named Mitra , I refuse to think he "just" read a novel by Jack London and looked up a few names in the dictionary (or in an atlas of the antique world) just to sound good. (This is what your statements implied, I'm not putting any words in your mouth! )
He was to much a curious person to read just a novel and not include extraneous elements and them turn things his own original way.

I've got one sentence for you (from THotD): "Saints preserve us!"

I'm also ok with this conclusion ( who isn't ? ) that Howard's mithrais system resembled that of medieval church, but that type of system was based on many other ecclesiastical systems.
I don't what you want to tell me exactly what you want to tell me with this sentence really. A quote from a Conan story that sounds like if it was said in medieval /renaissance europe perhaps?

As I pointed out, Howard's primary source for "Mitra" was not the actual Indo-Aryan deity, as far as we can tell.
[...]
From Chapter XXI of The Star-Rover:
" Mitra, likewise, was a good old Aryan god,

Once again you contradict yourself very clearly.

Mitra, not Mitras or Mithras. REH's source, sure as death and taxes.
It's online, y'all. Quit "feeling", "imagining" and speculating


This technique of dismissing other opinions based on a divergent orthography is exactly what religious apologetic authors have done to legitimate thier cult and refute any possible existing older source.
Mithras appeared only in Rome and derives from Mitra and/or Mithra. And the quote you put even says that Mitra is anAryan old god. Why insist on London so much?? Perhaps REH did base a few things on him since he read it as you say, but on WHAT didLondon base HIS own ideas? ;) Guess!
And frankly this particular novel from Jack London is not my cup of ...argossean wine .

#45 Teutates

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 05:45 AM

Once again, you're putting words in my mouth. I'd really like you to point out where I ever said "Mitra=Jesus", Krommtaar.
BTW, according to the orthodox view, there is no "christian duality Jesus-Satan".

The answer is nowhere and never did I say that you said such a thing. I was just casting aside any idea of this type without referring this time to your opinion. I only stated previously in that post that you implied that the duality Mitra Set was christian, but you gave further explanations to make yourself clear.

I don't understand why you talk to me about "orthodox" view, and by the way orthodox christianity is not what ruled the middle ages in France and England ( if we were to compare with Aquilonia from Howard) .
This statement about orthodoxy isn't true, check out greek orthodox theology for example, you'll be surprised.
If early unorganized christian groups of circa 100 ad didn't insist on it, honestly who cares, they called Jesus by the name "Lucifer" and all kind of other strange things which were quickly changed (and banned definitely with many other "deviant" dogmas which didn't please the different official churches) in the following centuries.

In fact, he [REH] rarely discussed Roman culture other than to bad-mouth it.

Why are you so rigid in your views? WHO CARES if Howard bad mouthed roman culture, an easy guess on this would be that Rome represented and still represents the most flamboyant example of a structured rigorous civilization. And we all kow about this barbarism vs civilization thing going on with REH.
Does that mean for you that REH didn't read anything about Rome and Greece ? I'm saying this: impossible!!
Deuce, you know that this happens with a lot of artists who categorically refute that they belonged to such and such a movement previously in their life, or that they ever listenend to a certain type of music, or ever read certain books, etc etc...you know what all this "denial" is about and there are thousands of different reasons, it's extremely common to hear such things.
But you seem to buy it as if it were sacred scriptures !

However, London's "Mitra" was a primal sky-deity of the early "Aryans" (Indo-Europeans), not Ahura Mazdak or the Roman Mithras.

I'm sorry to say it doesn't appear like this at all in the Conan yarns.
This version of Mitra you refer to corresponds to the little we know of the persian Mitra who was some kind of supporting good deity but nowhere as mighty as Ormazd .

Any "Greco-Romanesque" names [talking about Epimetreus] in the Conan yarns are red herrings. The cultures they occur in are NOT "Greco-Roman/Classical" to any significant extent. Is Nemedia some sort of Brythonic/Druidic kingdom? Is Ophir a land of gold-panning, coffee-drinking Nilotics? Such wacky ideas could be extrapolated from their names, after all.

All I wanted to say is that Howard perhaps wanted to associate the primordiality of a name like Epimetheus to construct his new name: Epimetreus.
who cares if Epimetheus was effectively an oaf? the name SOUNDS ancient and Howard succeded in scraping those old memories of what some may have heard about classical mytholoy. Nothing else!
Where did I say that Epimetreus had a role similar to a greek figure in mythology? Never.

Plus, what Howard implied by attributing graeco-roman names to some of his characters who didn't come from Nemedia or Argos, is a parallel to what occured in real history with the roman empire and christianity: classical antiquity names were seen across all the old continent. A very realistic approach of the hyborian world indeed.

#46 Teutates

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 06:03 AM

Epemitreus could be construed just as easily to be a "Moses" or "St. Michael" (or even "Jesus")-type of figure.

I strongly disagree. Moses will never come back and simply died in judeo-christian faiths.
St Michael is a better choice (considering he is a warrior archangel) but he wasn't EVER human, unlike Epimetreus who seems to have been human before falling into this mystical slumber which resembles these altered states in eastern philosophies.
It seems to me that Epimetreus is closer to a founder of a religion or one of it's most important prophets, but one which never died or magically disappeared from the sight of the living (then it cannot be Moses -he died and his goal was only to help his people- and Jesus is too forgiving/peaceful ).
Epimetreus is rather original , it's too bad Howard couldn't produce more stories with him (the same thing could be said about other cryptic figures such as Vathelos , Skelos, the god Shumagorath etc etc), he seemed interesting.

Anyways, a wise old man dedicated to fight evil in an eternal sleep /altered state residing forever in a mountain(Golamira) is NOT judeo-christian.

The phoenix was originally an Egyptian concept.

The link you provided is from a touristic site!! :P
It omits completely the iconography of phoenixes through history in Europe.

The lifespan and "born & reborn" in fire concepts of the phoenix do effectively come from the Bennu flamingo/heron type of bird, but not a K? bird, it's rather a B? bird.
The iconography of the phoenix is often POORLY explained , and I also highly doubt that the phoenix Howard imagined on King Conan's sword looked like a heron....

The medieval phoenix story is based on the egyptian Bennu bird as explained by classical authors, BUT it's european symbol is EASTERN, not egyptian, it borrowed from the persian Huma , Simorg, Roc and other blends of PHEASANT/ PEACOCK/ EAGLE/FALCON etc magical eastern mythological creatures. Short legs, paradise bird/pheasant fiery tails, giant eagle attributes sometimes (and they have nothing to do with the egyptian Bennu, even if afeter centuries certain legends similar to the Bennu appeared) . Also, the Bennu is a solar soul carrier and the aryan magical birds are not even if most are "heavenly".
The medieval phoenix in heraldry is typical of a flamy falcon/eagle bearing a small recurved beak (unlike herons and such ) as well as a paradise-bird or pheasant long feathered tail.
And I sincerly think that's the creature REH thought about . that's where I wanted to get when I said that the phoenix in PotS was some kind of zoroastrian symbol, because the Simorg played a certain role in mazdeism, and Epimetreus drew it in fire. nothing else.

#47 deuce

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 07:24 AM

When you contradict yourself like this, it shows you rely too much on correspondance that explains his influences and books written by his friends or "official" sources , but you refuse to read between the lines.



"Reading between the lines" is fine, as long as there are concrete examples to back it up. Otherwise, it's post-mortem mind-reading.

So if there isn't a letter to prove that REH studied zoroastrianism, you decide that it's a big NO until we find info? Come on.
I do not care if there is no official proof: if Howard wrote some material about an Ahriman cult and based his hyborian cult on a god named Mitra



The yarn in question (which I read before ANY Conan tale) is called Black Wind Blowing. Other than the name "Ahriman", it might as well be about a cult of Satanists. ZERO "scholarly" knowledge regarding Zoroastrianism. Still, a rippin' yarn.

I refuse to think he "just" read a novel by Jack London and looked up a few names in the dictionary (or in an atlas of the antique world) just to sound good. (This is what your statements implied, I'm not putting any words in your mouth! )
He was to much a curious person to read just a novel and not include extraneous elements and them turn things his own original way.



We KNOW that Robert E. Howard read and LOVED The Star-Rover (more on that later). I've said that he seems to have looked up aspects of Mithraism. Such would explain the subterranean nature of the Mitraist sanctums (something I pointed out long ago). Personally, I find that very cool. I've always thought that Mithraism sounded like an interesting faith. You won't be able to find me bad-mouthing it on this forum. Anywhere.

As I pointed out, Howard's primary source for "Mitra" was not the actual Indo-Aryan deity, as far as we can tell.
[...]
From Chapter XXI of The Star-Rover:
" Mitra, likewise, was a good old Aryan god,

Once again you contradict yourself very clearly.


No, you seem (as others have done) to be confusing the modern use of "Aryan" with how it was used by London and Robert E. Howard. I don't. I've read 90+% of Howard's fiction (and all of his correspondence and poetry) and a good portion of London's oeuvre. I've read The Star-Rover at least 5 times. I've also read many of the reference works that we know REH read or owned.

You're attempting to "mind-read" REH after only reading what? The Kull and Conan yarns? No letters of REH nor most of the authors HE read? Your disdain for Jack London shows just how out of touch with REH's sensibilities you are.

Nobody (least of all myself) is trying to tell you to NOT enjoy Howard's fiction. All I'm saying is that in order to present opinions in such a strong manner, you better have a bit more than "feelings" and a "refusal to think" on your side. You better have some facts or damned good examples drawn from Robert E. Howard and what he wrote.

Edited by deuce, 28 September 2010 - 07:29 AM.

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#48 deuce

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 07:46 AM

This technique of dismissing other opinions based on a divergent orthography is exactly what religious apologetic authors have done to legitimate thier cult and refute any possible existing older source.


Good one, Krommtaar. I present facts/examples and you protest that I'm using unfair methods.

Mithras appeared only in Rome and derives from Mitra and/or Mithra. And the quote you put even says that Mitra is anAryan old god.



I can find more from London. As I noted above, you're reading "Aryan" from a 21st century perspective/usage, not the way in which REH and London used it. Prove me wrong.


Why insist on London so much?? Perhaps REH did base a few things on him since he read it as you say, but on WHAT didLondon base HIS own ideas? Posted Image Guess!
And frankly this particular novel from Jack London is not my cup of ...argossean wine .



WHY insist on London? Hmmm... Perhaps these quotes from Robert E. Howard might explain it:

"...London's 'The Star Rover' is a book that I've read and re-read for years, and that generally goes to my head like wine."

"Jack London is this Texan's favorite writer..."

"I have carefully gone over, in my mind, the most powerful men ? that is, in my opinion ? in all of the world's literature and here is my list: Jack London, Leonid Andreyev, Omar Khayyam, Eugene O'Neill, William Shakespeare. (...) "All these men, and especially London and Khayyam, to my mind stand out so far above the rest of the world that comparison is futile, a waste of time. Reading these men and appreciating them makes a man feel life is not altogether useless."

You can read more concerning how REH viewed Jack London here:

http://www.rehupa.co...lf_l.htm#London, Jack [John Griffith London] (1876-1916).

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#49 Pictish Scout

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 01:03 PM

90+% of Howard?s stories, all correspondence and poetry? If this was a contest we would be in a big disadvantage, Deuce ;). Don?t worry I?m catching up! :P

Mitrism seems very unritualistic. Ancient oracles (even the Greek ones) were a lot more ritualistic then Mitra?s; The queen arrives and the god speaks to her and that?s it. No entrails readings, no smoke inhaling, no blood drinking no drugs. I think this is also a ?positive aspect? of this religion in opposition with the weird rituals presented by Howard in his stories which are almost all evil or dubious.


You've been living a sheltered life, Scout. "Oracles" (by other names) can be found in the Old and New Testament. Such can definitely be found in the accounts of the Celtic Church as well as the Pentecostal revivalists who made the rounds of early 20th century Texas. We know REH attended a few such revivals.

Sorry, you can't sneak in more "Classicism" that way.


?Oracles? by other names. Sure, I agree with you. But at least a character calls it an ?oracle of Mitra?.

There is also a representation of Mitra ?in idealized human form, as near perfection as the human mind can conceive.?

? magnificent shoulders, the clear-cut features ? the wide straight eyes, the patriarchal beard, the thick curls of the hair, confine by a simple band about the temples.?

All these don?t seem medieval (or even inspired on Christian medieval art) in my opinion.

#50 deuce

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 04:50 PM

90+% of Howard's stories, all correspondence and poetry? If this was a contest we would be in a big disadvantage, Deuce Posted Image. Don't worry I'm catching up! Posted Image


Hey Scout! It's no contest. There are several people who have read damned near everything. Thanks to the NeO books in France, I'm sure there are several Frenchmen (besides Patrice) who are WAY ahead of me. To me, the most important things are the striving to read everything that REH wrote in order to get a more complete and balanced picture, as well as making an honest effort to put aside personal biases when it comes to looking at Howard's pseudo-history.

My sincere congratulations on your own ongoing studies! :D


Mitrism seems very unritualistic. Ancient oracles (even the Greek ones) were a lot more ritualistic then Mitra's; The queen arrives and the god speaks to her and that's it. No entrails readings, no smoke inhaling, no blood drinking no drugs. I think this is also a "positive aspect" of this religion in opposition with the weird rituals presented by Howard in his stories which are almost all evil or dubious.


Howard expressed a dislike for highly complicated religions more than once. It seems pretty obvious (to me) that REH, with Mitraism, was striving for his personal ideal of an organized religion, while keeping the day-to-day aspects realistic (ie, sub-standard or corrupt priests).

To me, the scene in BC always suggested more of a medieval princess going to a chapel in the night to pray. REH certainly could've read similar scenes in the historical novels he loved.


You've been living a sheltered life, Scout. "Oracles" (by other names) can be found in the Old and New Testament. Such can definitely be found in the accounts of the Celtic Church as well as the Pentecostal revivalists who made the rounds of early 20th century Texas. We know REH attended a few such revivals.

Sorry, you can't sneak in more "Classicism" that way.


"Oracles" by other names. Sure, I agree with you. But at least a character calls it an "oracle of Mitra".

There is also a representation of Mitra "in idealized human form, as near perfection as the human mind can conceive."

" magnificent shoulders, the clear-cut features ? the wide straight eyes, the patriarchal beard, the thick curls of the hair, confine by a simple band about the temples."

All these don't seem medieval (or even inspired on Christian medieval art) in my opinion.


What else would REH call it? There really is no term in Christianity that carries that exact meaning, despite the fact that "oracular" statements have been made in the Church (of whatever denomination) since the beginning.

Really, it's similar to REH calling Kallian's museum in TGitB a "Temple". A temple of what? It's a private museum but Howard obviously felt he couldn't call it that. Too many "modern" connotations, perhaps.

Howard nearly always tried to throw in something to skew his Hyborian Age cultures slightly away from their real world models. He did this less for exotic places like Vendhya or Kush, but the fact remains. His Nordheimr live in horse-hide tents, not timbered skalli, for instance. His medieval-style Hyborian kingdoms have nearly everyone running around with "Greco-Romanesque" names.

As for the image of Mitra in the "Mitraeum", how is that so different from the mosaics of Christ Pantokrator in the Hagia Sophia? http://en.wikipedia....C3.ABsis_mosaic Archaeologist John Romer has stated that the Pantokrator's pose is (almost undoubtedly) derived, ultimately, from the Olympian statue of Zeus. That is the case with many of the things where you see "Classical", Scout. Simply medieval carry-overs from Classical times.

I think that it must be added that REH seems to have visited several large Catholic churches in Texas and elsewhere. They would've been filled with statues. Such would have been Howard's only first-hand experience with "temple-like" edifices.

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#51 Kortoso

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 05:27 PM

Gentlemen, please don't fight; this is a house of worship after all. ;)

"Oracles" of one sort or another go all the way back and appear in just about every religion, including the oldest stone-age shaman. So it should be no surprise that Howard decided - mostly for the purpose of the story - to introduce an oracle in the religion of Mitra.

Yes, it's almost as if he created an idealized religion. Interesting that there's not even any animal sacrifice, not by the priests of Mitra nor any other non-evil cult. Historically, this was as common as singing and chanting in ancient religions.

Apropos of nothing, I have read studies that examine the Mithras/Mithra cult suggest that the connection between Roman Mithraism and Zoroastrian Mithra worship might be unconnected in everything but name. I'll pull up some exact citations when I get some time.

#52 Ixion

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 07:19 PM

There is zero evidence for this. Mitraism appears to have arisen, full-blown, right before Acheron's overthrow. If anything, inspiration came from the Ibisites.


Fascinating. Can you elaborate on this Ibisite influence on Mitraism or point me to where it's been discussed before?

#53 Kortoso

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 07:46 PM

We have a thread discussing Kalanthes, priest of Ibis:
http://www.conan.com...opic=3377&st=20

#54 Teutates

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 09:03 PM

I can find more from London. As I noted above, you're reading "Aryan" from a 21st century perspective/usage, not the way in which REH and London used it. Prove me wrong.


Do you really want me to say this thing that everyone knows? Aryans today is only the indo-european ancestors while Aryans in Jack London's time was a notion that didn't dissociate the indo-european ancestors ( the indus valley civilization for example, or the Parthians amongst others) from the modern white race members (all white europeans).
Still London says "old Aryan" then he must point out to the "old" Aryans , the indo-european /indo-aryan ancestors (or any antique european civilization since in London's time such authors were confused and used inappropriate generalistic terms)

Good one, Krommtaar. I present facts/examples and you protest that I'm using unfair methods [...]
You won't be able to find me bad-mouthing it on this forum. Anywhere.
.


It doesn't mean that because you're used to see non-moderator members finally approve your views even if they really don't that it's going to be the case with me.
I'm not here to bad-mouth you or anyone, get that out of your head. We've been polite so far, your comment is irrelevant. I have the STRONG impression that disagreeing with a long-time member or a mod is worth a warning even if remaining polite....

Mithras with an s is adapted from the parthian/pontic version of the persian Mithra, blended with the roman concept of "Sol", this last aspect having overcome partially (some say completely) the original attributes of the semi-nomadic Mithra.
Isis, Cybele etc cults have been progressively romanized as well amongst a plethora of other sects and imported religions.
So some researchers feel free to say that Mithra-s- has "nothing to do" with Mithra/Mitra how convenient.

In fact it's rather the indian Mitra that some say has nothing to do with Mithra, essentially for chronological and etymology issues, but once again not the accepted version of the facts and remains unproven.

Romans didn't create Mithras out of thin air , all the existing classical antiquity quotes state that it comes from mesopotamia, semi-nomad parthians etc. Only Sol / Sol-invictus is a roman concept (but who knows it may be adapted from greek or etruscan, phoenician etc sources) .
An interesting fact is that the first Sol-Invictus was introduced by the orgy frenzy Elagabal who was a priest of a syriac "Baal-of-the-mountain" , and adapted it with the roman Sol. Hence the Mithras version of Sol Invictus later introduced by Aurelianus has only the "Sol" part in common with the Elagabal Sol.

Deuce, the impression you give me is that if an author writes some autobiographical material (letters, notes, journal etc) then it means he did exactly what was written in this material. hisory has proven that accounts , even of first hand could not always be trusted. It just gives an idea.
So when he says his favorite authors are Khayam and London, it absolutely doesn't mean he tried to copy their style or import their concepts untouched. It just says what it means: he adored them.

Reading everything you've wrote, it seems you don't care at all about anything that isn't mentioned by Howard in any of his notes. That's not very open minded in my opinion (talking about reading between the lines etc)

Your disdain for Jack London shows just how out of touch with REH's sensibilities you are.

I'm just not thrilled by the synopsis of his novel Star-Rover and the excerpts I've read online!! What's wrong with that? I'm not in the REH fan club anymore? kicked out like a street urchin? (I'm joking)
I sincerely think it is not necessary at all to love everything a given author loved himself to appreciate fully his works. Having certain tastes in common with Howard is required, it's evident, but having different opinions on some of his favorite subjects is what makes all the charm of appreciating his stories from different sensibilities.


When creating his Mitra concept, there is absolutely no proof that Howard did or didn't use other sources than what he publicly said he did, everything is possible. I'm just proposing that, I'm not imposing it.
I sure didn't read as much howardian correspondance as you did, that's a fact, but fom what I recall, REH was an extremely curious person, always seeking something new, trying to go in depth in his concepts.

Edited by krommtaar, 28 September 2010 - 09:11 PM.


#55 Kortoso

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 09:32 PM

So some researchers feel free to say that Mithra-s- has "nothing to do" with Mithra/Mitra how convenient.

What are your readings on the subject? You put down "researchers" yet you haven't shared your own sources.

It's very obvious that Jack London was admired by REH and that one source of inspiration for the Hyborian Mitra is likely to have been The Star Rover. You don't have to like Jack London to accept that. No, of course we're not calling it a "lock"; very little in Hyborian studies really is. :)

#56 deuce

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 10:19 PM

I can find more from London. As I noted above, you're reading "Aryan" from a 21st century perspective/usage, not the way in which REH and London used it. Prove me wrong.


Do you really want me to say this thing that everyone knows? Aryans today is only the indo-european ancestors while Aryans in Jack London's time was a notion that didn't dissociate the indo-european ancestors ( the indus valley civilization for example, or the Parthians amongst others) from the modern white race members (all white europeans).


Your explanation is a little confusing, but you seem to get the general idea of the difference. If that's the case, how did I (in your mind) contradict myself? Posted Image

Still London says "old Aryan" then he must point out to the "old" Aryans , the indo-european /indo-aryan ancestors (or any antique european civilization since in London's time such authors were confused and used inappropriate generalistic terms)


This is really confusing. I'm not sure what you're getting at with the "old Aryan" thing.

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#57 deuce

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 10:44 PM

Good one, Krommtaar. I present facts/examples and you protest that I'm using unfair methods [...]
You won't be able to find me bad-mouthing it on this forum. Anywhere.
.


It doesn't mean that because you're used to see non-moderator members finally approve your views even if they really don't that it's going to be the case with me.
I'm not here to bad-mouth you or anyone, get that out of your head. We've been polite so far, your comment is irrelevant. I have the STRONG impression that disagreeing with a long-time member or a mod is worth a warning even if remaining polite....


This is a serious case of misapprehension or misrepresentation on your part. One or the other. You've cobbled together my "quote" above from TWO different posts. Here's the full version of the second part:

" We KNOW that Robert E. Howard read and LOVED The Star-Rover (more on that later). I've said that he seems to have looked up aspects of Mithraism. Such would explain the subterranean nature of the Mitraist sanctums (something I pointed out long ago). Personally, I find that very cool. I've always thought that Mithraism sounded like an interesting faith. You won't be able to find me bad-mouthing it on this forum. Anywhere."

In that paragraph, I was responding to your implication that I had something against Mithraism, which is certainly not the case. The "it" in the penultimate sentence refers to Mithraism.

I love how you throw out the "victim" card when nobody has tried to warn you (specifically) about anything. Now you're a "rebel" standing up to the Man, I guess.

I expect REH fans to "approve" of my views if they agree with them. Simple as that.

Edited by deuce, 28 September 2010 - 10:45 PM.

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#58 Teutates

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 10:59 PM


Good one, Krommtaar. I present facts/examples and you protest that I'm using unfair methods [...]
You won't be able to find me bad-mouthing it on this forum. Anywhere.
.


It doesn't mean that because you're used to see non-moderator members finally approve your views even if they really don't that it's going to be the case with me.
I'm not here to bad-mouth you or anyone, get that out of your head. We've been polite so far, your comment is irrelevant. I have the STRONG impression that disagreeing with a long-time member or a mod is worth a warning even if remaining polite....


This is a serious case of misapprehension or misrepresentation on your part. One or the other. You've cobbled together my "quote" above from TWO different posts. Here's the full version of the second part:

" We KNOW that Robert E. Howard read and LOVED The Star-Rover (more on that later). I've said that he seems to have looked up aspects of Mithraism. Such would explain the subterranean nature of the Mitraist sanctums (something I pointed out long ago). Personally, I find that very cool. I've always thought that Mithraism sounded like an interesting faith. You won't be able to find me bad-mouthing it on this forum. Anywhere."

In that paragraph, I was responding to your implication that I had something against Mithraism, which is certainly not the case. The "it" in the penultimate sentence refers to Mithraism.

I love how you throw out the "victim" card when nobody has tried to warn you (specifically) about anything. Now you're a "rebel" standing up to the Man, I guess.

I expect REH fans to "approve" of my views if they agree with them. Simple as that.


I was really tired today, I missed the point there and effectively interpreted wrongly, better delete the whole thing. Mea culpa .
To be honest I didn't see the "it" between "mouthing" and "on" and was surprised to suddenly read something about insulting (who?) and what not, which would have been out of context .I'm glad to see it wasn't the case at all.
Well usually others in the past threw me several "victim cards" , I guess I unconsciously adopted this, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Thanks for your comprehension, and I'll look to continue having interesting conversations with you on this forum (even if we disagree on some particular points).

Edited by krommtaar, 28 September 2010 - 11:01 PM.


#59 deuce

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 11:22 PM

NOTE: This was written without knowledge of Krommtaar's previous post.


Mithras with an s is adapted from the parthian/pontic version of the persian Mithra, blended with the roman concept of "Sol", this last aspect having overcome partially (some say completely) the original attributes of the semi-nomadic Mithra.
So some researchers feel free to say that Mithra-s- has "nothing to do" with Mithra/Mitra how convenient.


Who are these "researchers"?


Romans didn't create Mithras out of thin air , all the existing classical antiquity quotes state that it comes from mesopotamia, semi-nomad parthians etc. Only Sol / Sol-invictus is a roman concept (but who knows it may be adapted from greek or etruscan, phoenician etc sources) .
An interesting fact is that the first Sol-Invictus was introduced by the orgy frenzy Elagabal who was a priest of a syriac "Baal-of-the-mountain" , and adapted it with the roman Sol. Hence the Mithras version of Sol Invictus later introduced by Aurelianus has only the "Sol" part in common with the Elagabal Sol.


I've always been of the opinion that there was a direct connection between the Indo-Iranian and Roman versions. Titles of the various "degrees" in Mithraism would certainly suggest a link back to Persia and pre-Zoroastrianism.

Deuce, the impression you give me is that if an author writes some autobiographical material (letters, notes, journal etc) then it means he did exactly what was written in this material. hisory has proven that accounts , even of first hand could not always be trusted. It just gives an idea.
So when he says his favorite authors are Khayam and London, it absolutely doesn't mean he tried to copy their style or import their concepts untouched. It just says what it means: he adored them.

Reading everything you've wrote, it seems you don't care at all about anything that isn't mentioned by Howard in any of his notes. That's not very open minded in my opinion (talking about reading between the lines etc)


You're making some sweeping (and erroneous) assumptions there.

I definitely feel that sources/influences not explicitly named by Robert E. Howard should be considered. However, there needs to be a hierarchy of importance assigned. It's only logical. When REH explicitly mentions something to a correspondent, especially one he highly admired (like HPL), then I see no reason to NOT give such a reference extra weight. When the topic is something that the correspondent doesn't agree with (like REH's hatred of Rome), then that is given even MORE weight. Obviously, Howard felt strongly enough about it to risk offending his most esteemed pen-pal. When there is strong circumstantial evidence regarding something REH never explicitly mentioned (like his reading Theosophical works or Spence), that cool, too! Posted Image


However, when Howard had multiple chances to discuss a topic with a correspondent (HPL, for instance) who would obviously be interested in the topic (like anything to do with Rome or Persia) and rarely/never brought them up, then I'd say it would be reasonable to assume that REH just wasn't that interested in/conversant with the subject.

You seem to be saying that it doesn't matter what Robert E. Howard actually said, in private, to his friends. I have to admit I find that a hard position to understand. What are we supposed to go on? Your "feelings"? Your "imaginings"? Your "refusal to think"?

I'm just not thrilled by the synopsis of his [Jack London's] novel Star-Rover and the excerpts I've read online!!


Do you dislike REH's "James Allison" yarns as well?

What's wrong with that? I'm not in the REH fan club anymore? kicked out like a street urchin? (I'm joking)


I sincerely hope so. Otherwise, that looks like more "preemptive victimization" from you. Posted Image

Edited by deuce, 28 September 2010 - 11:26 PM.

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#60 Kortoso

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 11:39 PM

I've always been of the opinion that there was a direct connection between the Indo-Iranian and Roman versions. Titles of the various "degrees" in Mithraism would certainly suggest a link back to Persia and pre-Zoroastrianism.


Deuce, here's the gist of that discussion:
Mithras in Wikipedia

In short, there's nothing significant in Zoroastrian Mithra worship (if you can call it that) surviving to Roman Mithraism execpt the name. And there's evidence that the name of the Roman Mithras came from an individual named Mithradates. The cult's practices seems to have more in common with the cult of Helios, rather than anything Zoroastrian, pre-Zoroastrian or Vedic for that matter.

I have Ulansey and Nabarz in my library and given a chance, I'll look up some cites.