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Mitra And His Worship


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#61 Pictish Scout

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 11:51 PM

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.


The image of Mitra is different from the mosaics in Hagia Sophia because, at least in my opinion, the image of Mitra is a sculpture and the image in Hagia Sophia is a mosaic.

From the description I interpret it as a statue and a very realistic one. Not symbolic or stylized as medieval or late antiquity sculptures, but something more balanced “art in the highest form – the free, uncramped artistic expression of highly esthetic race, unhampered by conventional symbolism.”

I think the image described by Howard suggests classic aesthetics: the strong body, patriarchal beard (for some high ranking gods), the thick curls of the hair and the “simple band about the temples”
What about this one:
Posted Image

Edited by Pictish Scout, 28 September 2010 - 11:53 PM.


#62 Teutates

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 12:24 AM


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. :)


You'll be surprised if I tell you that the only place where I read that Mithra-s- doesn't dervie from either Mithra (persian) or Mitra (indian) is...history, art, archeology magazines. there are columns whith alternative theories and frankly, after having read a few lines where they refused to compare side by side, explaining only how the roman cult was organized, I just dropped it.
My main sources and books concerning eastern philosophies and their origins are all based on the concepts of A.Coomaraswamy, G.Dumézil , R.Graves and a few others. It's already a lot.
All are convergent in saying that Mitra was a common indoaryan name that developped differently in India and Persia. Zoroastrianism being a reformed religion, it isn't surprising that the new "MitHra" had new functions, unseen in vedic sources if comparing with Mitra.

Too much fuss is made about Mitra being completely different from Mithra, only because regionalism and adapting to new cults (zoroaster's reform) has modified their role to a certain extent , after all they had the same origin.
Too much fuss as well on the "tauroctony", it seems quite evident that the roman mithraism didn't create all of a sudden concepts such as sacrificing a celestial bull
and all these animal named levels of initioation before becoming a grand-priest. It corresponds to constellations and certain primitive aspects of gods in their animal form : Mithras sacrifices a different aspect of himself (and or humanity) in fact when killing the grand bull , the death (sometimes sacrifices) and rebirth of certain gods/animals punctuate important astronimical events in the antique world .

Gods considered "local" like Cernunnos for example have an indo-aryan " ancestor" bearing the same functions, they're not typically celtic in fact, only when certain groups started to occupy what is now know as the celtic world, they modified it in certain proportions but not that much if you look deep into it . Just an example .
A big surprise for those who thought it was an original and local "invention".

Thus those who state proudly that they discovered Mithras is a 100% roman concept ...well I have serious doubts about them. Romans were the greatest syncretists of all time. It is a known fact that they accepted all religions under the condition that the new cults accepted in turn to see Rome and it's laws as a superior concept.
Romans weren't the type to "invent" a plethora of cults anyways (vestal cult had pre-latin and etruscan origins for example) and the rare times they did "invent" a totally original one, it was a miserable failure, the best example being the cult of Antinoos -the gay lover of emperor Hadrian-. He went nuts when his pet died and instaured a cult to his remembrance (perhaps out of guilt?) trying to identify him with Adonis, Apollo, he even tried to name stars after him...but the cult was unsuccessful: it didn't seem very serious and was a public laughing stock (everyone knew the true origin of this so called "god") . The first version of Sol Invictus/Elagabal was a failure as well, since the self named Elgabal emperor (he had the same name as his new god) wasn't thought too highly of due to his poor communication with the public (his private affairs exposed to all, he prostituted himself and cross-dressed etc etc) and his disrespect for the roman traditions/politics/etc in general .

The romans didn't import 99% of their official pantheon from Greece for nothing, casting aside original concepts of theirs in favor of the greek ones (for example they insisted heavily saying that Dyonisos was really Bacchus, when in fact Bacchus was based on an pre-roman local god that had zilch to do with Dyonisos)...just so they would be considered as NON-barbarians by their rivals the greek (who unfortunately for them never considered them as civilized! only greek were "civilized" )

What astounds me is how could the alternative theory "researchers" imply that Mithras was 100% Roman and shared only the name with the eastern source...when renowned authors from classical antiquity were unanimous in saying that Mithras came from Persia (or some said from the Parthians and Pontic people which is close) and was further assimilated with the new "Sol" concept.

My sources on medieval european church and medieval times in general is G. Duby, I thought his vision was amongst the clearest , down to earth, and most complete.

Edited by krommtaar, 29 September 2010 - 12:48 AM.


#63 deuce

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 12:26 AM

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.


The image of Mitra is different from the mosaics in Hagia Sophia because, at least in my opinion, the image of Mitra is a sculpture and the image in Hagia Sophia is a mosaic.

From the description I interpret it as a statue and a very realistic one. Not symbolic or stylized as medieval or late antiquity sculptures, but something more balanced ?art in the highest form ? the free, uncramped artistic expression of highly esthetic race, unhampered by conventional symbolism.?

I think the image described by Howard suggests classic aesthetics: the strong body, patriarchal beard (for some high ranking gods), the thick curls of the hair and the ?simple band about the temples?
What about this one:
Posted Image


Good point, Scout. That is a striking (and famous) sculpture. REH might have seen a photo of it. However, REH very likely also saw sculptures of the "Enthroned Christ" in Catholic Churches (ultimately derived from the Olympian Zeus). I'd have to say this is very possibly a case where the influence on REH is mostly from the Classical side, with some Renaissance/Modern thrown in.

BTW, Taranaich once pointed out the description of Xaltotun fit the statue of Mitra pretty well.

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#64 deuce

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 12:38 AM

The romans didn't import 99% of their official pantheon from Greece for nothing, casting aside original concepts of theirs in favor of the greek ones (for example they insisted heavily saying that Dyonisos was really Bacchus, when in fact Bacchus was based on an pre-roman local god that had zilch to do with Dyonisos)...just so they would be considered as NON-barbarians by their rivals the greek (who unfortunately for them never considered them as civilized! only greek were "civilized" )

What astounds me is how could the alternative theory "researchers" imply that Mithras was 100% Roman and shared only the name with the eastern source...when renowned authors from classical antiquity were unanimous in saying that Mithras came from Persia (or some said from the Parthians and Pontic people which is close) and was further assimilated with the new "Sol" concept.

My sources on medieval european church and medieval times in general is G. Duby, I thought his vision was amongst the clearest , down to earth, and most complete.



I have to agree, Krommtaar. I just don't find the arguments 100% convincing. There definitely seems to be some blending of Roman and Iranian concepts. Whether the ratio was 10/90, 40/60, 60/40 or 90/10, there just seems (to me) to be a substratum of Iranian beliefs below the Roman overlay. All in all, I find Mithraism to be an artful blending of Iranian and Greco-Roman concepts. It beats the hell out of the Serapis cult, IMO.

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#65 theagenes

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 12:40 AM

Hey now! My MA thesis was on Isis and Serapis. :P
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#66 Teutates

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 12:41 AM


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.


Bah...wikipedia....a big joke. Very interesting for some articles, completely oriented on other subjects towards alternative theories.
Wait a year or two and you'll see online a totally different article. Classic .
Guess why articles such as those written on Islam are "locked topics" ! Mithraism is dead so it isn't locked, good news.

I remember the page I saw YEARS ago on Picts. Night and day.

#67 deuce

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 01:01 AM

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?


I've speculated on it here and there. If I have time (and the inclination) I might start a thread on it.

Hope that helps. :)

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#68 constantine

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:03 AM

It is good that Kortoso has brought up this thread again. Much information has been given on the religion of Mitra, but certain things can be added or reiterated when necessary.

I think it is accepted by most that Hyborian Mitraism is basically inspired from Christianity (plus the ''Star Rover'' influence of which I was totally unaware), especially as it was in the Middle Ages. Again, it is not an absolute imitation. There are numerous similarities here:

- The tenets of this creed include forgiveness and compassion as one can judge from Arus' preachings. Honest, hard work is also promoted by the teachings of Mitra, the reason for ''the power and splendor'' of the Hyborians (what Max Weber would call ''Protestant ethics'').
- The efforts for progress include an attack on superstitions and fearful legends, as one can surmise from the fear of the unknown by the Aquilonian soldiers in Westermarck as well as other cases where the civilized Hyborians are shaken by the sudden appearance of the unexplained. Still, the faithful accept the existence of a few supernatural elements like demons and magic and possibly, Mitra's miracles (if they are actually perceived as such).
- If necessary, the priests (at least some of them) are able to use magic (a form of apotropaic magic probably) as noted in THotD. In Christianity some saints can be considered to have used such powers. However, there are a few rare rotten apples like Orastes who end up delving in dark sorceries (a strong medieval touch in this).
- The priesthood also includes oracles. Therefore, certain ''clean'' forms of divination are acceptable and the supplicants may even receive messages directly or indirectly from the Big Boss up high (like Yasmela in BC). This sounds a bit classical (especially the term ''oracle''), but the process is otherwise unrelated and closer to a Christian sort-of revelation.
- The high priests have a certain amount of authority beyond spiritual matters. Nabonidus and the unnamed archpriest in TPitS who dwells in the royal palace are two such examples.
- Saints are included in this religion. Epemitreus could very well be considered a saint (and of the highest importance at that), but it is possible that in his first Conan tale Howard had not yet formulated the framework of the Mitraist creed. Hence the epithet ''Sage'' instead of ''Saint''. This is speculation, but I don't think it is improbable. If anything, Epemitreus' action in TPitS is very reminiscent of Christian saints' interventions as described in religious texts and medieval chronicles. And he has a creature as his emblem, the phoenix, just like many important Christian saints have their own.
- Priests have extensive training in a number skills, like some Christian counterparts (though Arus in THA appears truly phenomenal).
- Mitra is represented as a ''patriarchal'' figure (the descriptive word does not seem accidental) just like the Father (although without a Son or Holy Ghost), but the actual image of the deity is unknown.
- Mitra is omnipresent and all-knowing.
- Mitra can be angry towards worshippers for their sins, although the specific reaction of the Nemedians in THotD may very well be attributed to Xaltotun's sorcery.
- There is a heaven, a purgatory and obviously, a hell.
- Conversion is promoted and there are overzealous or fanatic preachers to be found, but probably not to a great extent. The old Hyborian faith of Bori & company is to be abandoned (Gunderland is the most recent known case).
- Active enmity towards Set (represented by the serpent/snake), the archetype of evil and his minions. The creed does not seem dualistic, since that would imply belief in equality/balance of power between the two gods (actually Set is perceived more as an ''archdemon'', according to Epemitreus). However, it is not at all clear whether the punishment of black magic practicioners is instigated by the priesthood or the state. Other heretical cults though (those that are considered dangerous, like Asuran sects), are also treated with hostility, but the faithful will not expose themselves needlesly to dark sorceries such as those contained in the Asuran funeral boats. However, they may succeed to officially ban these cults.

Now, there are some differences to be taken into consideration:
- The Mitraic religion, while not accepting as equal, does not discount the existence of other deities (with the exception of Bori-worship). Promoting the worship of Mitra primarily among the Hyborian nations, this is basically a henotheistic creed.
- There does not seem to be an all-Hyborian organization of the priesthood. At best, they might be organized along national lines.
- Mitraism does not seem to dominate secular life and activities to the extent that medieval Christianity had. For example, the great bell of Tarantia (and instruments such as bells play an important role in these societies) has been placed in the Citadel (a secular building) and not in the temple of Mitra. Spires are not described as an exclusive element of temples and they might possibly be found in secular buildings as well.
- While there is an image of the deity in a temple, the decoration is simple by choice (on the other hand, this might evoke a Protestant church).
- The priesthood does not appear to have a standard code for vestments. The red garments of Nabonidus are probably a private choice, hence the nickname ''Red Priest''.

Kortoso has composed a nice list of details on this religion straight from the yarns, while others have added some more. I may have repeated a few here.

Edited by constantine, 15 February 2012 - 06:12 PM.


#69 Kortoso

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:44 AM

Thank you, nice bit of digging there. :)
You remark that Mitraism appears to be henotheistic, But the Mitraists may have been merely some sort of dualists such as we see in Gnosticism or Manichaeism, seeing their devil in the rites of Set worshippers. (The puzzle being, apparently, that priests of Mitra speak of Set as if He is real.)

Of course, within the world of these yarns, who can deny that Set walks the earth? ;)

In the religion of Zoroastrianism, we see a split between the "good" Ahuras and the "bad" Daevas, while the in the Vedic religion, the Asuras refer to "bad" deities and the Devas are good. It's thought that this is simply a matter of demonizing the neighbors gods.

I am sure that Howard was aware of some of these details. Interesting stuff.

#70 Ironhand

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:01 AM

One difference between Medieval Europe and the Hyborian culture is that Medieval Europe did not have an adversary dedicated to the worship of their Satan, unlike Hyboria/Mitra vis a vis Stygia/Set. Unless the Saracens fulfilled that role.

I think politics may have overruled religion in this regard; didn't Hyborian nations sometimes ally with Stygia against their Hyborian cousins? How cynical!

Edited by Ironhand, 15 February 2012 - 05:05 AM.

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#71 deuce

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:38 PM

It is good that Kortoso has brought up this thread again. Much information has been given on the religion of Mitra, but certain things can be added or reiterated when necessary.

I think it is accepted by most that Hyborian Mitraism is basically inspired from Christianity (plus the ''Star Rover'' influence of which I was totally unaware), especially as it was in the Middle Ages. Again, it is not an absolute imitation. There are numerous similarities here:

- Saints are included in this religion. Epemitreus could very well be considered a saint (and of the highest importance at that), but it is possible that in his first Conan tale Howard had not yet formulated the framework of the Mitraist creed. Hence the epithet ''Sage'' instead of ''Saint''. This is speculation, but I don't think it is improbable. If anything, Epemitreus' action in TPitS is very reminiscent of Christian saints' interventions as described in religious texts and medieval chronicles. And he has a creature as his emblem, the phoenix, just like many important Christian saints have their own.


Also, in HotD, when Conan meets the Poitainian patrol, one knight exclaims, "By the saints!"

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#72 Axerules

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 04:04 PM

Also, in HotD, when Conan meets the Poitainian patrol, one knight exclaims, "By the saints!"

Almost. "Saints of heaven!" he gasped. "It is the king-alive!"
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#73 deuce

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 04:20 PM


Also, in HotD, when Conan meets the Poitainian patrol, one knight exclaims, "By the saints!"

Almost. "Saints of heaven!" he gasped. "It is the king-alive!"


Thanks for the correction, Axe. B) Most of my Del Reys are still packed away. Should've fully annotated HotD when I still had the chance.

Actually, the real quote is more informative than my paraphrase. There are "saints" AND a "heaven" in the Mitraist faith.

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#74 constantine

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:50 PM

A few more comments.

You remark that Mitraism appears to be henotheistic, But the Mitraists may have been merely some sort of dualists such as we see in Gnosticism or Manichaeism, seeing their devil in the rites of Set worshippers. (The puzzle being, apparently, that priests of Mitra speak of Set as if He is real.)

Kortoso


The belief in a single evil and equally powerful opponent would be Manichaeism. Yet the creed of Mitra considers Set the main evil and therefore opposing, deity, but not the only one and not equal to the former (the Mitraists also seem to conflate the Asuran heresy with the Stygian serpent cults). The gods of Zamora and above all the spider god, are considered ''abominable'' and evil as well, while unconnected with Set-worship. A Mitraist would probably have the same opinion about the Pictish gods or Hanuman who is feared even by the Set-worshippers of Zamboula. On the other hand, while the faithful of Mitra have a rather negative view of the Shemite pantheon, they maintain a grudging respect for Ishtar (as worshipped in Koth, at least), according to Astreas in AWsbB. And the same goes for the cult of Ibis in Nemedia, which could also include small sects in neighboring kingdoms as well (a not impossible suggestion). Thus, we are talking about a basically henotheistic religion.

One difference between Medieval Europe and the Hyborian culture is that Medieval Europe did not have an adversary dedicated to the worship of their Satan, unlike Hyboria/Mitra vis a vis Stygia/Set. Unless the Saracens fulfilled that role.

I think politics may have overruled religion in this regard; didn't Hyborian nations sometimes ally with Stygia against their Hyborian cousins? How cynical!

Ironhand


I think the fundamental difference is that Christianity is a monotheistic religion, but the point about the Saracens might stand in numerous cases. The only ''recorded'' Satan-worship that I know of is (possibly) the heresy of Luciferianism in 13th c. and the false belief about the diabolism of witchcraft, especially from late 14th-early 15th c. onwards. Of course, that is what the proponents of witch-hunts believed...

Relations with Stygia are rather more problematic. No Hyborian kingdom, including Ishtar-worshipping Koth, would ally with Stygia (at least, there is no such mention in the canon and with good reason IMO). But Free Companies composed mainly from Hyborians (who are predominantly Mitra-worshippers) would serve in the defense of southern Stygia, having therefore the Setites as paymasters. But that is only to be expected of mercenaries...

Almost. "Saints of heaven!" he gasped. "It is the king-alive!"

Axerules


Actually, the real quote is more informative than my paraphrase. There are "saints" AND a "heaven" in the Mitraist faith.

deuce


That's exactly the quote I had in mind. From THotD also comes the mention of purgatory, among other details about Mitraism.

Edited by constantine, 15 February 2012 - 06:09 PM.


#75 constantine

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:47 PM

The case of Epemitreus is an intriguing subject. Taking as granted the inclusion of saints in the Mitraist religion, he must be considered as one of the most important. Yet, one might suggest that Epemitreus is more than a prestigious saint.

First, this is the only theophoric name we find in the canon connected with Mitra. The person bearing the name has an extremely important role on the foundations of the faith. Placed fifteen centuries before Conan in a tomb created ''by unknown hands'' in ''the black heart of Golamira'' and guarded by ''the immortal phoenix'', the story of his entombment is one of the fundamental Mysteries of Mitra's creed. Epemitreus himself had lived three times as long as other men and played a dominant role in uprooting the influence of Set and his votaries in Aquilonia and further. After death, he continues to intervene in his own way when Aquilonia is threatened. So what can we make out of all this?

A very strong case can be made that Epemitreus is one of the earliest prophets (if not THE PROPHET) of the faith of Mitra. His efforts come at a time when cults of Set seem to be on the ascendant and threaten the Hyborian civilization. In addition, he has a supernaturally long lifespan. Therefore, either the man was an avatar/incarnation of a deity or a prophet/saint blessed with divine grace of sorts. The latter seems more probable due to his predilection for Aquilonia which would be hard to explain for a ''universal god of the Hyborians''. Plus, his life's deeds and his intervention beyond the grave seem to be inspired from descriptions of similar actions by Christian saints. And the issue of his entombment reinforces this suggestion.

One may ask why Epemitreus does not interfere in the events of THotD. It must be pointed that all of Conan's opponents in this story can be defeated directly by him with conventional means (even Xaltotun doesn't risk dealing with the captured Cimmerian without having him in bonds), unlike the demon summoned by Thoth-Amon. This may have been a conscious choice by Howard since the main reason for Epemitreus' absence is a literary one IMHO: it would be a cheap repetition to have him back on the game helping King Conan.

One last thought: where did the henotheistic One God deity come from? Here is a wild speculation, but maybe worth noting: In the Kull stories which take place in the pre-Cataclysmic era (but in the same universe/frame of Conan's Hyborian Age), both Kull and Brule name in their exclamations the god Valka (no connection whatsoever with the Valka of Moon of Skulls). Now, Kull is an Atlantean and Brule is a Pict; they both come from different, unrelated and mutually hostile cultures. So how is it that they both call on the same deity and only this? Well, the one common thing they share is that they are both exposed in the culture of Valusia: the renegade Atlantean as King and the Pict as chief of those of his tribesmen who act as ''foederati'' for the great kingdom. The implication would be that they had both adopted a (single-going?) god of Valusia whose religion might reappear as the post-Cataclysmic faith of Mitra. This is just a hypothesis and it has been some time since I read the Kull stories, so I stand to be corrected if my memory fails me. But if it doesn't, these details may offer even a thin thread of support in what seems a far-fetched suggestion. After all, TPotS was originally a Kull story.

#76 deuce

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:55 PM

Now, Kull is an Atlantean and Brule is a Pict; they both come from different, unrelated and mutually hostile cultures. So how is it that they both call on the same deity and only this? Well, the one common thing they share is that they are both exposed in the culture of Valusia: the renegade Atlantean as King and the Pict as chief of those of his tribesmen who act as ''foederati'' for the great kingdom. The implication would be that they had both adopted a (single-going?) god of Valusia whose religion might reappear as the post-Cataclysmic faith of Mitra. This is just a hypothesis and it has been some time since I read the Kull stories, so I stand to be corrected if my memory fails me. But if it doesn't, these details may offer even a thin thread of support in what seems a far-fetched suggestion. After all, TPotS was originally a Kull story.


In "Exile of Atlantis", it is quite obvious that the Atlanteans consider Valka to be their own, native god. In addition, the fragmentary "Isle of Eons" makes clear that Valka was worshipped in Mu/Lemuria. No, the Thurian Age seems a time of fairly "universal" religions.

As to the origin of MItra, I think the most compelling clues may lie in the first and third Conan yarns that REH wrote, along with HotD.

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#77 constantine

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:48 PM

In "Exile of Atlantis", it is quite obvious that the Atlanteans consider Valka to be their own, native god. In addition, the fragmentary "Isle of Eons" makes clear that Valka was worshipped in Mu/Lemuria. No, the Thurian Age seems a time of fairly "universal" religions.

deuce


You are right. I had totally forgotten the ''Exile'' and I don't recall the ''Isle of Eons'' at all. Yet if we are talking about a ''universal'' religion, would it be improbable that Howard substituted Valka from ''With this Axe I Rule!'' with Mitra in TPotS and onwards? Anyway, this is just a thought and speculation. Still, I think we can't track the creed of Mitra before Epemitreus.

#78 Kortoso

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 11:18 PM

Found an interesting WIki-style website: Nova Roma
One of the pages discusses the Numa tradition, in which blood sacrifice is forbidden. It's said to have been the oldest and "purest" of Roman cult practices.

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#79 deuce

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 10:40 PM

A little something from the "Bible Geek" thread:

A passage from Phoenix on the Sword:

The steps were carven each with the abhorrent figure of the Old Serpent, Set, so that at each step he planted his heel on the head of the Snake, as it was intended from old times.

Juxtapose that with Genesis 3:14-15 (KJV):

And the Lord God said unto the serpent (...)
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.


Head, heel and serpent. "From old times".

"Old Serpent, Set" would seem to be taken from Revelations 20:2 (KJV)

And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

This impacts upon Mitra worship in the Hyborian Age in regards to Set. In addition, Epemitreus "bound Set" (to one degree or another) "a thousand and five hundred years" (slight paraphrase) before Conan.

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#80 constantine

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 02:05 AM

This should further support the argument that Christianity was the main influence to REH in the creation of the Hyborian creed of Mitra.