Concept

Mithraism

Summary
Mithraism, also known as the Mithraic mysteries or the Cult of Mithras, was a Roman mystery religion centered on the god Mithras. Although inspired by Iranian worship of the Zoroastrian divinity (yazata) Mithra, the Roman Mithras is linked to a new and distinctive imagery, with the level of continuity between Persian and Greco-Roman practice debated. The mysteries were popular among the Imperial Roman army from about the 1st to the 4th century CE. Worshippers of Mithras had a complex system of seven grades of initiation and communal ritual meals. Initiates called themselves syndexioi, those "united by the handshake". They met in underground temples, now called mithraea (singular mithraeum), which survive in large numbers. The cult appears to have had its center in Rome, and was popular throughout the western half of the empire, as far south as Roman Africa and Numidia, as far east as Roman Dacia, as far north as Roman Britain,
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