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Cult of Mithra was popular among legionaries

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Mithra killing the bull
Mithra killing the bull

The cult god Mithra was extremely popular among soldiers. This deity was to kill a bull whose blood became the foundation of the universe. At the end of the 2nd century and in the 3rd century CE his follower was Emperor Commodus (180–192 CE). As Sol Invictus (“Invincible Sun”), Mitra was worshiped primarily from the times of Aurelian by Roman emperors, among whom was also young Constantine I (306‒337 CE). With the flourishing of this last religion in the lands of the Roman Empire, Mithraism slowly disappeared to finally fall into total oblivion.

This worship was only remembered in modern times in connection with archaeological findings. It was thought that Mithraism could have become a competitor of evolving Christianity during the fall of the Roman Empire. Mithraism was largely repressed by Christianity, which December 25 (holy day of Mithra’s followers) established Christ’s birth day.

  • Żuławski Stanisław, Pax Christiana. Od apokaliptycznych nadziei do sojuszu z Rzymem. Polityczna ewolucja chrześcijaństwa, Kraków 2016

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