Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Mithras And The Bull

What do we know about Mithras and the Bull? Our sources are:

(i) The Three BC (Conan The Rebel, The Dancer From Atlantis and The Golden Slave);

(ii) The Time Patrol;

(iii) Ys.

(i) Mitra of the Sun is active in Conan The Rebel. The Dancer from Atlantis, a contemporary of Theseus and the Minotaur, dances with bulls. In The Golden Slave (New York, 1980), the Cimbri throw bulls at the spring rites. Phryne, the educated Greek slave, calls Eodan of the Cimbri, "Another Theseus!" (p. 36)

The conquering Cimbri travel with a great Bull idol, "...who was also in some way Moon and Sun...," in a wagon (pp. 15, 214). King Mithradates of Pontus, a Mithraist, wonders whether:

" '...the Bull in whose sign you wandered the world was the same that bleeds upon the altars of the Mystery?'" (p. 206)

(ii) In The Time Patrol (New York, 1991), the street cries of ancient Persia include:

" 'Alms, for the love of Light! Alms, and Mithras will smile upon you!...' " (p. 42)

"...the sign of the cross...was a Mithraic sun-symbol..." (p. 48)

In Cyrus' palace, a Time Patrolman looks up:

"Overhead he saw a painted roof, where a youth killed a bull, and the Bull was the Sun and the Man." (p. 56)

(iii) King Gratillonius of Ys, a Mithraist, sacrifices a white bull.

Christianity won the battle of ideas with Mithraism because it admitted women and replaced a sacrificial animal with bread and wine. There is still blood on the altar but sacramentally.

(I said in an earlier post that The Golden Slave shifted from Eodan's point of view to Phryne's for the first time in Chapter XIII but it had already done so in Chapter III. I need readers to point out mistakes.)


Tor Hershman said...


Paul Shackley said...

Thank you, Tor.