Images of Persian Mitra

An idle search in Google images for “Mithra Zoroastrianism” brought up precisely NO images of the Zoroastrian god.  It’s quite interesting, really, not least because I have no idea how he was depicted — if he was depicted — in reliefs.

It also brought up a number of unfamiliar tauroctonies of Mithras.  The need for a large collection of images of Mithraic sculptures etc was never more apparent to me than today.  We can clearly learn a great deal, simply by comparison, without undue theorising.  I was almost tempted to start locating images and getting my camera out!

Mind you, an online list of places to visit and photograph would itself be a useful thing.  We don’t even have that!  If we could put such a thing online, one might get enthusiasts to contribute by visiting museums.  It’s a wiki-project if ever there was one.  

How I curse the wretched troll, who cold-bloodly plotted to wreck the Wikipedia Mithras article, and drive off all the honest contributors, for destroying the best means of collaborative work in this area! 

I wonder how else it might be done.  How does one contact Mithras enthusiasts?  A few people doing day-trips to museums might contribute much!

11 Responses to “Images of Persian Mitra”


  1. Jona

    Hi Roger

    A picture of an Iranian Mithra is here: http://www.livius.org/ta-td/taq-e_bostan/taq-e_bostan_relief.html

    Fondly, Jona

  2. Robert Bedrosian

    MITRA + Zoroastrian yields plenty of images on Google Image.

  3. Roger Pearse

    @Jona: thank you! I presume that Berghe is the source that specifies that this is Mitra?

    @Robert: will give it a go!

  4. Jona

    No, it’s not just Vandenberghe, dear Roger. The attributes (barsom and solar rays) seem to make the identification with the god of light reasonable. The identifaction is already assumed in F. Lajard, _Introduction a l’étude du culte public et des mystères de Mithra_ (Paris 1847) and may well be older.

  5. Roger Pearse

    I don’t suppose for a moment that the identification is wrong. But, being sceptical and being suspicious of “what everyone knows”, I wonder how anyone knows or whether it is simply a guess. Thanks for the extra details!

  6. Jona

    I share your sentiment; we can never be too sceptical – even about our scepsis!

  7. Roger Pearse

    Like you, I have seen too much hearsay accepted without adequate scrutiny!

  8. Oliver Nicholson

    A good place to see up-to-date information and exchange views on Mithraism is the Electronic Journal of Mithraic Studies:
    http://www.uhu.es/ejms/

  9. Roger Pearse

    I had thought that this was defunct — is it active, in fact?

  10. mitra

    I like to have some picture of the goddess mitra

  11. Roger Pearse

    Mitra is a god, not a goddess… :)



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