Virgin birth of Mitra from Anahita?

I’ve had an email directing me to a webpage supposedly containing an article by Mohammad Moqadam (Moghdam), with the subtitle “The Second International Congress of Mithraic Studies, Tehran 1975″.  This makes the claim:

The Saviour was born in the middle of the night between Saturday and Sunday, 24th and 25th of December, 272 BCE, and according to those who believed in Him from an Immaculate (Anahid) Virgin  (Xosidhag) somewhere not far from lake Hamin, Sistan, Lived for 64 years among men, and ascended to His Father Ahura Mazda in 208 BCE.

and is widely quoted by a certain sort of writer.

This article does not seem to be scholarly.  There are no real references in it to the texts being quoted, edition, etc.  Many of these texts are unfamiliar to me, although I know of al-Tabari.  But it sounds as if he is quoting this from an unspecified edition, in translation… what translation?

His quotes, if genuine — just imagine whether we could check these; it would be very difficult — suggest that by the Islamic period some of the Persians believed that the events of the life of Jesus took place during the Arsacid period.  No doubt such a confusion is possible.  But I don’t see the point of it, unless I am missing something.

The vague reference to Elise Vardapet, that the lord Mihr had a human mother…. this is really not much good.  The real reference is the Elisaeus Vardapet, “History of Vartan”, in a speech given by Christian bishops to the Sassanid governor trying to fend off a persecution.

Some of the claims made seem rather odd to me.  But … I don’t actually see, in any of this, evidence for the claim he makes about a virgin birth of Mitra.  Is it actually there, anywhere?

A frustrating, infuriating article, I think.  It ends with another such example:

It is written in the Bayan al- Adyan, that “the Manicheans say that Jesus called men to Zoroaster.

Is it?  What is this text?  Where do we find it? And so on.

I think we can stick this article down the toilet, I’m sorry to say.  Whether the claim made is true or not, the article does not substantiate it.


3 thoughts on “Virgin birth of Mitra from Anahita?

  1. Anahita just means “not” (a) “unclean” (nahit).

    She’s a water goddess of springs. One would certainly hope a spring would not be dirty or un-kosher to Persians. But that’s a whoooooole different bucket of attributes.

    “Immaculate” means literally “not spotted”, like an animal that’s all one color. (The extension to being sinless came later.) It doesn’t have anything to do with clean or unclean, particularly; it’s more a sacrificial animal criterion. And Mary being ever-virgin is another whole different bucket of attributes than her being “immaculate”.

    Now, if Persians called Mary “anahid”, that would be very interesting as an inculturation. But did they?

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