Today I read online that:
Mithras, the Persian divinity, was also given this title of “Unconquered”; and as one of the very earliest Christian writers tells Justin Martyr (Dialog with Trypho, p. 305) Mithras was mystically said to have been born in a cave or grotto, as was also Jesus, according to very early and wide-spread orthodox Christian legends. Justin adds: “He was born on the day on which the Sun was born anew, in the stable of Augeas”: and, as all know, the Christian gospels which are now considered as canonical say that Jesus was born in a “manger” or in a “stable,” because, so the legend runs in the New Testament, there was no room for Joseph and Mary in the inn.
I do love the touch that only the New Testament is qualified as “the legend runs that…”; pagan myths are not so qualified. Hate is a funny thing, eh?
Well, this is news about Justin is news to me. And when looking at Justin’s Dialogue, which is online, it seems to be news to him too! The claim is copied verbatim from here, which seems to be a headbanger site. This in turn is plagiarising Edward Carpenter, Pagan and Christian Creeds: their origin and meaning (1928) who says:
Justin Martyr again, in the Dialogue with Trypho says that the Birth in the Stable was the prototype (!) of the birth of Mithra in the Cave of Zoroastrianism; and boasts that Christ was born when the Sun takes its birth in the Augean Stable, (1) coming as a second Hercules to cleanse a foul world; and St. Augustine says “we hold this (Christmas) day holy, not like the pagans because of the birth of the Sun, but because of the birth of him who made it.”
(1) The Zodiacal sign of Capricornus, iii.
Not that Carpenter troubled to verify what Justin said, as these claims also are not found in Justin’s text. The “reference” given is to something unknown, for neither COPAC nor the Library of Congress record any book of that title.