Into town bright and early, in the hope of avoiding the crowds of shoppers, and to the library to pick up David Ulansey’s Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries (1989). Slightly nervous in case there is a later edition. The library charged me 5.40 GBP (about $8) for the use of it for 3 weeks.
I’ve not read it yet. But I have leafed through the opening section where he discusses the history of Mithraic studies in quite sensible terms.
I’m going to read his theory, and see what it looks like. But I can already see one problem with the book; the footnotes have been banished to the end. What this means is that it is impossible to read the book while verifying the claims against the notes. How I curse publishers who do this!
Ulansey’s ideas are fringe. But he is certainly correct to say that Mithras scholars have been taking a serious interest in possible astronomical links — when all you have is depictions on stone, the presence of the zodiac inevitably suggests there may be some!