I’ve continued to work on the new site about the Roman cult of Mithras. I’ve added some more monuments to the page of selected monuments.
Butr today I went through the section on the main page about initiation into the mysteries, and looked up all the material and checked it. The results were not that encouraging. It wasn’t wildly wrong… but it wasn’t that good. The new version is quite a bit different from the version that was there yesterday, particularly when it comes to footnotes.
This material was based on the last reliable version of the Wikipedia Mithras article, which I contributed to very largely before it was hijacked and poisoned by a troll with the support of a couple of corrupt administrators. So I thought it was reasonably reliable. It didn’t feel grossly wrong, even to me. But of course there was stuff that I had never checked, even in the days when I worked on Wikipedia.
My eye fell particularly on the table of grades of initiation, supposed symbols, and the god / planet for each. It took very little reading in the literature to realise that the data was from two different sources, and that this fact was not made clear. The “symbols” were often not really right. When they were right, the author had not realised that two of the three symbols related to the god, not to the grade of initiation.
Another crass error was a reference to “colitores”. But the term (a version of cultores) only appears in inscriptions to Jupiter Dolichenus. The author of the material had simply lost control of his syntax, thereby confusing the reader.
It may seem like small stuff but, as ever, I came away discouraged as to the likely reliability of any Wikipedia article. How many people can afford to spend several hours verifying a relatively short paragraph of text?
Worrying. Still, the version on my new site is pretty solid.