Why Was Mithraism a Popular Religion? Essay
Why Was Mithraism a Popular Religion?
This is an essay to explain why Mithraism, a famous Roman religion, was popular. I will use images to explain my reasons as well.
The cult of Mithras originated in Persia where it was known as Ahuramazda. Mithraism is also known as Mithras -Worship. Mithras was a god of light and truth. They triumphed over the forces of evil and promised life after death to his followers. It required its followers to live their lives by a moral code. People who wanted to enter Mithraism had to perform a series initiation tests that would test both physical and moral standards. Mithraism had many different initiation tests and depending on how well the applicant performed in these tests determined the grade that they were rewarded with. There were many grades such as Lion, Raven, Bridegroom, Soldier, Father, which were decided by undergoing tests involving ordeals by fire, water or fasting.
Mithraism was a popular religion because it promised life after death. This meant that it attracted people who put their life on the line, like those in the army, so they could have life after death.
Mithraism also was popular because it kept all its teachings extremely quiet and only those who were initiated in the religion could know its teachings. This meant that it attracted people, as they must have felt a bit special, in a way, as they had to keep all the teachings quiet.
It must also have been popular as it attracted rich people to the religion. If one rich person decided to join the religion and he was a higher social class than the other rich person, then it will attract the lower class person to it to make it seem he is a higher class.
A picture of a sculpture made for a rich man.
Made out of marble.
The sculpture pictured above shows that rich people were attracted to the religion as only rich men would be able to afford this sculpture as it would be to expensive for lower class people.
Mithraism was also popular as many people who lived in London followed the religion.
A temple in London.
As there is a temple in London, then it suggests that there were many people who supported the religion living in London. This means that London was full of wealthy merchants and businessmen who could afford the religion. This also means that there was an army situated there to help them with their afterlife. If people in London followed the religion then it attracts other people towards it as people in London were merchants and you can compare yourself to them if you also practice the religion.
Mithraism was again popular due to many emperors wanting to worship the religion. If the Emperors want to worship the religion then most of the Roman Empire will want to worship the religion. This is a bit like now, where wherever the queen will go many other people will want to go to that place that the queen went to.
Many soldiers also believed in Mithraism as practicing the religion helped them survive a battle and to win a battle. Them as well as merchants were the most superstitious people in Ancient Rome. It was a psychological factor in winning a battle as they thought that they were going to win the battle before it even started.
Also many people believed in the sacrifice of animals and the start of the religion was based around the myth that a man sacrificed a bull.
The sacrifice of the bull.
This picture of a Mithra God sacrificing a bull is what started the religion and if people believed in sacrifices then this was a perfect match as it started with the sacrifice of a bull. The statue is made out of marble to show that only a rich man could afford it, which attracts rich men towards it.
So, in conclusion, Mithraism was a popular religion because it promised to bring afterlife, which attracted soldiers towards it to help them with their battles, and merchants also practiced the religion, as it was a very expensive religion. Also people were attracted to it as the Emperors practiced it, which meant that many other people wanted to practice it as it made them look “with the times” and “up to date” and not an outcast.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 16 October 2017
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