The Cult of Mithras in Late Antiquity: Development, Decline and Demise ca. A.D. 270-430 [Paperback]

David Walsh (Author)

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ISBN: 9789004380806 | Published by: Brill | Series: Late Antique Archaeology (Supplementary Series) | Volume: 2 | Year of Publication: 2018 | Language: English Illustrations, unspecified




The Cult of Mithras in Late Antiquity: Development, Decline and Demise ca. A.D. 270-430

Details

In The Cult of Mithras in Late Antiquity David Walsh explores how the cult of Mithras developed across the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D. and why by the early 5th century the cult had completely disappeared. Contrary to the traditional narrative that the cult was violently persecuted out of existence by Christians, Walsh demonstrates that the cult's decline was a far more gradual process that resulted from a variety of factors. He also challenges the popular image of the cult as a monolithic entity, highlighting how by the 4th century Mithras had come to mean different things to different people in different places.

Table of Contents

Foreword List of Illustrations List of Abbreviations Introduction Religious Change in Late Antiquity: Changing Scholarly Views The Cult of Mithras: A Brief Introduction The Cult of Mithras in Late Antiquity: Changing Scholarly Views The Structure of This Volume Selecting the Evidence A Note on Terminology 1 The Development of the Cult of Mithras in Late Antiquity The Location of Mithraea Mithraic Architecture Mithraic Iconography Patronage and Membership Mithraic Hierarchies Ritual Practice Variations of the Name `Mithras' Conclusion 2 The Decline of the Cult I: The Evidence Introduction The Decline in Construction/Restoration of Mithraea Mithraea and Wider Patterns of Construction and Repair in Late Antiquity Charting the Declining Use of Individual Mithraea Conclusion 3 The Decline of the Cult Part 2: Explaining the Decline Introduction Declining Populations Changing Social Networks Changes in Mithraic Rituals Coercion by the Imperial Government Conclusion 4 The Fate of Mithraea Introduction Geographical and Chronological Variation in the Fate of Mithraea Factors Contributing to the Fate of Mithraea Conclusion Conclusion Appendix A: Gazetteer of Mithraea Active in the 4th c. and Those That Exhibit Evidence of Christian Iconoclasm A Britain B. Germany C. Noricum D. Pannonia E. Dalmatia F. Italy (Excluding Rome and Ostia) G. Gaul H. Spain I. North Africa J. The Eastern Mediterranean Appendix B: Mithraea Constructed and Repaired ca. AD 201-400 Bibliography Index Late Antique Archaeology

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