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By Franz Cumont

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The king exults in having always honored the gods of his ancestors according rules that to the Greeks; it tradition of the Persians he expresses the desire and the that the established in the new temple shall wear the sacerdotal vestments of the same Persians, and that they shall officiate con priests formably to the ancient sacred custom. The sixteenth day of each month, which is to be THE ORIGINS OF MITHRAISM 2J7 specially celebrated, is not to be the birthday of the king alone, but also the day which from time immemorial was specially consecrated to Mithra.

D. they practised by the Under the Antonines, beginning of the troops in Germany. especially from reign of Commodus, the the proofs of their presence abound in all countries. At the end of the second century, the Mysteries were celebrated at Ostia in at least four temples. ( cannot think of enumerating all the cities in which our Asiatic cult was estab lished, nor of stating in each case the reasons We *Plut, /. c. MITHRAISM THE ROMAN EMPIRE IN 39 it was introduced. Despite their fre quency, the epigraphic texts and sculptured monuments throw but very imperfect light on why Fig.

Of Nemrood Dagh, a T. et Af. t p. ) gous to that which is more distinctly observ able under the Roman empire. The contact of all the theologies of the Orient and all the philosophies of Greece produced the most startling combinations, and the competition . THE ORIGINS OF MITHRAISM 1 5 between the different creeds became exceed ingly brisk. Many of the Magi, from Armenia to Phrygia and Lydia, then doubtless departed from their traditional reserve to devote them selves to active propaganda, and like the Jews of the same epoch they succeeded in gathering around them numerous proselytes.

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