Roger Beck, a world authority on Mithraism, brings together his major writings on the Mysteries of Mithras in the context of the culture and religions of imperial Rome. In these studies he opens new vistas on myth making, ritual, symbolism, the role of astrology in the cult, recently discovered Mithraic monuments and artefacts, and the emergence of Mithraism and Christianity concurrently in the first century. Beck offers new introductions to his thematically framed groups of writings and adds six entirely new essays published here for the first time. These essays link his research to contemporary studies in cognitive science of religion and anthropology of religion. This collection will appeal particularly to scholars exploring contemporary aspects in anthropology of religion, astronomy and astrology, cults and myths, images and symbols, as well as traditional scholars of Greco-Roman antiquity and Christian origins.
Introduction: Four Stages on a Road to Redescribing the Mithraic Mysteries, II: FOUNDATION, III: MYTHMAKING AND OTHER FICTIONS, IV: MITHRAS AND THE HEAVENS: FIRST EXPLORATIONS, V: MITHRAS AND THE HEAVENS: QUIS ILLE? VI: THE ASTRONOMICAL AND ASTROLOGICAL MATRIX, VII: EiKONA KOSMOU: THE MITHRAEUM