Romanising Oriental Gods: Myth, Salvation and Ethics in the Cults of Cybele, Isis and Mithras (Religions in the Graeco-Roman World)
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The relative sophistication of the three major 'Oriental cults' of the Roman Empire, combining unfamiliar myth with distinctive ritual, enabled them, like Early Christianity, to offer a properly ethical salvation in the Weberian sense.
reconstructing a, or the, Mithraic narrative in the absence of a solid textual basis. My suggestion is that we should compare it to the catechism of Pedro de Gante (c. 1479–1572), which consists mainly of pictures (which he called jeroglíficos, hieroglyphics) by means of which for fifty years he taught the indigenous Aztec children at his arts and crafts school S. José de Belén the rudiments of the Christian faith.156 The comparison gains additional value from the fact that the Mithraic images
This fact creates a certain amount of difficulty concerning the most appropriate terms to use, as is clear from the Proceedings of Bianchi’s Soteriology conference, for example in Turcan’s point 2 in his summary (Bianchi and Vermaseren 1982, xvii), and in Bianchi’s concession at the Seduta del 26 settembre: “et, un peu déplacé, Mithra” (p. 883, cf. 885). Burkert 1987, 8; 41f.; 84 repeatedly emphasises how untypical the cult of Mithras is in the context of Greek mystery cults. 245 I have found the
case of the passage of Plutarch, it is highly likely that he is talking of the Eleusinian mysteries and not of the cult of Isis, as Dunand 1973, 3: 250ff. proposed; cf. F. Graf, Eleusis und die orphische Dichtung Athens in vorhellenistischer Zeit (Berlin 1974) 132–38; Burkert 1987, 91–93. 318 I may here refer to a couple of the studies publishd by the Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History: S. Hartman and C.M. Edsman (eds.), Mysticism (Stockholm 1970), and N.G. Holm
the cult of Isis, see Brenk 1993. CHAPTER THREE SYSTEMS OF VALUE Nobody sees Death, Nobody sees the face of Death, Nobody hears the voice of Death, Savage Death just cuts mankind down. Gilgamesh XI.vi. tr. Dalley 1989, 108 Sacrificium est . . . corpus etiam nostrum cum temperantia castigamus Augustine, De civ.Dei 10.61 The aim of this chapter is to collect the scattered evidence for what might add up to the system of values of these cults. Those who believe that they constituted merely one
of values.4 Cf. the excellent account of Lieu 2004. Foucault 1985, 25. Foucault’s work must be approached with caution, as the feminists have shown. But it does at least set up a model that can be criticised, cf. the abundant information, debate and bibliographies in e.g. Goldhill 1995; D.H.J. Larmour, P.A. Miller and C. Platter (eds.), Rethinking Sexuality: Foucault and Classical Antiquity (Princeton 1998). On a quite different tack, J. Annas, The Morality of Happiness (Oxford and New York