The Mithraic Mysteries as Symbol System: II. The Mithraeum


in The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780199216130
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191712128 | DOI:
The Mithraic Mysteries as Symbol System: II. The Mithraeum

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Religion in the Ancient World


Show Summary Details


This chapter explores the initiate's understanding of his mithraeum as ‘an image of the universe for induction into a mystery of the descent and departure of souls’. The mithraeum is analyzed in detail using both the evidence from Porphyry's On the Cave and the archaeological sites to construct a normative template for the mithraeum. Other ‘images of the universe’ from antiquity are compared: the Pantheon, Nero's Domus Aurea, Varro's aviary, the circus, orreries, and sundials. Finally, the concept of the ‘cognized environment’ is taken from Biogenetic Structuralism to treat the mithraeum as the material representation of the initiate's cognized universe.

Keywords: mithraeum; image of universe; Porphyry On the Cave; Pantheon; Domus Aurea; Varro's aviary; circus; orreries; sundials; Biogenetic Structuralism

Chapter.  24912 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religion in the Ancient World

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.