Chapter

Star-Talk: The Symbols of the Mithraic Mysteries as Language Signs

ROGER BECK

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199216130.003.0009
Star-Talk: The Symbols of the Mithraic Mysteries as Language Signs

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This chapter is the first of two devoted to Mithraism's rich astral symbolism and to a discussion on whether, on both ancient and modern semiotic criteria, it might function as a quasi-language. To accommodate ancient authors both Christian (e.g. Origen, Augustine) and pagan (e.g. Plato, Plotinus), ‘star-talk’ is postulated as a fictitious language not only about the stars but also of, i.e. spoken by, the stars. Star-talk is the idiom of the Mithraic mysteries.

Keywords: astral symbolism; semiotics; language; star-talk; Origen; Augustine; Plato; Plotinus

Chapter.  18203 words. 

Subjects: Religion in the Ancient World

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