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The Origins of the Mithraic MysteriesCosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World$
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David Ulansey

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780195067880

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195067880.001.0001

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Mithras and Perseus

Mithras and Perseus

(p.25) 3 Mithras and Perseus
The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries

David Ulansey

Oxford University Press

The previous section kept us wondering which constellation represents Mithras as this was left unanswered in the various interpretations of tauroctony. In the astronomical aspect, Perseus occupies a position in the sky similar to that occupied by Mithras in the tauroctony, which led many to search for parallelisms of Mithras being represented as Perseus in the constellation as discussed in this chapter. For one, Mithras and Perseus wore the so-called Phrygian cap, which was only worn in the olden times by either Persians or someone “oriental”, and, like Perseus, Mithras looks away from their victims. Perseus was believed to be from the underground chamber and Mithras was born from the rock, both from underground caverns. They are also comparable because of the weapons they use—harpe and dagger, both with curved blades— used by Perseus and Mithras respectively.

Keywords:   Mithras, Perseus, Phrygian cap, oriental, underground cavern, harpe, dagger

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