Mithras Supreme

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by tom, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. tom Member

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    Could Mithraism have overshadowed Christianity?
    If so, what would the world be like now?
     
  2. Norman Member

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    Good Question. I know that Mithraism was very popular with the Roman Legions. What if the Goths and other German tribes, instead of converting to Arianism had converted to Mithra? Germanic Tribesmen were serving in the Roman Army, and the religion might have attracted them.

    The structures of the christian churches is based on the adminsitrative structures in place by Rome. What if the structures of a Mithraic were based on the structures of the Legion?

    Additionally, woudl the discipline of the legions have had a greater impact on the German Tribes who had converted? If it had, would they have been able to stand up better to Attilla?

    Consider if the Goths and the Vandals had successfully converted to Mithra, and were more organizaed as they moved into Europe. What about the later expansion of Islam, does it happen, if so, would it accept Mithraism as it does Christianity.

    What about the Eastern Empire, does it hold convert and fast to Christianity? IF so, do we now look at three major religions, Mithraism wherever the Germans settled, Christianity in the East and Islam in the Arab world?
     
  3. Tom_B Member

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    Apollonius of Tyana

    Mithraism was esoteric and exclusively male--somewhat like Freemasonry in its "speculative" forms. I think to become an effective comptetitor to Christianity Mithrasim needs an exoteric adjunct. In might offer as a POD that Apollonius of Tyana was 1] more effective and 2] a convert to Mithraism --but of an unconvential sort. He creates some form of reformed syncretistic paganism perhaps centered around the worship of Serapis. Woman are allowed into this level of the religion. The Inner Mysteries of this reworked religion would be Mithraism.
     
  4. Norman Member

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    Tom B:

    If Mithraism had survived based on the POD you ID, would it have been more or less 'sexist' than Christianity? If less, then german conversion to Mithraism could be driven largely by the same thing that conversions to Christianity were driven - women.

    Thoughts?
     
  5. DominusNovus Humbled by Fate

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    What about the later expansion of Islam, does it happen, if so, would it accept Mithraism as it does Christianity.

    Unlikely. I don't know the specifics of Mithraism, but I'm pretty sure its not based on Judaism as Christianity and Islam are.
     
  6. Norman Member

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    So if we assume (even with the Butterfly effect) that Mithraism is adopted by some segment of Europe, and (big if!) Islam begins on schedule (are the parts of the world that nursed Islam unchanged?), then Mithraism and Islam are on a natural collision course.

    What if the German tribes convert to a less sexist version of Mithraism (including the Goths), the Eastern Empire converts to Christianity with Constatine, and butterflies don't eliminate Islam or its major tenets?

    Does this set up the possibility of a three way struggle for the mediterranean?
     
  7. DominusNovus Humbled by Fate

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    ohh, this could be fun. :)
     
  8. NapoleonXIV Banned

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    Christianity has one unique aspect. Its central figure is also an historical figure, (or at least seen as one by its followers). According to C.S. Lewis, this means that in Christianity, Myth becomes History. The rise of Xtianity is therefore, a turning point in history since it allows a different view of spirituality. (In most other religions man worships a higher being. In Xtianity God is man and man is therefore, God). If Xtiantity arose and prospered becasue of this then no, Mitharaism could probably not have overshadowed it.
     
  9. Grey Wolf Writer, Poet, Publisher, Cat-sitter

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    Plea

    Please lose the X's

    I assume we can all type well and fast

    It takes no time at all to write to Christ

    I am not even religious but Xian or Xtianity just demeans the discussion

    It looks like a load of school kids texting each other

    Not a serious discussion

    Grey Wolf
     
  10. Norman Member

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    Napoleon:

    Hinduism has a lot of adherents all over the world and it is based in large part on the ancient nomadic gods of the aryan people who 'conquered' the Indian Sub-Continent. These beliefs have been around for a long time and probably have more believers today that at any point in the past.

    Additionally, although Mithra predates Christianity, as I recall it is based on some pretty advanced and popular beliefs for that day and age.

    In short, I am not convinced that the evidence of History support C.S. Lewis. Recent archeology suggests that the monotheism of Judeo-Christianity actually grew out of a polytheistic tribal society. At one point the jewish God seems to have been married.

    There are just to many examples that suggest that even primitive religions are able to evolve with their adherents increasing sophistication.

    Therefore, it is possible that Mithraism and Christianity could co-exist, adn that at one point Christianity was so concerned about the strength of Christianity it adopted many of the holidays of Mithra.
     
  11. NapoleonXIV Banned

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    I'm not really suggesting that Christianity (sorry GW) is any more advanced or evolved than any other religion, just different. Polytheistic beliefs are often very difficult and esoteric intellectually but they are still different from monotheistic beliefs and, if history is any indication, are seen as less applicable by many people to the modern world than they used to be. (note; I am not including Hindu as polytheist, although I probably should)

    Another reason for Christianity's rise was that it was a good religion for slaves. Was Mithraism?
     
  12. Tom_B Member

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    Serapis Exoteric Religion

    My previous post dealt with the POD of Apollonius of Tyana becoming a Mithraist but also establishing a syncretistic exoteric religion whose principal deity is Serapis with Isis as a consort. There was a great deal of interest in the Egyptian religion(s) throughout the Roman Empire in the first three centuries.

    Now it will be noted that OTL Serapis was a Hellenistic composite of Osiris and the Bull God, Apis. The male clergy of the ATL religion is initiated into Secret Mysteries--which are are about Mithras with the Bull as Serapis. There is a priestess class adoring Isis but they are strictly subordinate to the Mithraist clergy.

    So what I am proposing is a mechanism whereby Mithraism becomes the esoteric upper layer dominating most of the mystery relgions which were competing with Chrisitianity as well as the more traditional pagan religion of Rome. If the OTL Apollonius was not himself merely a fable he was deeply interested in eliminating the grotesque elements from pagan rituals.

    As far as the notion of God becoming Man a la Christianity, Mithras emerging full grown from a rock goes part way. In this OTL version Apollonius might well be viewed as a sort of CoRedeemer with the Bull Slayer and give it a firmer historical element

    Tom
     
  13. Straha Banned

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    even thoguht christianity was easilly adoptable, Hinduism would be a far better slave religion deu to the castes and karma system...
     
  14. Norman Member

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    What if on the border the legions on the border with Germania pass on Mithraism to some of th elocal German Legionnaires, maybe Herman the German decides to adopt it, and then (after his great victory in the Tuetonwald), the religion is widely adopted as a warriors religion.

    Later, sometime around 150 AD, a female component is added to the religion in the East, maybe based on a composite of Isus and Frejya. A Yin-Yang sort of dicotomy is adopted in the religion, and by 320 A.D most of the Germanic tribes have adopted the religion.

    When the Huns move West, the now better disciplined Goths are able to withstand the onslaught, but determine to move West to find more peaceful lands. They approach the Eastern Empire, and while some serve in the Eastern Legions, most determine that the now less tolerant Christianity adopted by the Eastern conflicts with there Mithraism. After a result they move on, but only after they cause a great deal of problems throughout the Adriadic area.

    The Eatern Germans, including the Goths, Vandals and related tribes move up along the border of the Empire, and finally enter into North Italy and What is now Switzerland.

    The now resurgant Huns begin to threaten the Western Christian Empire, but the Goths, seeing no profit in defending Christians, particularly those who are bankrupt, move on, except for a large number who remain in North Italy (as in OTL.)

    However, by now the brand of Mithrism adopted through by ther German tribes includes mysteries that can only be understood in the language of the Goths or other Germans. Since the male aspects of the religion are warrior related, the Goths begin to adopt Latinate locals into their ranks only after the adopt Mithraism and understand the mysteries.

    AS in OTL, the Vandals and then the Goths enter into Spain and Southern France, where within a decade or two, local Christians begin to convert into the faith. Since the rreligion is closely assocoiated with the language, Spanish is never adopted as the language of the rulers, and except for some remnant terms used in farming and husbandry, is soon extinct except for some mountainous areas.

    Meanwhile, in the East Mohamat has begun to preach, and son a desert whirlwind of steel is launched throughout Egypt, Arabia, and Palestine soon fall to the forces of Islam, but they crash against the forces of the Eastern Empire, and temporarily stop, then redirect themselves against the Vandals in North Africa.
     
  15. DominusNovus Humbled by Fate

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    Actually, wouldn't the Christian idea that if you're good (devout), you go directly to heaven be better than the Hindu idea that, if you're good, you move up a step on the caste ladder (and if you're bad, you move a step down)? As I understand Hinduism, basicly, a good begger might be reborn as a merchant, a good merchant might be reborn as a general, a good general might get reborn as a princess, a good princess might get reborn as a prince, who could then go on to whatever comes after this. Meanwhile, Christianity says that if you believe their teachings, you go to heaven. Maybe I'm just lazy, but that seems a better deal to me.
     
  16. DominusNovus Humbled by Fate

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    I thought Spanish came around much later, basicly as a mix of the local romance language (proto-spanish?) and arabic. Could be wrong, of course.
     
  17. tom Member

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    DominusNovus:
    Of course, in Christianity, if you die having just committed one mortal sin after a virtuous life (Catholic) or a few minutes before the missionary (who had a flat tire) arrives to tell you to accept Jesus (Protestantism), you go to a place of everlasting screaming agony, instead of just going down a step and getting a second chance.
     
  18. DominusNovus Humbled by Fate

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    To the first point, thats why they're mortal sins. Its kinda hard to lapse into commiting one. And you can be forgiven for them, but, being the good Catholic that I am, I've forgoten if official Church doctrine says that you need a priest. I'm pretty sure that it doesn't.
    As to the second point, thats one of the reasons I'm Catholic (that and I'm too arrogant to think God would let me be raised in the wrong religion). :D Seriously though, if you've never heard of the religion, of course its not as good as the one that you have heard of.
     
  19. Norman Member

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    With respect to Spanish. I was once told by one of my language teachers that Spanish is Latin as it is spoken in Spain today. Even during the days that Iberia belonged to the Empire there were significant language differences that were certain to multiply.

    Modern Spanis is esssentially Latin with some gothic and Arabic overlays.
     
  20. DuQuense Commisioned Officer CSN

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    IIRC the Major diff between Christianity and Mithrasism has to do with the Sacrifice.
    In Christian doctrine we look at the Sacrifice [IE Christ is the focus]
    In Mithras doctrine we look at the Sacrificer {ie Judas is the focus}
    The Gospel according to Judas, :rolleyes: :rolleyes: whould be full of ?Why Jesus Picked Judas?, :confused: to be the one to sacrifice Him.
    As for Islam IIRC Allah was the God of the Arabs for hundreds of years before Mohammad was kicked out of Mecca for trying to reform the Christians.
    Mohammad simply adapted him for his new religion :D