It is indeed surprising to see Mithras represented in the Middle Ages, as we tend to assume that paganism was forgotten at an early date. Well, some representations of Mithras killing the bull in key locations in Europe prove the opposite. To what extent did medieval masons know about the cult of Mithras?
Here are the best known examples:
* Tauroctony of Monreale
* Tauroctony of Santo Domingo de Silos
* Tauroctony of Aula Gotica.
Teachings of Hamed Khorram Shahgol, researcher of philosophy and ancient sciences.
Margaux Bekas, commissaire de l’exposition ’Le mystère Mitrha. Plongée au cœur d’un culte romain’, présente dans cette vidéo les origines du dieu Mithra.
One hypothesis is that the mythology of the Roman secret society of Mithras was transformed into an esoteric society, still secret, using the Bible as a screen. Let's take an example: a secret password for today's Masonic lodges is 'Shiboleth'. Shiboleth' means 'ears of wheat', i.e. abundance. Is not the tail of the bull of Mithras an ear of wheat? There are probably dozens of passwords like that. So Hebrew became a secret language for the followers of Mithras, who continued the cult after the fall of Rome, in sanctuaries located near springs or spas, at the same time as the cult of Hercules. Many of these places can be found in France, dating from the 7th to the 10th century. Crypts dating from the 8th and 9th centuries can also be found under Romanesque churches (the church at 'Saint Savin sur Gartempe' has a crypt dating from 800 AD, and a church built above it in 1030 AD). This crypt has a clear mithraeum shape. The modern Masonic rites were probably written in the 15th or 16th....
I know the Mithras site (since my childhood) at Carrawburgh and have worked at the APX Xanten (Germany) knowing about the Mitras Altar find down the road in Kalkar.
Batava Auxiliary Units where stationed at Xanten and Kalkar until they where transfered in disgrace (after the Batava uprising 69/70AD) to the Vindolanda area.
I was just checking the connection and if the same Batavian Cohort had maybe built and used the two temples and had maybe brought the cult to the area of north England
I was pleasantly surprised to read thie inscription on the other Altar proving a Betavian connection to Mitras at Carrawburgh and to read that evidence points to the lower Rhein area. Although it must not be forgotten that the Betavas home land was in the area of todays Nijmegen in Holland and directly connected to the Northern Lower Rheinarea of Roman Germania Inferior.
The Altar found at Kalkar (not in situ.) is unfortunately dated after the official exodus of the Batavians although the Temple itself has not been found or excavated and the founding of the temple could possibly of an earlier date!