Dear Collegue: May I consult You in order to a potsherd on which the word 'leonis' has been graved. It was found without archaeological context in the area of the civilian settlement nearby the fort of Walldürn on the Upper German Limes. I would like to put it into relationship with the 'leo' grade, although definitively this cannot be verified. Could You be so kind to tell me if there are similar graffii on potsherds anywhere in the Roman World. Thank You very much. Sincerely Yours Joachim Neumaier
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...
University Student and active member of the CAF living in the Greater Toronto area.
Richard Gordon suggests the object on the Miles step is a bull’s hindquarter. “In the light of the sacrificial scene on the altar of Flavius Aper (Poetovio), the interpretation as a bull’s hind-quarter rather than shoulder is to be preferred. The scene at Ostia is perfectly in keeping with other evidence suggest- ing that (junior) Mithraic grades fulfilled specific manual tasks within the cult, in the case of Miles, butchery of sacrificial animals.” See: Gordon, R. 2013c. “The Miles-frame in the Mitreo di Felicissimo and the practicalities of sacrifice.” Religio: Revue Pro Religionistiku 21, no.1: 33–38.
A.B. Candidate in Departments of History and Classics at Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)