Mithra


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Mithra

(mĭth`rə), ancient god of Persia and India (where he was called Mitra). Until the 6th cent. B.C., Mithra was apparently a minor figure in the Zoroastrian system. Under the Achaemenids, Mithra became increasingly important, until he appeared in the 5th cent. B.C. as the principal Persian deity, the god of light and wisdom, closely associated with the sun. His cult expanded through the Middle East into Europe and became a worldwide religion, called Mithraism. This was one of the great religions of the Roman Empire, and in the 2d cent. A.D. it was more general than Christianity. Mithraism found widest favor among the Roman legions, for whom Mithra (or Mithras in Latin and Greek) was the ideal divine comrade and fighter. The fundamental aspect of the Mithraic system was the dualistic struggle between the forces of good and evil. Mithra, who gave to his devotees hope of blessed immortality, represented the fearless antagonist of the powers of darkness. The story of Mithra's capture and sacrifice of a sacred bull, from whose body sprang all the beneficent things of the earth, was a central cultic myth. The ethics of Mithraism were rigorous; fasting and continence were strongly prescribed. The rituals, highly secret and restricted to men only, included many of the sacramental forms common to the mystery religions (e.g., baptism and the sacred banquet). Mithraism, which bore many similarities to Christianity, declined rapidly in the late 3d cent. A.D.

Bibliography

See F. Cumont, The Mysteries of Mithra (reissued, 1956) and M. J. Vumaseren, Mithras, the Secret God (1963).

Mithra (Mithras)

god of sunlight. [Persian Myth.: EB, VI: 944–945]
See: Sun
References in periodicals archive ?
On a side of the chariot of Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, stand a thousand bows well-made, with a string of cowgut; they go through the heavenly space, they fall through the heavenly space upon the skulls of the Daevas [4].
Saturnalia was a festival of license, when people drank, feasted, exchanged gifts, and made mischief, while the birthday of Mithra was a festival of light.
Thanks to the deal, Mithra will acquire all rights on estetrol, a natural estrogen with numerous of pharmaceutical applications.
The deadline for submitting nominations across all categories is the 30th of August 2012," said Sathya Mithra Ashok, Senior Editor on CPI Technology.
Those suburbs of Peshawar that faced devastation at the hands of rains and worst floods are Mian Gujar, Jala, Baila, Mamoon Zai and Mithra, where vehicles drive through ditches instead of the linking roads.
Shab-e Yalda marks the eve of the birth of Mithra, the Sun God, who symbolizes light, goodness and strength.
The wise Parthian magus also accepted what had been whispered about for some time: that the name Mithras or Mithra was formed by the joining of Mut, the Mother of all Mothers, and Ra, the Egyptian Sun God, for according to the ancient belief of his people, Mithras is both male and female in nature.
zoo's giraffes, Mithra, rear, Franny and Samburu, front, take their first steps outside in their enclosed yard Tuesday after spending the winter indoors.
LEAGUE CITY, Texas -- ERF Wireless (OTCBB:ERFW), a leading provider of enterprise-class wireless broadband products and services, announced today that Mithra Research, a New York-based independent research company, has issued an initial research report on ERF Wireless with a speculative buy rating and an 18-month price target of $1.
Tenders are invited for laying of cc road and cc drain at sanga mithra colony ngo s colony in w.
On May 12, 2015, Mithra Forensic Research published a report on Vipshop (the "Mithra Report") asserting, among other things, that: (1) forensic models suggest Vipshop manipulated sales, receivables, profit and other asset accounts; and (2) Vipshop's financial statements have been contradicted by management's own disclosures in several instances.