Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


(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.


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 ?
Gary Goldstein, President of Mithra Research, said, "Our report focuses on several factors that we believe justify our speculative buy rating.
Francois Fornieri, CEO of Mithra, commented on the news: "The filing of Myring for commercial approval in Europe is another key step in bringing this additional contraceptive option to market, and we also look forward to our partner Mayne Pharma seeking approval in the US later this year.
Fuji Pharma and Mithra, or one of its partners, will carry out and equally fund the development of Donesta Phase III in Japanese subjects in the HT indication.
Mithra, founded in 1998, is a domestic market leader in contraceptives for women and generates annual sales of EUR 21 million.
Francois Fornieri, CEO of Mithra, commented: "We are very pleased that the positive results from the FIESTA study with our novel compound Estelle have been published in a well-respected, peer-reviewed journal.
Mithra Pharmaceuticals currently generates 18% of its revenue abroad.
Now they can benefit from sharia compliant financing solution," Mithra said.
Mithra is currently conducting two Phase III trials of Estelle, its combined oral contraceptive (COC) candidate composed of 15mg Estetrol (E4) and 3mg Drospirenone (DRSP), taking place in Europe/Russia and in the US/Canada.
The Bahrain Keraleeya Samajam (BKS) organized a reception in Manama, with the support of Shaikha Noora bint Khalifa Al-Khalifa, to present Pravasi Mithra Award to K.
Yes, death to Vijay's wife -- Mithra had by then married the cop -- and his fun-loving mother, portrayed in her characteristic style by Radhika Sarathakumar.
Among the more than a dozen of these ancient pagan dying and resurrecting god-men were: Osiris in Egypt (around 2000 BCE); Dionysus in Greece (around 1200 BCE); Adonis in Syria (around 600 BCE); Attis in Central Asia Minor (around 1200 BCE); and Mithra in Persia (around 4000 BCE).
Its article on Mithraism is surprisingly honest about Jesus' similarity to earlier Mithra (or Mithras), admitting Mithra's December 25th birth date, as well as ".