It does if you want to use it as evidence! That's how it works, mate. Anyone can decide anything "means" something. For it to REALLY mean something, there has to be evidence.
No, an artistic depiction does not need to say anything in text to be used as evidence. That is not how artistic evidence works, as historian Elizabeth Vandiver shall explain later down below.
By the way, how many scholars agree with you that the Zodiac means disciples in the cult of Mithras?
That "Zodiac means
disciples"? I hope none, since in those lists of synonyms for "disciple" I referred to earlier, I never saw the word "Zodiac" listed.
However, that the signs of the Zodiac are followers(since you go on to concede that disciples and followers are synonyms) of Mithras, who is the sun? Well, I should think any who deduce that the twelve disciples of Jesus are representative of the Zodiac, would likewise deduce the correlation to Mithras when he is being followed by the signs of the Zodiac to the tauroctony on the depictions like that one posted above. Robert Price of course comes to mind.
It shows Mithras, surrounded by the zodiac, beneath the Sun and the Moon. As he kills the bull, the dog and the snake jump up to lick the blood, and the scorpion grabs its balls.
Another fact which has never been denied.
It's a standard scene but it doesn't show disciples!
Again, that's like arguing that this doesn't show disciples, it just shows sailors. Your argument here is a pigeon hole fallacy.
This is not an answer. Stick to the subject.
Of course it's not an answer, because the comment of yours in quotation to which it was replying is not a question.
One should expect you to know that since you wrote it.
But no matter. My analogy was on subject, as it exposes the flaw in your logic. So your reply here serves as nothing more than a hand wave dismissal.
I don't think that is a colloquial use of the term, but, friend, why not just say "follower" then? In which case, which ancient text describes Mithras as having 12 followers? It's the same question, you know.
You can't answer that question either, you know.
I did answer already, I told you I agreed with you when you said no ancient text
recorded Mithras as having 12 disciples. Maybe you just forgot that, I don't know, or maybe you're just phishing for a simplified "ain't none" to quote mine. But I stand by what I said, he IS depicted visually with 12 followers in the artwork, as previously shown, and I stand by what I correctly stated, that the artwork is more than sufficient even in the absence of a written text, and I will expound upon this further down below.
Indeed I did. I'm sorry you misread my comment as being a change, rather than an abbreviation.
There was no misreading, I asked you outright to clarify what you meant by the change, "So what do you include in your definition of "someone"? Will this mean that you are now willing to accept non-human and non male entities as sufficient parallels to the disciples?"
So now I ask, since you consider your exchange to "someone" to be an "abbreviation" rather than a change, then do you still hold to the same criteria for "disciple", i.e., "a man standing on earth" as opposed to the broader, generic definition typically associated with the word "someone".
But if you can't read what I write without misunderstanding, when you and I live in similar cultures, why on earth should we suppose you can "read" a picture which comes without a key which is 2,000 years old?
This was addressed above. It was not misunderstanding, it was pressing you to clarify your change, or rather, now, your abbreviation, as you prefer.
Incidentally your bible-obsession is tedious, albeit rather revealing to those of us of a cynical frame of mind. Stick to the subject.
You keep demanding to stay on subject, when I have been very fair in keeping to the subject. There's been no attempt to hijack the dialogue off of Mithras and the disciples. Every subpoint has a purpose in either expounding upon my relevant points or to get you to clarify yours.
You played with the word disciples by trying to add criteria to it's definition that I have never seen anywhere else until you wrote it, i.e., "a man who stands on earth". So go preach to the mirror.
Nor does abuse. Evidence, please.
With your repeated demands to stay on topic, bringing up false accusations of abuse does nothing but go off topic. Hardly any abuse in the comment you censored.
You literally did play with the word disciple. You literally added criteria to it which I have never seen anywhere else. I've never come across a definition, dictionary or otherwise, that included the criteria of "man standing on earth".
This is simple fact.
Did you not like the "preach to the mirror" comment? I guess that goes without saying, but in all seriousness though, do you really think that constitutes abuse, or were you just reflecting the humor?
Agreed. Texts would be obsolete here anyway since the above depictions are more than sufficient to demonstrate this.
Not when you want to use them as evidence.
Sure they are. Artistic depictions are sufficient to use as evidence. To quote Professor Elizabeth Vandiver in her lectures for The Teaching Company-
"And this is the kind of thing we have to guard against. Often we have only one version of a myth. We have to remember there probably were others.
...Occasionally a work of art preserves what is clearly a very different version from the only ones known to us by literature.
There's a beautiful classical Greek painting, vase painting, of a character who is quite clearly Jason, Jason who got the golden fleece, after his voyage on the Argo.
The golden fleece is there on a tree behind Jason, the tree is guarded by a dragon. All of those elements point to the fact that this is very clearly Jason, and yet, in this painting, the dragon is either swallowing Jason, or spitting him back out again. Jason is halfway out of the dragon's mouth. His arms and head are visible outside the dragon's mouth.In no written version
of Jason's story that has survived for us, does the dragon eat Jason, or attempt to eat Jason. The whole point is that Jason is helped by Medea, who gives him magic potion so that he can overcome the dragon without being eaten. If this case painting had not survived, we would not know that there had ever been a variant in which Jason was eaten by the dragon. Because we have the painting, we know this variant existed, but that's all we know about it. We have no written description of that version
of Jason's story."
So yes, artwork of myths are sufficient as evidence.
Even in the absence of written texts, and even if in contradiction
to extant written texts.
Erm, Mithras was born from a rock. And yes, the ancient texts DO say that. That's why we understand what the images mean of him half-buried in a rock, which show him holding a flame and a dagger.
Erm, no one disputed that Mithras was born from a rock. Fact still remains, Mithras was born from an egg. Or do you not accept that there existed variants within myths? Yes, the ancient depictions DO show this. That's why I understand what the image means of him being hatched from an egg, even though no written text states that he was(which was the point- written texts, while valuable, ain't always necessary, as explained earlier by Elizabeth Vandiver):
But this, again, seems to be a change of subject.
While my point on the egg merely served as an analogy, the point of which was definitely relevant to the discussion, you have literally changed the subject here by trying to argue something that was never argued or brought up at all in any manner, analogy or not, i.e., Mithras birth from a rock.
Produce your evidence from an ancient source that the zodiac = disciples/followers in the cult of Mithras.
Done and done, as already posted above-
Disciple also means follower, right there you see those twelve folks representing the Zodiac followed Mithras to the tauroctony. Clear as day, no ambiguity about it.
Just as many of our geocentrist ancestors considered the stars(which thus includes the zodiacal constellations) to be followers of the sun across the sky as the night followed the day.
So, with your request having been answered, I can now go back and address the edits you made to your previous post after I had already replied to it.
I think your argument is this -- The bible uses stars to represent people. Therefore when the zodiac surrounds Mithras, this must mean people. Since Revelation might refer to 12 disciples (or 12 tribes), then this proves that Mithras had 12 disciples (or 12 tribes, I presume, although you don't say so).
No. This was not the argument, the argument was displaying how your previous posts were engaging in special pleading.
The remainder of your comment seems a bit strange to me, and I'm not sure I follow the logic. Certainly the bible uses the imagery of stars for things. But ... why do we care? How is this relevant to Mithras?
It was relevant to pointing out your special pleading.
Are you suggesting that everyone everywhere uses the same symbols and imagery for the same things?
No, again, all of those examples were brought up because they demonstrated the double standard that is used in arguing against correlations between the zodiac and disciples and Mithras.
No, it is not "suggesting that everyone everywhere uses the same symbols and imagery for the same things", as I even said, the twelve pillars set up by Moses clearly represented the twelve tribes of Israel, not the zodiac.
What my point was, as was clarified by later statements in my post, if "it is okay for the bible itself to use non-human figures as a parallel to the apostles and tribes, why is it any less acceptable to draw the same parallel to other non-human figures found outside of the bible?"
So I don't see why this tells us that the worshippers of Mithras must have meant "disciples" when they display the zodiac. Why doesn't it simply mean the zodiac?
"Simply"- again with the pigeon holing. Seems like you want to keep setting up a dichotomy between the figures of the Zodiac and anything that would constitute followers/disciples.
And again, your argument only works through special pleading, because that same question can be asked in regards to the bible.
Why don't the twelve stars of Rev 12:1 simply mean twelve stars?
Why don't the twelve loaves in the temple simply mean twelve loaves of bread, and not some typology to the twelve tribes, or even worse, to the twelve signs of the zodiac as Josephus claimed.
Why doesn't the passover lamb just mean the passover lamb, eaten to celebrate the Exodus? Why do the New Testament authors conclude Christ was some typology of that?
Because of obvious correlations.
It was just Occam's razor.
And so it is for Mithras and the Zodiac. The correlation between that and the twelve disciples of Christ or the Twelve Olympians of the Greeks, or the twelve Adityas of Hinduism, etc., etc. is obvious.
In like manner Clement of Alexandria noted the correlation between the 12 days of death for Zoroaster and the twelve labors of Hercules and the twelve signs of the Zodiac. Someone should have asked Clement why the 12 days don't simply mean 12 days, and the twelve labors simply mean twelve labors and the zodiac simply mean the zodiac.
You can't produce evidence for the claim that "Mithras had 12 disciples". Even your own argument shows that the statement should read "Mithras had 12 disciples (or possibly tribes)". And you might want to think whether that argument works at all.
And now it seems we come to the root of the disagreement. It really is just semantics. It appears as though you just want Christianity to maintain its exclusive rights to the descriptive word "disciples" as it has since before the dark ages.
So one has to wonder, if you were to be humored, and the word "disciple" was dropped when pointing out this correlation of the "twelve" motif, if you would be satisfied.
As I said several posts ago, you missed the point from the beginning, that the point was the correlation of the groups of twelve, and that you were getting too hung up on the usage of the word disciple.
BTW, from here on out, I'll only be checking in on the discussion once a day, so forgive me if the pace of this drags out and slows to a crawl. But we've all just got stuff to do, as I'm sure a busy fellow such as yourself can understand.