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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:10 pm 
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Thor

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Mriana wrote:
Roger, not even JC was historical.


Please ... can we focus? We're examining one four-word claim, "Mithras had 12 disciples". I don't care whether Christ was crucified or shot in a craps game -- it's irrelevant. Mithras and 12 disciples, please.

All the best,

Roger Pearse


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:11 pm 
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Freethinkaluva22 wrote:
Roger, please explain why this connection between the 12 zodiac signs and the 12 disciples bother you so drastically?


A little manipulative there, surely? Play the ball, not the man, hmm.

That aside, this does not seem to relate to anything I have written? I'm discussing whether the claim "Mithras had 12 disciples" is found in the ancient evidence or not. I'm being met with the further claim "zodiac signs are disciples in the Mithraic mythos". And I'm asking for evidence, and getting none.

Pardon me if my refusal to be sidetracked irritates you. I actually simply picked the claim because (a) it was obviously rubbish and more importantly (b) it was the first one in the list. The OP asked for people to do it over, you recall? I find that any investigation has to start with simple tests for factual accuracy, before any theory can be evaluated.

Quote:
[
Is it just the word "disciple" you have a problem with or are you afraid that this one point would completely dismantle Christianity?


I think you project your own religious fears onto me! Don't do that. There's no religious issue here. I'm not concerned about whether Christianity is true or not, something clearly of desperate importance to some posters in this thread, although I can't imagine why -- did you all get humiliated at Sunday school or something? I, you see, did not go to Sunday school <smug>.

No, I'm evaluating what is supposed to be a factual claim about Mithras. We should be able to do that without opinion coming into it.

Quote:
We don't really care about the word "disciple" that much since other words like companions, friends, guides, satellites and apostles work too - the CONCEPT is still there.


Hey, the choice of word is not mine; it's the claim made on the link in the OP. If you would care to change that claim to some other words, we can evaluate that in the same old way -- by looking at the sources.

If the link had said "Mithras is surrounded by the zodiac in reliefs" it would be true. If it said "Mithras is pictured surrounded by the zodiac. In Christian texts the zodiac is sometimes associated with the 12 apostles", with references to both sentences to the primary sources, that would be true.

Quote:
Roger would the word "guide" work better for you?


Again, the choice of words is not mine, you know? All I'm doing is comparing the claim in the original link against the evidence. Critical evaluation of something that is supposed to be a claim of fact, not of faith, you know? The OP did invite this.

Why is this claim so important to *you*? It's only one of the many claims made, yet people have fought tooth and nail for it. It's important to me only that I object to people poisoning the hive-mind with material which the unwary are liable to believe is open-and-shut factual but is in fact not -- without any dodging -- to be found in the sources. Don't YOU want the raw facts right? I know I do. Opinion is another matter.

But if the claim is "Mithras had 12 guides"... erm, are you sure that's the claim you want to make? And ... you know what I'm going to ask ... can you evidence it? I don't think it will fly.

I'm not doing anything complicated here. I'm just comparing every claim made on this limited issue against the data. What the significance of the claim is, if true, is not my concern. First check the facts; theory later.

You know, this is a dead parrot we have here. The actual claim made -- that "Mithras had 12 disciples" is wrong, and everyone can see it. The attempts to get around this very simple fact don't do the theory any credit. It doesn't do to make such a plain, clear claim, and then take refuge in possible meanings of the zodiac, which themselves don't seem to have any basis in the evidence about Mithras either. Really it doesn't. So unless this belief is of key religious importance to you, I should dump it.

All the best,

Roger Pearse


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:27 pm 
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GodAlmighty wrote:
@Free, it is also worth noting that in many Mithraeums, we can tell from the layout that during the initiation ceremonies, there would be 12 initiates positioned around the new inductee.

For instance, in a Mithraeum at Ostia, we see seven arches or semi-circles down the center isle, obviously representing the seven levels of initiation. But also, we see set up on either side of the isle, the twelve signs of the zodiac, where also would be positioned twelve previous initiates, while the new inductees pass through the rituals in the center.
Theoi Megaloi: the cult of the great gods at Samothrace, Volume 96 By Susan Guettel Cole


I have just seen this post, and wonder whether this is the post that was referred to as "evidence" for the association of the zodiac wth "disciples/followers"? I need to read the link accordingly, which I have no time to do now. But ... I don't see immediately how this relates?

Quote:
And at Carrawburgh, there is a Mithraeum which, after going through the fourier and into the actual sanctuary, we see a similar pattern of eleven pillars set up, four on either side of the isle, each with it's own statue and water basin, obviously for the cleansing rituals, or baptism, if your prefer. And at the end there are three larger pillars depicting Mithras in the center flanked by Sol and Luna.

So during the ritual you would see eleven previous initiates surrounding the new inductee as he went through the ritual, himself, it may be said, would be the twelfth.


This seems to be speculation, tho -- what source says so?

Quote:
A similar set up was described by Celsus, in which there were eleven circles, ten individual circles surrounding one large eleventh circle which connected them all. The implication likewise being that there would be eleven initiates positioned in the circles conducting the rituals, and the new inductee being the twelfth.


Ditto.

I'm not being captious. I'm merely very resistant to inference in place of data.

Quote:
This is likewise similar to a smaller Mithraeum in the Palazzo dei Musei, in which there was evidently not enough room for a full layout, just some benches, and so the layout was depicted on the wall, and it was ring of twelve circles surrounded by a square.
If the previous Mithraeums are any indication, then it would seem that this is also the positioning of where the initiates should be on the floor during the ritual, in which case we have twelve.


I haven't seen anything that associates these features -- sources for them? -- with initiates, tho.

Quote:
And given that one of them in Ostia depicts the signs of the Zodiac signs on the floor where the initiates should be, the initiates are clearly representing those Zodiac signs.


The bit linking stuff on the floor with initiates is not present in this post, tho.

Quote:
So then, I suppose my question to folks like Roger would be, would you not consider initiates to be disciples?


I would call initiates "initiates", myself. But if we said "Mithras had 12 initiates" -- would what you have just written justify that? I don't think it would. Mithras would surely have rather more than just 12? The statement isn't true as it stands. If we say "well he had 12 special ones" then we have to ask "how do we know"?

Quote:
I mean, it seems to me that they would fit every definition thus far given in the exchange. They would clearly consider themselves to be followers of Mithras, much like how Christians consider themselves followers and disciples of Jesus.


Presumably so (my hesitation is that I am not sure how we know what initiates think, and we must beware of anachronism).

Quote:
And a Mithraic initiate would quite literally be "a man who stands on earth and gets taught by another man", which Roger listed as his criteria for a disciple.


I think so. Although (scepticism kicking in) ... is teaching important in Mithras? Do we know this? How? Surely ritual is more important than belief?

Quote:
Well, since an initiate fits both our definitions of a disciple, and at some of the Mithraeums, there where 12 of these "dicsiples" of Mithras portraying the twelve signs of the Zodiac... I mean, how much clearer does it need to get?


General principle: there have to be explicit links between a and b before we state a=b.

Quote:
Sure, an outright explicit statement in text stating "Mithras had twelve disciples" would be valuable and useful, but as I said, it's not necessary.


I don't agree, actually. There is a world of difference between "we infer that this, then this, then this" and "this is what the data says". Confusing data and deduction is the root of all bad scholarship.

Quote:
We have Mithras identified with the sun, which geocentrists believed was followed by the stars.
We have the depictions of Mithras followed by the twelve signs of the Zodiac to the tauroctony.
We have the intitiates of Mithras, who fit the bill for "disciples".
And we have the Mithraeum clearly indicating that these "disciples" represent the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

Mithras had twelve disciples.


No ....

Quote:
(Note: before ludicrous objections are made, to the effect of "well if you're counting initiates as disciples, well, there were a hell of a lot more than just twelve back in the day", it must be remembered that Jesus ...


Jesus is irrelevant, tho. We're assessing a statement that has no qualifications; just that "Mithras had 12 disciples".

All the best,

Roger Pearse


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:40 pm 
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PS: The book linked is clearly an extremely interesting text, on the excavations of the shrine at Samothrace presumably used for the Samothracian mysteries. Annoyingly it has that American habit on not placing the footnotes at the bottom of the page, so we can't evaluate what is said. I've already seen from the preview, tho, that apparently we know very little from the literary sources, which are contradictory. I also see at the start of chapter three various statements which appear to be speculative.

The Samothracian mysteries are something about which I know nothing. Here's a link which seems useful on the cult of the Cabeiri, which is stuffed full of references to the sources (most of which are online).

This is really very interesting all for itself, although I haven't yet seen anything that is relevant to the issues in this thread.

All the best,

Roger Pearse
UPDATE: the Theoi link actually has the sources at the bottom!
UPDATE2: Hippolytus mentions the mysteries here. Apparently Varro does also, although I don't have a reference. p.30 "the lists of epoptai at Samothrace are few and reveal nothing of the ritual" (of initiation into the second stage).
UPDATE3: Hmm. "Bartoletti's reconstruction" (of how an Egyptian papyrus for an unidentified mystery cult should be interpreted as evidence for the Samothracian mysteries conducted in the Hieron there) " is based on the assumption that the initiate stood on something like this floor" (the mosaic floor of the Ostia Mithraeum depicting a zodiac and seven circles for the seven planets) "when he uttered his oath [e)pi\ (?) tou~] diaqe/matoj.246" (emphasis mine). All this is relating to evidence of an oath of silence and attempting to determine where it was uttered.

So there's no evidence here that initiates stood on particular features of the floor of a Mithraeum. Indeed if they did, considering that most Mithraea do not have the spectacular floor of the Ostia Mithraeum, there would be very few initiates indeed!

Interesting book, tho.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:47 pm 
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roger_pearse wrote:
Mriana wrote:
Roger, not even JC was historical.


Please ... can we focus? We're examining one four-word claim, "Mithras had 12 disciples". I don't care whether Christ was crucified or shot in a craps game -- it's irrelevant. Mithras and 12 disciples, please.

All the best,

Roger Pearse


I was focusing. The point is, you are not going to find historical anything for either one, except for the text and the fact people worshiped them. That is all you will find. The 12 disciples were nothing but symbolism in both myths.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:50 pm 
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Roger, nothing to say about this quote? You certainly cannot continue claiming that we're just making it all up, can you?

We are certainly not the first to point out that the 12 signs of the zodiac are akin to the 12 disciples of Jesus. In fact, it's been around since the beginning:
Quote:
* fn 1) In his Against Heresies (2.21), Church father Irenaeus objects to the Gnostic notion that the 12 apostles symbolized the “aeons,” which have been asserted to represent the zodiacal signs. (Legge, II, 152.) Apparently, this association occurred fairly early in Christian history, as Church father Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-c. 211) wrote in his work Excerpta ex Theodota (1.25.2) that, according to the Valentinian Gnostics, “the apostles replaced the signs of the zodiac, for as birth is governed by them, so rebirth is directed by the apostles.”

- Christ in Egypt, page 262

So, it appears that this concept of the 12 disciples of Jesus being akin to the 12 signs of the zodiac has been going on since at least the 2nd century.

roger_pearse wrote:
You have, indeed, done nothing else for some time now. But what you do not do, ever, is explain just why you believe that, if some image is associated with one cult, it 'must' have the same meaning in another. I have asked this several times now. Until you deal with it, all your comments about Jesus and Christian imagery are irrelevant.

That was dealt with long ago it's called syncretism and you already know that.
Quote:
"The call for primary sources also serves to remind us that Christians went on a censorship rampage and destroyed as much evidence as they could in the name of “piety,” ravaging Pagan temples, murdering their priests, burning libraries and torturing and slaughtering nonbelievers and believers alike by the millions."

- Christin Egypt, page 4-5

Here is a precedent for understanding the 12 as anthropomorphized "friends" in a "Hymn to Mithra":
Quote:
"...Whose eight friends52 sit as spies for Mithra, on all the heights, at all the watching-places, observing the man who lies unto Mithra, looking at those, remembering those who have lied unto Mithra, but guarding the ways of those whose life is sought by men who lie unto Mithra, and, verily, by the fiendish killers of faithful men."

* fn 52) "The number eight has probably an astronomical signification, each of the eight râtis of Mithra occupying one of the eight points of the compass. "

roger_pearse wrote:
This is the Avesta, and has no relevance to Mithras -- this is Persian Mitra. But I don't see how this helps your case: are there eight followers? Or twelve?"

Well Roger, your very own website article on Mithras states:
Quote:
Zenobius the Sophist

Evander said that the gods who rule over everything are eight: Fire, Water, Earth, Heaven, Moon, Sun, Mithras, Night.

Clauss p.70 n.84 also mentions literary evidence of syncretism of Mithras with the Orphic creator-god Phanes (no citation). This refers to a similar list from Iranian sources appearing in Theon of Smyrna's Exposition of mathematical ideas useful for reading Plato, ch. 47 (from Exposition des connaissances mathematiques utiles pour la lecture de platon, J. Dupuis in 1892, p.173):

47. The number eight which is the first cube composed of unity and seven. Some say that there are eight gods who are masters of the universe, and this is also what we see in the sayings of Orpheus:

By the creators of things ever immortal,
Fire and water, earth and heaven, moon,
And sun, the great Phanes and the dark night.

And Evander reports that in Egypt may be found on a column an inscription of King Saturn and Queen Rhea: “The most ancient of all, King Osiris, to the immortal gods, to the spirit, to heaven and earth, to night and day, to the father of all that is and all that will be, and to Love, souvenir of the magificence of his life.” Timotheus also reports the proverb, “Eight is all, because the spheres of the world which rotate around the earth are eight.” And, as Erastothenes says,

“These eight spheres harmonise together in making their revolutions around the earth.”

The real basis for identification of Mithras and Phanes is some inscriptions."

Manfred CLAUSS, The Roman Cult of Mithras: The God and his Mysteries. Edinburgh University Press (2000). Tr. Richard GORDON.

Franz CUMONT, The Mysteries of Mithra. London: Kegan Paul (1910). Tr. Thomas J. McCORMACK from the second French edition.

See also a collection of quotes at http://www.thedyinggod.com/magi.htm

Now, where have I heard this before? OH, right:

These 8 points of the compass or 8 spoked sunwheel are precisely what is laid out at St. Peter's Square with an Egyptian obelisk serving as the gnomon of a sundial in the center. These 8 points are the solstices, equinoxes and cross-quarters.
Quote:
"Christian structures were built upon the ruins of the Pagan temples, such as in the case of the Vatican, which was founded upon the remains of a complex dedicated to the sun god Mithra..."

- Christin Egypt, page 4-5


Image

Image

So Roger, the 8 points are the solstices, equinoxes and cross-quarters, which is the sunwheel; the 12 is for the zodiac.

Image

Also from your own website article on Sol Invictus - the imperial sun cult:
Quote:
"And because, so they say, the active gods help, I shall first invoke them, not the Muses, like Homer and Ennius, but the twelve gods together; nor however the urban deities, whose golden images stand in the forum, six male and as many female, but those 12 gods who are the guides of the farmers. First, Jove and Tellus, who sustain every fruit of the cultivation of the fields in heaven and earth: and so, because like parents, they call them great, Jupiter is called father, Tellus mother earth. Secondly the Sun and the Moon, from whom time is observed, whenever anything is planted or started. Thirdly Ceres..."

- Marcus Terentius Varro, (116 - ca.26 BC), De re rustica, Book 1, 1:5

"...but those 12 gods who are the guides of the farmers" - sounds a like a reference to the zodiac to me. Farmers certainly needed to pay attention to the cycle of the year for proper planting and harvest times as an obvious example.

roger_pearse wrote:
"Occam's razor says that a depiction of Mithras surrounded by the zodiac is a picture of Mithras surrounded by the zodiac, and nothing else."

Roger, once more according to your own website article on Mithras it appears that the signs of the zodiac are far more than just some irrelevant signs of a zodiac:
Quote:
"...And he who is initiated in the Leontic mysteries, is invested with all-various forms of animals*; of which particulars, Pallas, in his treatise concerning Mithra, assigning the cause, says, that it is the common opinion that these things are to be referred to the circle of the zodiac, but that truly and accurately speaking, they obscurely signify some thing pertaining to human souls, which, according to the Persians, are invested with bodies of all-various forms. For the Latins also, says Eubulus, call some men, in their tongue, boars and scorpions, lizards, and blackbirds. After the same manner likewise the Persians denominate the Gods the demiurgic causes of these: for they call Diana a she-wolf; but the sun, a bull, a lion, a dragon, and a hawk; and Hecate, a horse, a bull, a lioness, and a dog." (Book 4, ch. 16)

- Porphyry, De Abstinentia. 4.16.3 (136)

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:03 am 
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Thor

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Freethinkaluva22 wrote:
Roger, nothing to say about this quote? You certainly cannot continue claiming that we're just making it all up, can you?

We are certainly not the first to point out that the 12 signs of the zodiac are akin to the 12 disciples of Jesus... <snip>


I could see nothing in this post which consisted of evidence that "Mithras had 12 disciples" or "the zodiac always means disciples in every cult" tho.

All the best,

Roger Pearse


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:55 am 
roger_pearse wrote:
I could see nothing in this post which consisted of evidence that "Mithras had 12 disciples" or "the zodiac always means disciples in every cult" tho.

All the best,

Roger Pearse


I believe this picture is very illustrative of Roger Pearse's argument as every single post he has made can be dwindled down to the strawman fallacy.

Image

So pearse, are you going to continue to attack a strawman or are you actually going to address the argument?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:35 am 
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roger_pearse wrote:
GodAlmighty wrote:
Quote:
Sorry if I was unclear. No evidence that the signs of the zodiac symbolise followers in the mythos of Mithras has been presented.


You are wrong, yes it has, you have simply ignored it... go back and read it<snip>


Oh dear. Well, I started to look, couldn't find anything immediately -- that is a very vague "reference" to your own posts -- and then I thought "why I am running around looking for wherever you vaguely claim your 'evidence' was posted?"


Roger, it wasn't vaguely referenced, I explicitly stated "I presented it just three posts ago", and this bit of info was incidentally part of what you removed when you quoted that post. "Three" is very specific, hardly vague at all. I understand you're a very busy man, but it's beginning to seem like you're in too much of a hurry and it's affecting the quality/credibility of your posts. You already admit to what I can only deduce as impatience when you state "couldn't find anything immediately", and then you show yourself guilty of overlooking simple instruction. I mean, the fact that the "three posts ago" bit was right there yet removed when you quoted shows to me that you must have seen it since you manually removed it.
Just slow down a bit, take your time, all the time you need. Because when you say things like this, it makes it all the harder to take your replies seriously, and by that I mean, I'm always going to be wondering "did he say this because of X or because he just didn't see what I wrote the first time?" Know what I mean?
This isn't the type of forum where we're gonna scream victory if you don't reply every 12 hours, "we dun rund oft that coward!". This isn't a contest, just exercise some Proverbs, hear all that is said, think upon the matter, and give a well thought out response.
If you don't have the time for that, then just come back later when you do.

Quote:
No, I'm afraid that you need to produce whatever you believe is evidence -- not merely a theory -- where I can see it, if you want my response. NB: Real evidence of historical events can be presented in a line, in my experience.


I think this is addressed above, since it comes from a flawed premise, i.e., not reading my post thoroughly, just skimming hastily.
Plus it appears that in the next page you realized as much since you eventually found the post being referenced(there it was, a mere three posts up from the last, as I said) and had plenty to say about it.

Quote:
You perhaps forget that some of us know all the primary sources?


Roger, all due respect, but this isn't you, or at the very least, it wasn't you as per Saturday, and I say this because your comment bringing up the rock birth of Mithras in reply to me bringing up the egg birth could only lead me to conclude that you were ignorant of that primary source that depicts him born from the egg.
I mean, the only other conclusion I can come to and give you the benefit of the doubt is that you were aware of it, but in haste, it simply slipped your mind.
Otherwise, if it's not either of those, then am I to deduce that you were aware of that, but were simply trying to make it appear as though you weren't?

Or, is it that you are defining "primary sources" as exclusive to just written texts and not including artistic depictions? In which case, I can, possibly, agree with your statement in itself, although I would not agree with that definition.

Quote:
There's not a lot of point in beating around the bush. Either it is in it, or it isn't. And it isn't.


Again, I think this is already addressed above, as I think this is coming from the same premise, i.e. the hastiness that resulted in missing what I had written.


I see you've left a "mouthful" on the next page. I need some sleep right now before responding to all of that, so I'll check back in and reply later.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:32 am 
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Thanks for your note. It seemed to be mostly about me, rather than Mithras, so I don't have that much to say in response.

GodAlmighty wrote:
roger_pearse wrote:
GodAlmighty wrote:
"Sorry if I was unclear. No evidence that the signs of the zodiac symbolise followers in the mythos of Mithras has been presented."

You are wrong, yes it has, you have simply ignored it... go back and read it<snip>


Oh dear. Well, I started to look, couldn't find anything immediately -- that is a very vague "reference" to your own posts -- and then I thought "why I am running around looking for wherever you vaguely claim your 'evidence' was posted?"


Roger, it wasn't vaguely referenced, I explicitly stated "I presented it just three posts ago" ...


I thought your reference was too vague because ... I couldn't find your post. I stumbled on it later by accident.

Quote:
you removed when you quoted that post. I understand you're a very busy man, but it's beginning to seem like you're in too much of a hurry and it's affecting the quality/credibility of your posts. You already admit to what I can only deduce as impatience when you state "couldn't find anything immediately", and then you show yourself guilty of overlooking simple instruction. I mean, the (etc, endlessly)


Personal remarks about me don't seem that relevant to the issue of whether there is any evidence that "Mithras had 12 disciples", tho.

All the best,

Roger Pearse


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:02 pm 
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Quote:
Personal remarks about me don't seem that relevant to the issue of whether there is any evidence that "Mithras had 12 disciples", tho.

Roger, did you even read all of that post?

And of course it wasn't relevant to the issues if Mithras, hence I said I would come back to that and reply to you later. That post was addressing something off-topic, yet something that I felt needed to be addressed for this discussion to continue productively.

I was trying to offer what I thought was something helpful. Did you not see it that way? Or would you prefer I start a separate thread to discuss such things so as not to go "off topic" within a thread? Or a PM perhaps? Will you read a PM if I send it to you, and read within it's context and not reply with a "that's not about Mithras"?

I would have just sent this by a PM, but I'm not sure if you'd even see it at all if sent that way. At least here you might see it, even if you don't actually read it.

Anyway, as far as personal remarks, is that really how you're taking this? So being a busy person resulting in hasty reading is, what, an insult or personal attack? Is this how you feel? or more to the point, do you disagree that you read in haste, inspite of your own admissions that indicate you do so?

These aren't rhetorical questions, by the way. In fact, most of the questions I've asked throughout our exchange have not been rhetorical.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:10 pm 
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GodAlmighty wrote:
Quote:
Personal remarks about me don't seem that relevant to the issue of whether there is any evidence that "Mithras had 12 disciples", tho.

Roger, did you even read all of that post? And of course it wasn't relevant to the issues of Mithras...


No, I didn't think so. Stick to the subject, hmm?

All the best,

Roger Pearse


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:22 pm 
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Alright, that's it, f u c k this shit.


roger_pearse wrote:
GodAlmighty wrote:
Quote:
Personal remarks about me don't seem that relevant to the issue of whether there is any evidence that "Mithras had 12 disciples", tho.

Roger, did you even read all of that post? And of course it wasn't relevant to the issues of Mithras...


No, I didn't think so. Stick to the subject, hmm?

All the best,

Roger Pearse

...aaaand with that you have now confirmed they you are indeed just phishing for quote mines, not actually reading a god damn thing, just hastily skimming and scanning for consolidated "ain't this, ain't that" statements to rip out of context. And with that, you have proven you can no longer be taken seriously, and that you never should have been in the first place. You proved you do not read posts, not even ones that are only trying to help you by offering constructive advice.
This confirms that your little snip & snide comment censoring is just a defense mechanism to avoid having to deal with reality. In particular here, the reality that you are wrong and that Mithras had 12 disciples.
I tried to be civil and diplomatic and reach out to you and help you, but you only ever monotonously reply "stick to the subject", and so I shall, just as I consistently have throughout this exhange. So get ready to be pwned for the unpteenth and final time.
roger_pearse wrote:
I have just seen this post, and wonder whether this is the post that was referred to as "evidence" for the association of the zodiac wth "disciples/followers"? I need to read the link accordingly, which I have no time to do now. But ... I don't see immediately how this relates?
...
This seems to be speculation, tho -- what source says so?

I see that in your following post of 'updates', you verify that you have read the link since posting this, so there should be no more need to address this. You know which source says so- the book I linked.

roger_pearse wrote:
GodAlmighty wrote:
Quote:
A similar set up was described by Celsus, in which there were eleven circles, ten individual circles surrounding one large eleventh circle which connected them all. The implication likewise being that there would be eleven initiates positioned in the circles conducting the rituals, and the new inductee being the twelfth.

Ditto.
I'm not being captious. I'm merely very resistant to inference in place of data.


I take it the ditto is in reference to the highlighted "implication". Implications are justifiable in light of corroborative evidence, abstract reasoning has it's place, especially in reconstructing history, in which we almost never have all or even most of the pieces of the puzzle. The corroborative evidence to which I refer, of course being the observed similarity between what Celsus described and the Carrawburgh mithraeum and in turn it's correlation to the Ostia temple cited earlier, in which the linked source described the placement of the initiates in accordance with the Zodiac. This corroborates with Godwin's "Mystery religions in the Ancient World", page 24, which says that during the rituals that twelve initiates dressed up as the twelve signs of the zodiac would dance in a circle around the new initiate in the center representing Mithras himself. And to further corroborate with it, Cumont wrote on page 153 of The Mysteries of Mithras that "These sacred masks... were interpreted by pagan theologians as an allusion to the signs of the Zodiac".
So that's at least two sources which are explicit, corroborating with implicit sources I listed, that being, the other Mithraeums and their layout.
And your claim to being resistant to inference in place of data is inapplicable here, as I have used deduction in corroboration with data. And moreover, across the web I have seen you previously use inference in the absence of data yourself. For instance, in regards to the doctrine of the trinity, which relies on nothing BUT inference, since 1 John 5:7 is a proven later interpolation. I quote-
Quote:
The formula of the Trinity -- or at least the terminology -- was originated by Tertullian and set out in Adversus Praxean. I don't think we need spend any time on the idea that Tertullian introduced something of pagan origin. He states that the teaching is apostolic.

The New Testament makes the following statements:

1. There is only one God, the Father.
2. Jesus is God (worshipped, etc).
3. Jesus is not the Father.

From that, some formulation like the Trinity was inevitable, I suspect.

All the best,

Roger Pearse


Emphasis mine, as you say. So you are a hypocrite. But no matter, as your aforementioned statement was inapplicable to me anyway.

Quote:
I haven't seen anything that associates these features -- sources for them? -- with initiates, tho.

Well, as I said, in the Theoi book it describes the layout of twelve on the floor(in this case being the Zodiac) in one Mithraeum in Ostia, and that this is where twelve initiates stood during the ritual.
Likewise, there is another Mithraeum, that of Lucretius Menander, in Ostia, so same place, which we see has twelve circles on the floor(each with a cross in the center), so if the other Ostian Mithraeum is any indication, you would have these twelve circles on the floor serving the same role as the Zodiac sign as the aforementioned Ostian Mithraeum, i.e., these are the places where the twelve initiates would stand during the ceremonies.
So, I hope I'm getting your question right here, the association of "these features", the twelve circles on the wall, to the placement of the initaites on the floor, would come by way of it's correlation to the Menander Mithraeum, and it's twelve circles on the floor, and the correlation of that to it's fellow Ostian Mithraeum, with it's similar layout, and the function of it's "twelve"(although not circles in this case) being the positioning of initiates.
But really, bringing up this Mithraeum was because it's twelve circles was a corroborative parallel to the twelve signs in the Ostian Mithraeum. It was just corroborative, not necessary, as the purpose of the Zodiac in the first Ostian Mithraeum is sufficient to demonstrate that the twelve signs of the Zodiac are represented by the twelve initiates participating in the mysteries.


Quote:
The bit linking stuff on the floor with initiates is not present in this post, tho.

Sure it is, it's in the Theoi book, which you go on to mention that you have read, so nothing more need be added here. You know you are wrong.[/quote]

Quote:
I would call initiates "initiates", myself.

And I would call apostles, "apostles" myself, just as Paul did. Nonetheless, everyone finds it acceptable that the gospel authors later came along and referred to the "apostles" as "disciples' as well. And we find that acceptable because they also fit the bill for the definition of disciples/followers/etc. And so initiates, they fit the bill as well, hence it is just as acceptable to call them "disciples".
This is confirmed by the writings of the early church fathers.
For instance, in his refutation of Mani, St. Ephraim once used "disciples" and "initiates" in an interchangable manner.
And Ignatius, of course, says christians are "initiaited into the mysteries of the gospel with Paul", in his epistle to the Ephesians, and in that same book he refers to himself, and to the Ephesians, as "disciples".
Origen speaks of christians being "boldly initiated in the mysteries of jesus", and also, even in the same book, refers to himself and other christians as "disciples of jesus".
The early church fathers clearly had no problems referring to themselves as initiates. just as they had no problem referring to themselves as disciples. And rightly so, since initiates fit that bill.
Quote:
But if we said "Mithras had 12 initiates" -- would what you have just written justify that? I don't think it would.

What would justify that are citations I provided, in particular, the citation from the Theoi book, stating that in Mithraism, there did exist a ritual in which twelve initiates represented the twelve zodiacal signs. Which is further confirmed by Godwin's and Cumont's quotes as well. I wasn't just pulling that out of my ass, unlike your many kettle logic excuses used throughout this exchange.
Quote:
Mithras would surely have rather more than just 12? The statement isn't true as it stands. If we say "well he had 12 special ones" then we have to ask "how do we know"?

Once again, you fell prey to your hasty skimming, and your jump-the-gun habit of replying as you go along instead reading everything first, then replying, as wise men are instructed to do in Proverbs. At the end of my post to which you are here replying, I had already addressed this contention before it even left your finger tips to the keyboard. Jesus likewise had more than 12 disciples, so appeals to greater numbers fails, it is more special pleading. And you clearly realized this all to late, as you attempted to snip the quote and tried to handle it with yet another hand wave dismissal of "irrelevant", which of course, if wrong too, as I shall explain below.
As far as having "12 special ones", no, all intitates of a particular Mithraeum would have to go through the same rituals. It's just that twelve were selected for participation at during each period of initiation, obviously, to correspond to the Zodiac.
And asking "how we know", I answer yet again, and correctly so, that we know this from the Mithraeums, especially the aforementioned Ostian Mitraeums. There's nothing to indicate that there would be more initiates than spots to place them. But we have the strongest of indications that the twelve zodiacal sign on the floor were used for the placement of twelve initiates/disciples, who thus clearly represent the Zodiac.

Quote:
Presumably so (my hesitation is that I am not sure how we know what initiates think, and we must beware of anachronism).

So you admit. And of course you did, you have no choice, sine it's just factual logic. But don't kid yourself, your "hesitation" is your ego unwilling to admit the FACT that it is wrong and has been fot this entire exchange.

Quote:
I think so. Although (scepticism kicking in) ... is teaching important in Mithras? Do we know this? How?

^Red Herring. Importance was never brought up until now, only teaching. You didn't list importance in your criteria, so you are again moving the goal post, just as you tried when you exhanged "man standing on earth" to "someone". And just like then, you have been called on it and exposed.
But more to the point, importance on the teachings would go without saying. Otherwise, they wouldn't join. Now, no doubt, same as any religion, I suppose it's fair to say a number of folks joined for ulterior motives, but also like any other religion, stands to reason the majority follow it because they value it.
Quote:
Surely ritual is more important than belief?

False dichotomy. Plus, you have exchanged "teachings" for "belief", which, unlike "diciples" & "followers", are NOT synonyms, so your equivocation fails.
But either way, even humoring that, as I said, you have attempted, and failed, to set up a false dichotomy. Initiates would be taught the rituals as well as be taught the doctrines to believe, so no dichotomy here. An initiate has to be taught something, they do NOT come in already knowing all about the mysteries. Not do would any of them have just "audited the course", without being required to learn anything.
Initiates of Mithraism were taught the mysteries of Mithras, they WERE students. They were men "standing on earth, being on taught by another man". Even by your definition, they WERE disciples. Disciples... of Mithras.
And even you are forced to admit as much, which you did with your initial "I think so" comment.

Quote:
General principle: there have to be explicit links between a and b before we state a=b.

Agreed. So good thing I provided such a link via the Ostian Mithraeum. But even more explicit than that, was the citation Free gave you.
Porphyr cited Pallas as stating that it was the common understanding that the animals assigned to the initiates represented the Zodiac- "And he who is initiated in the Leontic mysteries, is invested with all-various forms of animals*; of which particulars, Pallas, in his treatise concerning Mithra, assigning the cause, says, that it is the common opinion that these things are to be referred to the circle of the zodiac"
Perfectly corroborative. As are the Godwin & Cumont citations. The twelve initiates/disciples=the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

Quote:
I don't agree, actually. There is a world of difference between "we infer that this, then this, then this" and "this is what the data says". Confusing data and deduction is the root of all bad scholarship.

Agreed. Good thing such a confusion never took place here, and verbal distinctions have always been made where necessary(though few they be), as even you were quick to highlight them when quoted.

Quote:
No ....

Yes...

Yes, we have Mithras identified with the sun, which many geocentrist ancestors believed was followed by the stars.
Yes, we depictions of Mithras followed by the Zodiac to the tauroctony.
Yes, there were initiates of Mithras, who fit the bills for the term "disciples", as even some church fathers would evidently agree.
Yes, we have the Mithraum clearly indicating that these twelve initiated disciples in mysteries represent the tweve signs of the Zodiac. Even further confirmed by Pallas's statement.
Yes, Mithras had twelve disciples.

Quote:
Jesus is irrelevant, tho. We're assessing a statement that has no qualifications; just that "Mithras had 12 disciples".

Jesus is plenty relevant, tho. That is the point of this entire thread, and this entire board- Conparative Mythology, in particular, in this case, comparison of Mithraic and Christian mythology. With some of the statements you make, such as this one, and the repeated charges to stay "on topic", one would suspect you've forgotten you didn't launch this thread. The OP was not just about Mithra and his twelve disciples.
In fact, you've more or less, as the internets say, "hijacked" this thread.
But no matter, as your requests have been fulfilled. Time and again. From primary sources.
Mithras had twelve disciples. They were the 12 initiates who performed his mysteries, and they represented his Zodiac, which followed him across the sky.
And this parallel to the Christ story is exactly why this aspect of Mithras was even brought up. So indeed, Jesus is always relevant here. We aren't hashing over Mithras phrygian cap or his knife and torch, because none of that is relevant to(i.e., has no conspicuous parallel to) the Jesus stories.

Quote:
So there's no evidence here that initiates stood on particular features of the floor of a Mithraeum.

Yes there is. The book I linked for which you just quoted here, AS WELL AS the other books I cited which are in corroborations with this, but most of all, the unambiguous evidence is... THE MITHRAEUM ITSELF!
When you see a water basin as you enter a church, do you think the water just floats over to the priest? Or do you naturally, succinctly conclude that the priest STANDS THERE AT THE GOD DAMN WATER BASIN? That is what they are for, that is what they indicate, that someone obviously STAND THERE to wash himself with the ceremonial water(i.e., baptism).
And so, since the Carrawburgh Mithraeum has water basins at each of the pillars, that clearly indicates that people STOOD THERE at those basins to wash themselves pure for the rituals. Again, you are pwned.

And you continue to dodge the issue of primary sources OTHER than texts. You continue to stick your head in the sand concerning artistic depictions, carvings, and Mithraeums, etc., desperately cluthing only to written texts, and demanding explicit statements in written form, inspite historian such as Elizabeth Vandiver having proven you wrong in that premise of yours, having stated that artistic depictions are more than sufficient, even in the absence of texts, and even when in contradiction with extant texts.
Written texts are not necessary for demonstrating things about Mithras, as even you are guilty of taken for granted several attributes of Mithras do not come by any written texts, but only known to us by artistic depictions. His wavy hair, his cape, etc., these things are not written in texts, yet you act as though because his twelve disciples are likewise not written explicitly in text, then they don't exist. You fail.
After all, there is NO written text stating that "Mithras had two torchbearers". Go ahead, go on and check your own "complete" corpus. You will find no such thing anywhere. So how do we know of Cautes and Cautopates? ONLY from the artwork. If someone were to ask you, and in fact, I am, right here and now, what is your primary source that "Mithras had two torchbearers", what would you provide? The only thing you could, which are visual depictions, such as this-

Image

Image

Recognize those pics & comments Roger? Of course you do, they are from your own website. You assert those are Mithras with two torchbearers named Cautes and Cautopates?
Why, to quote you own argument used earlier here, 'I see nothing in those pics that states that this is Mithras plus 2 torchbearers', etc.
Using these pics as evidence for the two torchbearers is NO different, and NO more or less acceptable than using this primary source as evidence for Mithras' twelve "disciples"-

Image

Neither states anything textually, nor are they corroborated by any separate texts, and so their context only comes by deduction, but as you like to twist it- "inference". And while we're on that, you once again have proven that you are a hypocrite when you say things like you're "very resistant to inference in place of data" and that the figures symbolizing the zodiac do not fit the bill for "disciples" since they are not explicitly referred to as much by text, because, behold another clip from your own website-

Image

What's that? "Two attendants"? Why, I see nothing in that pic that states those are Mithras' two "attendants". those are the autumn and spring equinoxes, not "attendants". YOU pigeon holed the definition of "disciples" with your ad hoc criteria pulled out of your ass, and I shall specify the definition of "attendants" with academic criteria, pulled out of the dictionary- an "attendant" is a 'man standing on earth' "who attends another to perform a service; especially : an employee who waits on customers"(Merriam-Websters). The equinoxes do no such thing. Therefore you are just as wrong to refer to the two figures as "attendants" or "torchbearers"(since equinoxes don't bear torches either) as it is for any of us to have referred to the twelve figures representing the zodiac here that follow Mithras to the tauroctony as "disciples".
You are snared by your own flawed arguments.

Your repeated obstinate remarks of "I don't see anything in that the says Mithras had twelve disciples" is NO different than arguing that one doesn't see anything in the above depiction that says Mithras had two torchbearers.
You repeatedly assert the redundancy of "those are the signs of the Zodiac"(to which we have always agreed, we simply do not share in your false dichotomy, and rightly so), but that is no different than saying Cautes and Cautopates are the spring and autumn equinoxes(as many scholars have asserted), NOT his torchbearers..
That too, would be a false dichotomy.
Fact of the matter is, they are BOTH his torchbearers, AND symbolic representations of the equinoxes.
Just as it is a matter of fact that the above twelve are BOTH his disciples, and obvious representations of the Zodiac.
You've been pwned by logic and facts. Yet again.

You strode in here on a high horse thinking you could troll in this arena same as you could in all those other forums across the web full of ignorant amateurs(and you know that, that's why you pick them), where no one calls you on your obstinacy or has enough knowledge to provide the primary sources you pretend you seek. But not the case here.
You just rode your high horse to the glue factory.
From the outset, you have PROVEN that you were ignorant of syncretism.
You have PROVEN that you were ignorant of things such as Mithras' birth from an egg, therefore
You have PROVEN that you are a liar when you claim to be familiar with all primary sources on Mithras.
You have PROVEN that you are hypocrite by the fact that you have repeatedly gone off topic(you were even the one who hijacked this thread in the first place) yet charge others(without authority) to "stick to the subject", even though we have, and by the fact that you chastise abstract reasoning and deduction, while often using this yourself throughout your campaigns across the web.
You have PROVEN that you do NOT read posts before replying to them.
You have PROVEN that you are both impatient and lazy, when you admitted to not reading relevant posts because you couldn't find a specific point "immediately", and you proved this when you made the false claimed that historical facts be presented in "lines". You know full well the study of history is so much grander that that.
Your every argument has been crushed by logic.
Your every demand for evidence has been addressed.
And so, being a proven impatient, lazy, lying hypocrite who does not read posts and has no argument or evidence, and who has repeatedly hardened his heart with desperation and obstinacy- you cannot be taken seriously, and so this dialogue is finished. I win.
You will not bring it up again.
You will admit your defeat through your silence.
You have been completely and utterly refuted on every point beyond all possibility of rebuttal.
And it has been proven here that Mithras had twelve disciples.
You will not deny it.
I have spoken.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:12 pm 
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Roger, why do you keep ignoring the quote below? The suggestion that the 12 disciples are akin to the 12 signs of the zodiac has been discussed since at least the 2nd century. You cannot continue to claim that we just "made it up" or that there's "no evidence" and be honest about it. I've provided the quote below for you 3 times now and you've omitted it every time. What's up with that?

We are certainly not the first to point out that the 12 signs of the zodiac are akin to the 12 disciples of Jesus. In fact, it's been around since the beginning:
Quote:
* fn 1) In his Against Heresies (2.21), Church father Irenaeus objects to the Gnostic notion that the 12 apostles symbolized the “aeons,” which have been asserted to represent the zodiacal signs. (Legge, II, 152.) Apparently, this association occurred fairly early in Christian history, as Church father Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-c. 211) wrote in his work Excerpta ex Theodota (1.25.2) that, according to the Valentinian Gnostics, “the apostles replaced the signs of the zodiac, for as birth is governed by them, so rebirth is directed by the apostles.”

- Christ in Egypt, page 262

So, it appears that this concept of the 12 disciples of Jesus being akin to the 12 signs of the zodiac has been going on since at least the 2nd century.

You keep trying to re-frame this debate in such a way as to suggest that just because a Mithraic text doesn't say "disciples" that you've debunked this issue. You haven't - that is disingenuous to say the least. You have been proven wrong on several points (which you have yet to acknowledge) simply by using sources from your very own website. You have avoided that like the plague.

We have established thus far:

* A precedent for the 12 as anthropomorphized "friends" in a "Hymn to Mithra" via the 8 spoked sunwheel.

* That the 8 points of the compass or 8 spoked sunwheel are the solstices, equinoxes and cross-quarters; the 12 is for the zodiac.

- That "Christian structures were built upon the ruins of the Pagan temples, such as in the case of the Vatican, which was founded upon the remains of a complex dedicated to the sun god Mithra..."

- Christin Egypt, page 4-5

And that St. Peter's Sq. is a pagan sunwheel.

* That St. Peter's Square with an Egyptian obelisk serving as the gnomon of a sundial in the center. These 8 points are the solstices, equinoxes and cross-quarters.

* Roger admits that Mithras is surrounded by the 12 signs of the zodiac but has a problem with the use of the word "disciples."

In my opinion, Roger is hung-up on the word "disciple" due to its Christian terminology. We are not - it's just a figure of speech and is the same as saying; companions, friends, satellites, guides, servants, apostles, disciples or followers of the sun - the *CONCEPT* is still there.

* Roger admits: "in Christian texts the zodiac is sometimes associated with the 12 apostles."

* Roger's own website article on Mithras suggests that the signs of the zodiac are far more than just some irrelevant signs & "nothing more":

"...And he who is initiated in the Leontic mysteries, is invested with all-various forms of animals*; of which particulars, Pallas, in his treatise concerning Mithra, assigning the cause, says, that it is the common opinion that these things are to be referred to the circle of the zodiac, but that truly and accurately speaking, they obscurely signify some thing pertaining to human souls, which, according to the Persians, are invested with bodies of all-various forms. For the Latins also, says Eubulus, call some men, in their tongue, boars and scorpions, lizards, and blackbirds. After the same manner likewise the Persians denominate the Gods the demiurgic causes of these: for they call Diana a she-wolf; but the sun, a bull, a lion, a dragon, and a hawk; and Hecate, a horse, a bull, a lioness, and a dog." (Book 4, ch. 16)

- Porphyry, De Abstinentia. 4.16.3 (136)

* In order for Roger's case to hold water one must omit all the iconography of Mithras with the 12 and what it symbolizes. It symbolizes the journey of the sun throughout the year as well as the precession of the equinoxes. The 12 signs of the zodiac are considered companions, friends, satellites, guides, servants, apostles, disciples or followers of the sun. They're often anthropomorphized or personified as humans or animals. So, while you're not completely wrong, you're certainly not right either as there is much more to the story. We need not get stuck on the word "disciple."

Christianity simply turned the secret sacred mysteries inside out by externalizing them in an attempt to make mythical biblical characters appear to be historical. The biblical writers borrowed everything they could get away with and added their own twist to it. So, the NT says "disciples" - had Mithraism made a big deal in texts of "12 disciples," the NT writers would probably have left it out or replaced it with other terminology so they could claim there's no relation.

* It's not reality to expect a secret cult like Mithraism, for the initiated only, to advertise such blatant statements but, it's convenient for pseudo-skeptics (theist & atheist) to omit this factoid. I'm reminded of the US Constitution and the principle of separation between church and state in the 1st Amendment. Nowhere does it say "separation between church and state" yet, it has been a long held precedent throughout US history.

Here we have in the book, Lord of the cosmos: Mithras, Paul, and the gospel of Mark By Michael Patella on page 11 describing the scorpion, snake and dog in the iconography below as a "servant" and "companion." (just below the bull)

Image

And on page 12
Quote:
"Disciples of Mithras were all brothers, and Mithras himself was a comes, or intimate friend, and not merely a distant god."

Michael Patella, OSB, is Associate Professor of New Testament at Saint John's University.

The fact remains that we have never claimed that there's a text somewhere saying Mithras had "12 disciples." We don't need it - it's just not even necessary. This is YOUR issue that you're hung-up on. We have shown evidence to suggest that the 12 are, figuratively speaking, companions, friends, satellites, guides, servants, apostles, disciples or followers of the sun. So, one absolutely cannot honestly claim we are making anything up or that we have "no evidence."

It's a basic mythical motif across several religions and well-known via syncretism. You are completely wasting our time at this point - the CONCEPT is there and you utterly refuse to acknowledge that point. You've simply re-framed this debate by trying to argue we have made a claim that we did not actually make and I find that fallacious. For example, here's what the article by Acharya actually states:
Quote:
"These 12 signs are sometimes portrayed as humans and, as they have been in the case of numerous sun gods, could be called Mithra's 12 "companions" or "disciples."

Notice she didn't proclaim that they ARE called "disciples?"

And she further states:
Quote:
"The comparison of this common motif with Jesus and the 12 has been made on many occasions, including in an extensive study entitled, "Mithras and Christ: some iconographical similarities," by Professor A. Deman in Mithraic Studies."

So, this whole thing was brought up by Acharya S as a "COMPARISON" up for debate, rather than a bold, positive claim. Roger Pearse obviously had a knee-jerk reaction to the article or at least the word "disciple." I suspect, due to his religious affiliation even though Roger claims otherwise. I think that this thread thus far speaks for itself on that so, I'll let the readers of this thread be the judge of that one.

So, in the end, Roger has actually helped us emphasize our point and we thank him for his help on that.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:14 pm 
roger_pearse wrote:
No, I didn't think so. Stick to the subject, hmm? All the best, Roger Pearse


Roger, if your going to ignore anything and everything that you deem to be "off topic" then you might as well force your head into the ground like this ostrich when making a forum post.

roger_pearse wrote:
Image

Post? What Post? I don't see any post!!


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