Owing to its position, the Persian state, when it from time to time became a conquering empire, overlapped Asia Minor, Babylon and India, and hence acted as an intermediary for transmitting art and ideas, sending for instance Greek sculpture to India and the cult of Mithra to western Europe.
The first part of Mihiragula seems to be the name of the Persian deity Mithra, but his patron deity was Siva, and he left behind him the reputation of a ferocious persecutor of Buddhism.
Other powers of light, such as Mitra the god of day (Iranian Mithra), survived unforgotten in popular belief till the later system incorporated them in the angelic body.
The authentic doctrine of the Gathas had no room either for the cult of Mithra or for that of the Haoma.
Thus, in the later Avesta, we find not only Mithra but also purely popular divinities such as the angel of victory, Verethraghna, Anahita (Anaitis), the goddess of the water, Tishrya (Sirius), and other heavenly bodies, invoked with special preference.
See Franz Cumont, Textes et monuments figures relatifs aux mysteres de Mithra (Brussels, 1896, 1899), which has superseded all publications on the subject; Albrecht Dieterich, Eine Mithrasliturgie (Leipzig, 1903).
Of the above work, published separately 1902, under the title Les Mysteres de Mithra), by T: J.
In the more ethical religion of the Avesta the creator is more clearly distinguished from the creature: " I desire to approach Ahura and Mithra with my praise, the lofty eternal, and the holy two."
The general shape and style are Roman: the inscriptions are in Greek or in a Persian language written in Greek letters, or in Kharoshthi: the reverse often bears the figure of a deity, either Greek (Herakles, Helios, Selene) or Zoroastrian (Mithra, Vata, Verethraghna) or Indian (generally Siva or a war god).
Lajard, Recherches sur le Culte de Mithra, p. 605.
See Cumont's Les Mysteres de Mithra (igoo), Eng.
The Mysteries of Mithra (1903).
Aux mysteres de Mithra, i.
As they all bear Aryan names, and in some of their treaties appear Aryan deities (Indra, Varuna, Mithra, &c.), it is clear that Mesopotamia had now a further new element in its population, bearing apparently the name Kharri.
Cumont, Mysteres de Mithra, Eng.
On the sixteenth day of the seventh month a feast is held in honour of Mithra, the deity presiding over and directing the course of the sun, and also a festival to celebrate truth and friendship. On the tenth day of the eighth month a festival is held in honour of Farvardin, the deity who presides over the departed souls of men.
Cumont, Mysteries of Mithra (Chicago, 1903); Zuckler, Gesch.
Were Mithra and Anaitis received into the official religion of the Persian kings.
'1 See Lajard, Culte de Mithra, pl.
After bringing about the success of the Asiatic cults of Mithra and Cybele, these same factors now assured the triumph over exhausted paganism of yet another oriental religionChristianity after a duel which had lasted two centuries.
Mithra dates VI.
Are the only Achaemenids who, in their inscriptions, invoke Anaitis and Mithra side by side with Ahuramazda.
In 159 Mongolian tribes, whom the Chinese call Yue-chi Mithra- and the Greeks Scythians, forced their way into dates ii.