Monday, November 14, 2011

The seven initiations of Mithras in a bronze plaque in Budapest at Roger Pearse

The seven initiations of Mithras in a bronze plaque in Budapest at Roger Pearse
http://www.roger-pearse.com/weblog/?p=7651

November 12th, 2011 by Roger Pearse

In the Budapest National Museum, there is a rather splendid bronze plaque depicting a tauroctony.  Julianna Lees has uploaded to Picasa this photo, which I came across this evening.  (I hope that link works, by the way: for some reason it isn't at all obvious what the URL is).  She gives the date of the item as 213 AD.

While looking at it intently, something caught my eye.  Along the bottom are seven figures (you'll have to click on the image to see it full size).

Now the number seven in the cult of Mithras always reminds us of the seven grades of initiation.  Is this, perhaps, what we are looking at?

Notice that all of them seem to be wearing armour.  And each of them has something different over their right shoulder.  The third from the left has horns on his head and has something — a torch over his shoulder.  The third from the right has a caduceus behind him and a winged helmet.  The middle one seems to have a bird on his head — a crow?

I am by no means sure of what I am looking at.  But once again it highlights the possibility of gaining more information from a comparative study of the monuments.