Is he still the same god?
- Images of Mithra by Philippa Adrych, Robert Bracey, Dominic Dalglish, Stefanie Lenk and Rachel Wood
Oxford, 240 pp, £30.00, March 2017, ISBN 978 0 19 879253 6
A young god sits astride a bull. It has been forced to its knees and its head has been pulled back so the god can hold a dagger to its throat, or to its neck, or its shoulder. In some versions he has already plunged the dagger in and drops of blood have begun to fall to the ground. The god wears a billowing cloak and a distinctive bonnet. Other animals have come to help him in his attack on the bull. A raven (often) and usually a dog and sometimes a scorpion too. Above him are the sun and the moon; on either side, two attendants: one holding a torch upwards, the other down. Sometimes the scene is framed by an arch on which the signs of the zodiac are displayed. Sheaves of wheat spring up from the body of the bull or his blood. Sometimes the whole scene seems to be played out underground. But in other versions the god and the bull are portrayed in the round, or beneath the stars.
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