When In Rome…The Mystery God Mithra

On one of my trips to Italy, I had the opportunity to visit the ancient Roman seaport at Ostia Antica. A few kilometers towards the coast from Rome sits the historical remains of Ostia.

Once the thriving, bustling seaport for all of Rome’s trade and industry, today much still remains of this important town. Over the years, the Mediterranean has receded, making the port inaccessible to ships, but walking down the Decumanus, or stepping into the ruins of the temple of Hercules, it is easy to imagine what it would have looked like in its day.

Scattered through the city are dozens of well-preserved Mithraeums, worship areas for the Persian mystery god Mithra. Here, in one Mithraeum, the deity is displayed on the far wall, while stone benches line the right and left sides.

A closer look at some of the symbolism reveals representations of the astrological signs of the Zodiac. Scorpio, Virgo, Pisces… Each one leading closer to the stone plaque of Mithra himself – the god of the Sun, flanked by the Moon and stars.

The Bible makes it clear:

Take ye therefore good heed …lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them.” Deu 4:15-19

I’m David Rives…
Truly, The Heavens Declare the Glory of God.

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