The Administration of The Mithraic and Eleusinian Mystery Cults: How They Compare

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Northern Kentucky University
"Human beings love mysteries, and this past year I have focused on ancient mystery cults, with a particular interest in the kinds of punishments faced by those who shared the secrets. To be considered a mystery cult, sacred knowledge of the group must have only been available to initiates. For the Mithraic mysteries, knowledge was granted to male soldiers of the Roman Empire who swore allegiance to the Roman emperor in rituals to Mithras in underground chambers called mithraea. The Eleusinian Mysteries, active in the Greek and Roman periods, accepted both men and women as initiates, but they were chosen after a year-long series of festival acts. While little is known of the cult rituals, I was able to offer insight into ideas of punishment, rooted in the cults’ ideas about acceptance, intention, and fairness."
2021 Celebration of Student Research and Creativity presentation
Mithraism, Eleusinian mysteries, Secret societies Rituals