Mithraism, also known as the Mithraic mysteries, was a
Worshippers of Mithras had a complex system of seven grades of
Mithraism is viewed as a rival of
Numerous archaeological finds, including meeting places, monuments and artifacts, have contributed to modern knowledge about Mithraism throughout the Roman Empire. The
The term "Mithraism" is a modern convention. Writers of the Roman era referred to it by phrases such as "Mithraic mysteries", "mysteries of Mithras" or "mysteries of the Persians". Modern sources sometimes refer to the Greco-Roman religion as "Roman Mithraism" or "Western Mithraism" to distinguish it from Persian worship of Mithra.
The name Mithras (Latin, equivalent to Greek "Μίθρας") is a form of
The exact form of a Latin or classical Greek word varies due to the grammatical process of
Related deity-names in other languages include
Modern historians have different conceptions about whether these names refer to the same god or not. John R. Hinnells has written of Mitra / Mithra / Mithras as a single deity worshipped in several different religions. On the other hand, David Ulansey considers the bull-slaying Mithras to be a new god who began to be worshipped in the 1st century BCE, and to whom an old name was applied.