Mithras and Jesus: Two sides of the same coin
By Flavio Barbiero
Books by Flavio Barbiero
Secret Society Of Moses
US - UK - CA
For June 2010 Author of the Month, we are pleased to welcome back to the pages of www.grahamhancock.com researcher and author Flavio Barbiero. Flavio’s new book, The Secret Society of Moses offers fresh insights and answers to age old questions.
Flavio Barbiero is a retired admiral in the Italian Navy who last served with NATO. He is the author of several books, including The Bible Without Secrets and The Secret Society of Moses, and is an archaeological researcher in Israel. He lives in Italy
On 384 AD Vettius Agorius Praetextatus, the last “papa” (acronym of the words Pater Patrum = Fathers’ Father) of the so called Cult of Mithras, died in Rome. His name and his religious and political appointments are written on the basement of St Peters’ Basilica, together with the names of a long list of other Roman senators, spanning a period from 305 to 390. The one thing that they have in common is that they all are “patres” of Mithras. As many as nine amongst them have the supreme title of Pater Patrum, clear evidence that it was here, inside the Vatican, that the supreme leader of the mithraic organization resided, at the side of the most sacred Basilica of Christianity, erected by Constantine the Great in 320 a.D. For at least 70 years the supreme leaders of two “religions” that were always supposed to be competitors, if not sworn enemies, lived peacefully and in perfect harmony side by side. It was the same Praetextatus, as prefect of the town, who defended Damasus against his opponents, on 367, and confirmed him as bishop of Rome.
Praetextatus often declared that he willingly had accepted to be baptized, if the see of St. Peter was offered to him. Following his death, however, the opposite happened. The title of Pater Patrum fell (today we would say by default) upon Damasus’ successor, the bishop Siricius, who was the first, in the Church’s history, to assume the title of “papa” (pope). Together with it he took also upon himself a long series of other prerogatives, titles, symbols, objects and possessions, that passed en masse from Mithraism to Christianity.
It was a true handover from the Mithraic pope to the Christian one, that we can understand only on the light of what had happened the year before, 383. On that date the senate almost unanimously voted for the abolition of paganism and all its symbols in Rome and throughout the Western empire. A vote that always puzzled the historians, because in their opinion the majority of the senators were pagans and represented the last stronghold of paganism against the irresistible advance of Christianity. This opinion, however, is utterly in disagreement with what during those same years the bishop of Milan, Ambrose, used to declare, that the Christians had the majority in the senate. Who is right, Ambrose or modern historians?
The bishop of Milan was the member of a great senatorial family and closely followed the Roman events; so it is unlikely that he could be wrong on a matter of that kind. On the other hand, we cannot give the lie to the historians, because written and archaeological evidence confirm that the majority of the Roman senators were at that time “patres” of the Sol Invictus Mithras (the Invincible Sun Mithras), and therefore, according to common opinion, definitely pagans. What nobody seems to have understood, however, is that the two conditions, of affiliate of Mithras and of Christian, were all but compatible. There is no lack of historical evidence proving it.
The most significant of many possible examples is emperor Constantine the Great. He was an affiliate of Sol Invictus Mithras and never disowned it, not even when he openly embraced Christianity, and declared himself to be “God’s servant” and a sort of “universal bishop”. His biographer Eusebius hails him as the “new Moses”, but Constantine was baptized only on his death bed, and he never stopped minting coins with mithraic symbols on one side and Christian on the opposite; he even erected in Constantinople a colossal statue of himself wrapped up in mithraic symbols.