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Closing on the shortest day: Advent calendar for December 19

In a few days, the shortest day (in the northern hemisphere) arrives and with it, the winter solstice. The days begin to lengthen again as we go towards spring. No surprise that this time of year is associated with Sol Invictus, the Unconquered Son. Strongly associated with this cult - though that does not seem to be based on the date - is another light-bringer: Mithras. As slayer of bulls and saviour from death who chases off darkness with his torch, an association with the solstice is easily made. Though we do not know much about this mystery cult, we do know it was strongly associated with the Imperial Roman army. Duncan Campbell wrote an article about one particular shrine to Mithras in Ancient Warfare IV.5, which was published over a decade ago. I thought it might be fun to make that article available today. Download it here and enjoy!

***This was the Karwansaray Publishers Advent Calendar post for December 19th. Any special offers are only valid on the day the door is opened. Check back tomorrow!***

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