Archive for the 'Mythology' Category

Unearthing an Ancient Temple in London

You never know what wonders may be concealed beneath our modern streets…

 

People queue to see the remains of the temple in 1954.

 

From CNN,

 

Temple to ancient Roman cult resurrected beneath London

 

“In central London, seven meters underground, lies an ancient Roman temple to a mysterious god called Mithras. Nearly 2,000 years after the temple was frequented by the all-male members of an exclusive, enigmatic cult, it has now been faithfully restored and opened to the public.

 

Visitors descend into a dimly lit cave beneath the new London headquarters of business news outlet Bloomberg. The temple slowly comes to life as torch light flickers and a recording of a low chanting fills the room. Channels of light and haze extend from the rocky ruins, recreating shadowy columns to give the impression of the temple’s superstructure. A light display in the recess of the temple depicts the cult statue of Mithras slaying a bull, an image that was the central icon of the cult.

 

The lost Roman temple beneath London.

 

It is believed that soldiers and merchants gathered in these secret temples drinking, feasting and performing rituals that may have involved simulating death and rebirth, and even some nakedness…”

 

For the rest, click here.

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Resurrecting the Christmas Ghost Story Tradition

Why should Halloween get all the fun?

 

 

From The Smithsonian,

 

A Plea to Resurrect the Christmas Tradition of Telling Ghost Stories
Though the practice is now more associated with Halloween, spooking out your family is well within the Christmas spirit

By Colin Dickey

 

“For the last hundred years, Americans have kept ghosts in their place, letting them out only in October, in the run-up to our only real haunted holiday, Halloween. But it wasn’t always this way, and it’s no coincidence that the most famous ghost story is a Christmas story—or, put another way, that the most famous Christmas story is a ghost story. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was first published in 1843, and its story about a man tormented by a series of ghosts the night before Christmas belonged to a once-rich, now mostly forgotten tradition of telling ghost stories on Christmas Eve. Dickens’ supernatural yuletide terror was no outlier, since for much of the 19th century, was the holiday indisputably associated with ghosts and the specters.

 

“Whenever five or six English-speaking people meet round a fire on Christmas Eve, they start telling each other ghost stories,” humorist Jerome K. Jerome wrote in his 1891 collection, Told After Supper. “Nothing satisfies us on Christmas Eve but to hear each other tell authentic anecdotes about spectres. It is a genial, festive season, and we love to muse upon graves, and dead bodies, and murders, and blood.”

 

Telling ghost stories during winter is a hallowed tradition, a folk custom stretches back centuries, when families would wile away the winter nights with tales of spooks and monsters. “A sad tale’s best for winter,” Mamillius proclaims in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale: “I have one. Of sprites and goblins.” And the titular Jew of Malta in Christopher Marlowe’s play at one point muses, “Now I remember those old women’s words, Who in my wealth would tell me winter’s tales, And speak of spirits and ghosts by night…”

 

Read the rest here.
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‘Surely I am coming soon’ — Five Men Who Think They’re the Messiah

They believe. And their followers do too.

 

From National Geographic,

 

 

Meet Five Men Who All Think They’re the Messiah

These men say they’re the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Their disciples agree.

Story and Photographs by Jonas Bendiksen and As told to Jeremy Berlin

 

‘Surely I am coming soon.’

 

“The Bible’s penultimate verse, prophesying the return of Jesus Christ, has always fascinated me. When is “soon”? And who is “I”? For the past three years I’ve followed seven men who claim to be the Second Coming of Christ (five are shown here). By immersing myself in their revelations and spending time with their disciples, I’ve tried to produce images that illustrate the human longing for faith, meaning, and salvation.

 

Religion is somewhat mysterious to me, probably because I wasn’t raised with it in Norway. But I’ve always enjoyed reading Scripture, and over the past decade or so my interest in it has grown. I’ve found myself coming back, again and again, to that mysterious line—a promise that Christianity has been waiting nearly 2,000 years to be fulfilled…”

 

For the stories and photographs, click here.

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