The Mystery of Mithras: A Pagan Christmas?

The clichéd Christmas: white snow, hot fires, mulled wine and a feast. This might not be the case were the holiday not to fall on 25 December and, although many things have been missed in 2020, the usual questions of whether this is the right date arrived reliably on time. So, for this episode, Tristan spoke to Professor Matthew McCarty to find out whether Christmas Day was really placed in December to supplant non-Christian worship, in particular that of Mithras. Matthew is Assistant Professor of Roman Archaeology at the University of British Columbia. He has been directing the field excavation of a mithraeum in Apulum (Romania), the first scientifically excavated mithraeum in the province of Dacia. In this festive episode, he shares his insight into the social dynamics of ritual practices in the sanctuary at Apulum and elsewhere.


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