Ajoutez à vos favoris
Recommandez LB
the Louvre with the Bible
Jouez avec LouvreBible !
Subcribe to the newsletter !
Ancient Mesopotamia
Assyria Nineveh
Arslan Tash Til Barsip
Iran Palace of Darius
Phoenicia Arabia Palmyra
Syrian coast
Ougarit Byblos

Double-Sided Mithraic Relief
MND 1911
Denon room 25
Mithra, the Persian god of light,
is shown on one side of the relief cutting the throat of a divine bull
to make the universe fruitful.
On the other side,
he is depicted at a banquet
with the sun,
to which he is compared.

The Mithra cult and Christmas


Christmas and Bible

The Mithra cult AR83 ‘reveals the unmistakable influence of Babylonian conceptions; and if it be recalled what a degree of importance the mysteries connected with this cult acquired among the Romans, another link will be added connecting the ramifications of ancient culture with the civilization of the Euphrates Valley’ .

This cult is closely associated with the origins of the festival of Christmas. AR84 , AR85

Mithra and Babylonian conceptions ?

“The Savior - yes, the Messiah, the Lord -
has been born today in Bethlehem, the city
of David !” (Luke 2:11 New Living Translation).
All historians are in agreement in saying
that the exact date of the birth
of Jesus is unknown.
The word ‘ Christmas ’ does
not figure in the Bible. AR86
This festival underwent the pagan influence
of the Saturnalia, celebrated around the time
of the winter solstice in honour of Saturn, god of agriculture, characterised by their famous drinking sessions and the exchange of gifts. 
Furthermore, on 25 December 274, the Roman
Emperor Aurelius proclaimed the sun-god Mithra
the main protective god of the Empire.
“The date of Christ’s birth
is unknown. The Gospels
say nothing about either
the day or the month.
Christmas originated
at a time when the cult
of the sun was particularly
strong in Rome.” AR87
New Catholic Encyclopaedia
“The earliest mention of
the festival of Christmas
is found in the
Philocalian Calendar,
established in Rome in 336 AD.”
J. G. Frazer, The Golden Bough

Christmas and the date of the birth of Jesus : Not in the Bible

“The choice of 25 December appeared around 330, in order to cloud the pagan festivals celebrated at the time of the winter solstice. “This time was always marked in Antiquity, during the Saturnalia celebrated in Rome in honour of Saturn, the ancient master of time, or during Sol Invictus (Unconquered Sun), a cult of the god Mithra that came from Persia.” Nadine Cretin, Fêtes et traditions occidentales [Western Festivals and Traditions] AR87
Mithra was regularly identified
by his worshippers with the sun. His nativity fell on 25 December
The Gospels say nothing as to the day of Christ's birth, and accordingly the early Church
did not celebrate it [...]
At the beginning of the fourth century, the Western Church adopted 25 December as the true date of the nativity.” AR88
J. G. Frazer, The Golden Bough

Mithra is closely associated with the origin of Christmas

The festival of Mithra, Natalis Invicti, Triumphant Sun and ‘birthday’ of the Invincible One, he who gave life back to nature, was therefore gradually replaced by that of the birth of Christ, ‘Light of nations” according to words of old Simeon. - Luke 2:32
The festival of Christmas therefore originated at a time when the cult of the sun was particularly strong in Rome. These details confirm that this festival draws its origins neither from the Scriptures nor from the traditions of the very first Christians. AR89


Carte Chronologie Début du départementSceau cylindre de roi prêtreAntiquités EgyptiennesAntiquités Romaines Haut de page