An Analysis on Mithraic Temple Landscape Structure

Document Type : Research Article


1 پژوهشگر دکتری معماری، دانشکدۀ معماری و شهرسازی، دانشگاه آزاد، واحد تهران مرکزی، تهران، ایران.

2 استادیار دانشکده هنر و معماری، دانشگاه آزاد اسلامی واحد تهران مرکزی، تهران، ایران.

3 ،استاد دانشکده هنر و معماری، دانشگاه آزاد اسلامی واحد تهران مرکزی، تهران، ایران.


Architecture and art is the best form of emergence of human attitude towards religious rituals and importance such rituals hold. In ancient Persia one of the most significant ritualistic foundations to form the space has been Mithraic beliefs. The importance of architectural design in Mithraic temples is presented in various periods of art and architecture in Iran and other parts of the globe based on the complexity of Mithraic mysteries. The art affected by Mithraism has been transformed in the passage of time into distinct meaning. Although, astrology and studying the heavenly bodies has been a very major issue among the followers, but in general studies on the Mithraic temples always taken place with a focus on interior architectural design of the Mithraeum, and unfortunately the external environment of the temple and natural elements are missing in previous studies. Purpose of presents study is to survey and evaluate the Mithraic temple appearance based on the available documents and buildings identified up to the present day. According to the explanatory-descriptive survey research methods and studying the ritualistic evidences and available papers and articles, and eventually, evaluating the Mithraic temple appearance we got to the conclusion that despite the fundamental structural changes in Mithraic temples from cave temples into underground Mithraeums in various parts of the world and in long periods of time, the general axis of design in Mithraic temples is the nocturnal landscape.


• Alipour, I. (1995). Dar Setayesh-e Agni [Praising The Agni]. Chista, 13 (117): 155-160.
• Asmussen, P. (1993). Mithraic studies. Translated by Jahandari, K. Kolk-e Falsafeh, 4 (45), 44-50.
• Ardeshirbod, F. (1963). Mitra Va Mitraism [Mithras and Mithraism]. Ancient Persia Cultural Association, 1 (2): 59-94.
• Beck, R. L. (2006). The Religion Of The Mithras Cult In The Roman Empire: Mysteries Of The Unconquered Sun. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
• Pourjafar, M. R. & Shahidi, M. (2009). Church Architecture. Tehran: Sima-ye Danesh.
• Cumont, F. (1956). The Mysteries of Mithra. New York: Dover.
• Cumont, F. (2004). Mithras Mysteries. Translated by Hashem Razi. Tehran: Behjat.
• Dadvar, A. & Barazande Hoseini, M. (2010). A Comparative Study on Zoroastrian Fire Temples and Indian Stupas. Naghsh Mayeh, 3 (6): 7-20.
• Engheta, N. (2008). Hafiz and Mithraism. USA
• Freud, S. (2011). Totem and Taboo. Translated by Pourbagher, I. Tehran: Asia.
• Ghadyani , A. (1997). History of Religion and Faiths of Persian Iran. Tehran: Anis.
• Qodusifar, H., Habib, F. & Shahbazi, M. (2012). Sophia Perennis and Nature Place in Ideology and Temples Architecture of Religious. Bagh-e Nazar, 9 (20): 37-50.
• Ghandgar, J. (2005). A Report on Excavation in Zahak Complex. Azerbaijan: Reserved in cultural heritage, handicraft and tourist organization.
• Javadi, Sh. (2007). Shrines & nature (water, tree, mountain). Bagh-e Nazar, 4(8): 12-22.
• Javadi, Sh. (2015). The Continuity of Caucasus"Mithra" architecture’s signs and remnants in the churches of Armenia and Georgia, Bagh-e Nazar, 11 (31): 33-44.
• Javadi, Sh & Nikoei, A. (2016). Investigating the Myth of the Sun in India and Iran. Journal of Art and Civilization of the Orient, 3 (10): 15-22.
• Kajdan, A., Nicholsky, N., Abramovitch, A., Iline, G. & Filippov, A. (2007) History of Ancient World. Translated by Momeni, M., Hamedani, A. & Sadegh Ansari, M. Tehran: Ferdows.
• Mohamadifar, Y. (2009). Parthian Art and Archeology. Tehran: Samt.
• Moghadam, M. (1964). Mithraeum, or Mithraism Temple. Ancient Persian Culture Association, 1 (3): 46-114.
• Saghebfar, M. (2007). Mithraism in Ancient World. Report Collection on Second Congress of Mithraic Studies. Tehran: Tous.
• Shekari Nayeri, J. (2006). Masoum Varjovi Shrine of Maraghe, The Persian Mithraic Temple and European Temple Signs. Persian Studies, 5 (10): 109-125.
• Razi, H. (2002). Mithraism, Behjat Pulication. Tehran
• Rice, M. (2004). The Origins Of Ancient Egypt 5000-2000 BC. London: Routledge.
• Soltanzadeh, H & Ashtiani Rezae, S. (2011). Spatial Architecture Structure of European Mithraeums. Naghsh-e Jahan, 1 (1): 53-80.
• Shinor, M. (1971). Mithras Messenger. Translated by Parto, Sh. Tehran: Mazda.
• Tilley, C. (2004). From Body To Place To Landscape: A Phenomenological Perspective. In: Tilley, C. & Bennett, W. (eds.), Materiality Of tone: Explorations In Landscape Phenomenology. Oxford: Berg.
• Vaage, L. (2006). Religious Rivalries In The Early Roman. Canada: University Press.
• Vermaseren, M.J. (1956). Corpus Inscriptionum et Monumentorum Religionis Mithriacae. (2nd vol.). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.
• Vermaseren, M.J. (1963). Mithras, The Secret God. New York: Barnes & Noble.
• Videngren, M. (1998). Persian Religions. Translated by Farhang, M. Tehran: Agahan Ide.