Methodology in the Interpretation of Roman Mithraic Imagery

Sean Brown

Abstract


The nature of a semiotic system is inherently complex. In the course of this paper, we will examine that nature through the application of linguistic anthropological theory. In so-doing, an interpretive methodology will be elucidated with particular attention given to the religious iconography of the Mithraic Mysteries found in imperial Rome. This multi-disciplinary approach to interpretation seeks to combine classical learning with the applied scientific approach of anthropology in the interest of providing a fresh perspective to an old question: “What does it mean?”


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