Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
This thread will attempt to document and discuss various evidences that the 'Chrest..' associated with Mithraism and such as the Flavian emperors was later converted to the 'Christ..' that we are much more familiar with today. This thread will also pursue the notion that Mithraism was not in competition with Christianity, but rather that Mithraism's elite adherents were the elders if not the fathers of the Christian Church of Rome.

The first piece of evidence is the central panel of the Sarcophagus of Domatilla from the mid-4th century CE. This is named for Flavia Domatilla, the niece of Flavian emperors Titus and Domitian, and an early saint of the Roman Catholic Church.

The below is from rho.htm , and provides images of numerous depictions of the Chi-Rho going back to Ptolomy III in the 3rd century BCE.

For a full image of the Sarcophagus of Domatilla see here: And here for a similar sarcophagus from the same general period.

alpha (Α or α) and omega (Ω or ω) letters

What immediately struck me on seeing this central panel was how the entire scene so clearly evokes the Mithraic tauroctony, however the central image of Perseus killing the Bull has been replaced by the Chi-Rho, already long familiar to the cognoscenti of the day. Similarly, several other minor elements have been 'borrowed' from the typical tauroctony tableau, and which still imply the transition of one age to the next. Remarkably, there is still Carrier-esque resistance in academia to what is clearly obvious, especially given the intellectual sensibilities of the cognoscenti of those centuries. Namely, that cosmological ponderings within a zodiacal contextual framework was considered the Science of the Day.

Also of unique interest is that the Chi-Rho is placed immediately atop a very minimalist cross, more typical of a 'modern' Protestant metaphorical depiction. In this combined sense the Chi-Rho is indeed shouting to us that it is representing Christ atop the cross. How interesting for such symbolism as such an early depiction of a crucifixion cross, especially given the surrounding literalism of the other four gospel scenes.

Before returning to the Chi-Rho element let's first examine the 'retained' elements that are visible:

  • Tauroctonies frequently display Helios, the Sun, in the upper-left corner and Luna, the Moon, in the upper-right, both looking down on the central scene. In future depictions of the crucifix, the Sun and the Moon (more literally) will be displayed in the same relative positions.
  • Directly under the sacrificed bull of a tauroctony is usually a large snake, which we can see ambiguated into something that looks like a billowing ribbon just behind the common upright of the cross and Chi-Rho. On closer examination we can discern that we are seeing the ends of the ribbon that is being used to bind the bottom of the wreath to the upright (while the top of the wreath is being held by an odd bird's head that almost evokes a Gothic era gargoyle). Ignoring the visual 'cover' of the wreath binding, it otherwise clearly evokes the Mithraic 'snake'.
  • Also normally standing below the sacrificed bull of the tauroctony are Cautes and Cautopates, the torchbearers (whom some equate with Castor and Pollux as well), of whom one has his torch pointing up and the other's is pointing down. This has been transposed to having one guard looking up and the other down. (In a later post here I will discuss Castor and Pollux as sometimes cleverly depicted by the two thieves crucified on either side of Jesus.)
  • Two birds are depicted perching on the opposing arms of the cross. Ravens (as Corvus) are part of the Mithraic motif, and represent the lowest ranking adepts of the order. But this feature can be dismissed as too generic possibly.
Perhaps most subtle imagery of all are the two opposing flourishes just outside the 'wreath' at 10 and 2 o'clock. One can see explicit, yet subtle, Greek letters for 'Alpha' and 'Omega' with many Chi-Rho symbols, and here I say that the artist and/or the commissioner of the piece wanted to cleverly depict the alpha (Α or α) and omega (Ω or ω) letters in a way that could be denied, if needed for some reason.

The Gospels have Jesus saying that he is the Alpha and Omega, and as I, and others, have asserted these terms referring to the end of one cyclical Age, and the immediate Beginning of a New Age. Contra Carrier, these ages were demarcated by the transitions from one zodiacal zone to the next, albeit that we are not privy to the means of determining the precise datum points.

What we do know is the the Christian 'Christ' was accorded the imagery of the sacrificial lamb, and later we'll even see a lamb depicted atop a crucifixion cross. The surviving, saved, adherents of the new age are accorded the symbology of the Fish. The age prior to the lamb/sheep/ram, was preceded in turn by the Bull, who is sacrificed and the event attended by the Gemini twins Castor and Pollux.

Finally, we can look at the wreath, which actually represents the "crown of thorns", made obvious by its depiction in 3 of the 4 other adjacent gospel scenes. With the crown of thorns placed so around the extremes of the Chi's 'X', the cosmological aspect of the symbology becomes much more apparent. The angle of the 'X' more clearly evokes the angle of the 'crossing' [sic] solar system ecliptic with the Earth's equatorial ecliptic. It is during this 'crossing' time that the esoteric adherents of such as Mithraism would account for the datum points of transition, and thus Christianity would assign the dates for Easter and such. And Jesus enters the Temple Mount through the "Golden Gate" (the Eastern Gate), which links back to the older Egyptian system, using the same name and concept of a Golden Gate.

In a subsequent next post we'll examine the letter that comes after the Chi-Rho, and we'll see that the 'E' was much more common in display than the 'I' of Christ, and we'll discuss why.

But for now, its good to know that the Christian saint, Flavia Domatilla, was associated by blood with those who are recorded in association with the 'E', as in Chrest. OK, and also that she was married to a Flavian cousin that scuttlebutt has it was also one and the same as Pope Clement I, and the latter whose death, at the will of cousin Domitian, evokes that of St. Peter's.


The above is a 15th century depiction of Saint Domatilla from Umbria holding what appears like a Jesuit IHS Christogram with the typical solar flares, albeit the first letter(s?) seems problematic as an 'I'. Note the depicted tint of her hair, a common feature feature for such royals and members of the 'holy' family(s).
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The following image is a colored replica of a famous tauroctony from one of 4 mithraems in the Nida/Heddernheim district of Frankfurt Germany:


For more discussion of this specific tauroctony see:

Of note we can see depicted in 12 panels across the arch above the grotto the 12 signs of the zodiac. This makes understanding that the tauroctony motif is focused on the transition of the zodiacal ages via the passage of time. In this case, the Great Year of the Zodiac is bracketed (by the sequence of the panels) by the transition from Aries to Pisces, time passing from right to left across the panels. This, even though it is always the bull being killed by Mithra (Perseus) within the many tauroctonies of the cult.

In this particular tauroctony, Hydra the snake is uniquely looking into a 'krater', yet another constellation, and in this case the scene evokes the legend of the Cup of the Holy Grail, associated with the Christian Crucifixion. And, as mentioned in the first post, Helios, or Sol, is seen to the left of Luna, here both riding in their celestial chariots, and we'll see this generic Sun and Moon motif in scenes of the Crucifixion as well. And finally, note the raven, Corvus, perched upon Perseus's cape, gazing on attentively, similar to the two 'birds' perched upon the cross of the Sarcophagus of Domatilla.

One can see the relationship of Perseus to Taurus below, as well as some of the other usual players in tauroctony tableaus.

With Mithra stabbing of the bull, we can then recognize the parallel with Christianity, in that Christ is represented by the Lamb, or Aries, who is stabbed in the side by Longinus. These depicted killings are meant to ritually remind the adherent of the demarcation of these transitions of the ages. As such, I wonder whether this time keeping function of Longinus is what inspired the name of Longines, the Swiss watch company?
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Our next focus on this topic was intended to be on the relative positioning of Sol / Helios and Luna within the Mithraic tauroctonies and that this symbology will be brought through to early depictions of the crucifixion.

But before we get to that:

My research into this solar and lunar aspect, in addition to that of the 'Dioscuri' twins (as specifically "Castor and Pollux" versus the more common "Cautes and Cautopates" in the Mithraic context), also led to the realization that my prior identification of the central events of 9/11/2001 as a Mithraic mass is further bolstered. This because, just as within the tauroctony depictions, ubiquitously the Sun is above and to the left of the sacrificial killing scene while the Moon is above and to the right. (And, as discovered after writing that article, the Moon's movement ended up precisely clocking out the 'narrative' actions of the Twin Tower impact planes from their time at Boston's Logan Airport to their respective impact times.) As well, Jupiter (father of Castor and Pollux, as Zeus) was immediately between the two heavenly twins on 9/11.

Of course, discussions of such matters create mental problems for most contemporary humans, whether they be 'cultural' or literal Christians, Modernist rationalists, or similar because a false cognitive dissonance is created whereby the centuries of derision of zodiacal astrology also usually leads to the incorrect summary dismissal of the scientific fact that the solar system is indeed a precise clock-like mechanism. Just as it is today, it was so more than two thousand years ago. And, as this article posits, the typical nonchalant outward stare of Mithras, as he is stabbing the unhappy bull, is meant to signify to the adherents that the cosmic passage of time and movements of the stars and planets are like clockwork, only in this case unalterable by the hand of humans.

If any contemporary 'doctor' of astronomy, and/or of statistics (Bayesian or otherwise) wants to assert that some other prior alignments of the planets and stars might qualify to dismiss my thesis on 9/11/2001 or on that of the 9/23/2017 (9 month dynamic) alignment viz the Revelation 12 depiction as patently and summarily incorrect, please be aware that I already verified that the 4 allegedly 'close' alignments (according to a consensus reality apologist) for the latter (Rev 12) were nowhere near as precise as on 9/23/2017. I will go out on a limb here that the alignment for 9/11/2001 is similarly unique, including its respective internal 'clocking' dynamics. And, by the way, September 23 is also a 'crossing' date, the autumn equinox.

The last link above also discusses the Egyptian Golden and Silver Gates (of the cosmological 'crossings') and provides a typical papal logo, which I just noticed also forms a Chi-Rho itself:


In this case the papal crown, 'vicariously' stands in for Christ, because the Pope is indeed accorded as the Vicar of Christ. The crossed gold and silver keys further bolster my contention that the Chi's 'X' is a cosmological representation given the Egyptian usage. The Egyptian differentiation between the divine Golden Gate and the human Silver Gate also accords with the divine nature of Pollux, and the semi-devine nature of Castor. As well, the 'divine' Jesus (especially if the Virgin is 'divine' per Catholicism) is accorded in the apocrypha as having a crass human twin brother, Thomas-Didymas.

Let's also remember here, that besides being Roman political propaganda, that the Gospels are chock full of cosmological references, such as the 3 (Persian) Magi that were looking for a unique 'star' marking the Nativity. The post-fixing of the first year in the AD calendar system is considered to have been somewhat arbitrary, or the exact rationale unknown, but remarkably it is precisely 2000 years later that 9/11/2001 occurs (there is no year zero), where I noted that the sequential falling of the Twin Towers, ritually mimicking Castor and Pollux (on Earth as in Heaven), form the perfect symbolic Omega and Alpha [sic] demarcation moments for the clockwork transition of the ages. Here, following the term 'millennial' literally -- and in accordance with the millennial references and symbolic depiction of the Precessional Great Year in Revelation (e.g. the 24 elders sitting in a circle around God - the Sun).
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The following is a 586 CE scene of the Crucifixion depicting the Sun and the (darker) Moon in the same respective positions as mentioned in prior posts here.

Upper panel, Illumination from the Rabbula Gospels, Florence, Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana, Cod. Pluteus I, 56, fol. 13r.

Note also that, as is typical for depictions of the three crosses, that 'Christ's' is in 'superposition' to the other two 'thieves'. If, one can allow that the Dioscuri twins, as Castor and Pollux, are not being represented in the typical Mythraic pose of attending torch bearers, here the veiled message can be that Castor and Pollux, as 'heroic' cattle thieves and the twin saviors of prior Greco-Roman culture are being superceded by Jesus Christ. The ship that delivered Paul and his Romanized Christianity to Rome was the ... 'Castor and Pollux'.

Yes, plausible, but not Bayesianly probable that this name of a ship was their ... Carrier, especially when Paul's narrative details so imitates Josephus Flavius's, for example: their respective shipwrecks on the way to Rome. Castor and Pollux were especially beloved as the divine saviors of mariners, so it is quite poetic to have the messengers (sic) of normative Christianity delivered to safety by Christ's 'divine' predecessors.

So, as per the supercessionist theology of the Roman Catholic Church, Christianity's New Covenant supersedes the Judaic First Covenant, and more quietly supersedes the Greco-Roman Homeric canon that described the ending of the Late Bronze Age. This via the Trojan War centered around Castor and Pollux's divine sister, Helen, all born of eggs (aren't we all? ;)).

For wider context, the Judaic epic parallel to the Trojan War tableau is the Conquest to Judges period, most notably with Samson, whose Trumpian [sic] chaos is the most emblematic prelude to a new age of kingship, at least per the narrative accounting, however propagandicly embellished or not. Per the Postflavian concept of the False Dialectic of Western Civilization the mirrored societies are Yin versus Yang constructions from the same Egyptian and Mesopotamian sources, following back the legends in time. This is what the late Moses Hadas was hinting at in his classic Hellenistic Culture, Fusion and Diffusion.

Moving on, the following is a 13th century depiction, with all of the Mythraic elements removed except for the Sun and Moon:


Circa 1270-1290, Metropolitan Museum of Art 1981.322. Bequest of Thomas W. Lamont in 2013/metropolitan/january2012/adamCrossMissal.html

The figure at the base of the cross is Adam, arisen from his tomb, collecting the blood flowing from Christ. In some esoteric theology Adam, the original 'Man' is the precursor that the incarnate Christ is a type of, and/or a re-manifestation of, hence the curious term "Son of Man" (as opposed to Son of God).
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The canonic gospels oddly do not render names for the two thieves that are crucified with Jesus, and thus besides the names (Dismas and Gestas) given from apocryphal writings, they are commonly titled the Penitent Thief and the Impenitent Thief. This based upon what they respectively said to Jesus. The canonic texts, both NT and OT, are normally rather prolific in providing names and when this happens one has to wonder if something is being hidden. And doing so this way instead of providing veiled names is intriguing, as perhaps alerting those with "eyes to see" that there is something important to discern.

Interestingly we find the following:

The apocryphal Arabic (or Syriac) Infancy Gospel refers to Gestas and Dismas as Dumachus and Titus, respectively.

Could Dumachus and Titus be sardonic, insider references to Domitian and ... Titus? Domitian the Bad Thief and Titus the Good Thief? In the historical commentary Titus Flavius is accorded as being one of the "Good Emperors", while his younger brother not so much. As the Impenitent Thief is sometimes depicted with Satan, or an agent of Satan's, Domitian is frequently associated with Satan via interpretations of the Book of Revelation, and as the book is dated by some to Domitian's reign.

And 'thieves' here in the context of making the 'Gentile' graft onto the Root of Jesse per 'Romans' 11. Surely another carrier of coincidence, the two uprights of '11' form semiotic suggestions of the Gemini twins, and indeed two parallel uprights are their Zodiacal symbol.

One occasional motif employed is to depict the Impenitent Thief facing the opposite direction from Jesus and the Penitent Thief, thus evoking the opposite torch stances of the Mithraic Dioscuri. Albeit this could simply be the artistic license being taken to symbolize the moral differences between the two thieves. In any case, from this depiction means and others, the Penitent Thief is always depicted to Jesus's right , on the Mithraic Sunny side, while the Impenitent Thief is on the Dark side of the Moon (bon mot intended).

In the following case, with the Sun and Moon not in the scene, the artist and/or the patron have the light and shadows reversed, perhaps indicating that by the 15th century this symbolic meaning has been lost to them.

Probably 15th century from Frauenkirche, Munich, Germany 2017/Munich/crucifixionRetableFrauenkirche.html
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Next we must address the identification of the Mithraic twins, usually named Cautes and Cautopates, as actually also being the Gemini Dioscuri twins, Castor and Pollux. Here, as with the Wikipedia link, it is most common for this equation to not be mentioned, when it is quite obvious that the Mithraic imagery is talking about the same aspects as the better known Zodiacal and mythic characters.

Note 2 Manfred Claus, The Roman cult of Mithras, tr. Richard Gordon. Edinburgh University Press (2000) p. 95: "No satisfactory etymology of the names Cautes and Cautopates has yet been offered, but it is certain which name applied to which: Cautes holds his torch up, Cautopates down. That it was possible to represent them sometimes simply by their phrygian caps shows that the Mithraists took their presence for granted (p. 49; fig. 9)." (from the above link)​

The following is what the scholar Franz Cumont stated about these characters more than a century ago:


Mithraic Cameo Figure 28 (source not provided)​

Importantly, note in the cameo image that the two are depicted atop horses, of which Castor and Pollux were famous for being horsemen and even horse tamers. There are a set a famous statues of them riding their horses on the Quirinale Hill of Rome.

There was scarcely any object or animal that was not in some way conceived as the symbolic image of a stellar group. Thus the raven, the cup, the dog, and the lion, that ordinarily accompany the group of the tauroctonous Mithra, were readily identified with the constellations of the same name. The two celestial hemispheres that alternately pass above and below the earth were personified and likened to the Dioscuri, who, according to the Hellenic fable, lived and died by turns. ... Franz Cumont, The Mysteries of Mithra (1903)

Here, Cumont makes the obvious connection, with so much obvious imagery connecting to Zodiacal imagery, that the twins must also be the same. Yet, still others will make some rather obtuse identifications, sometimes while staying within same Zodical tableau.

pp. 127 -130
For the ancient Magi, Mithra was, as we have seen, the god of light, and as the light is borne by the air he was thought to inhabit the Middle Zone between Heaven and Hell, and for this reason the name of μεσίτης was given to him. In order to signalize this attribute in the ritual, the sixteenth or middle day of each month was consecrated to him. When he was identified with Shamash, 1 his priests in investing him with the appellation of "intermediary" doubtless had in mind the fact that, according to the Chaldæan doctrines, the sun occupied the middle place in the planetary choir. But this middle position was not exclusively a position in space; it was also invested with an important moral significance. Mithra was the "mediator" between the unapproachable and unknowable god that reigned in the ethereal spheres and the human race that struggled and suffered here below. Shamash had already enjoyed analogous functions in Babylon, and the Greek philosophers also saw in the glittering globe that poured down upon this world its light, the ever-present image of the invisible Being, of whom reason alone could conceive the existence.

It was in this adventitious quality of the genius of the solar light that Mithra was best known in the Occident, and his monuments frequently suggest this borrowed character. It was customary to represent him between two youthful figures, one with an uplifted, the other with an inverted, torch. These youths bore the enigmatic epithets of Cauti and Cautopati, and were naught else than the double incarnation of his person (Figs. 18 and 29). These two dadophori, as they were called, and the tauroctonous hero formed together a triad, and in this "triple Mithra" was variously seen either the star of day, whose coming at morn the cock announced, who passed at midday triumphantly into the zenith and at night languorously fell toward the horizon; or the sun which, as it waxed in strength, entered the constellation of Taurus and marked the beginning of spring,--the sun whose conquering ardors fecundated nature in the heart of summer and the sun that afterwards, enfeebled, traversed the sign of the Scorpion and announced the return of winter.

From another point of view, one of these torchbearers was regarded as the emblem of heat and of life, and the other as the emblem of cold and of death. Similarly, the tauroctonous group was variously explained with the aid of an astronomical symbolism more ingenious than rational. Yet these sidereal interpretations were nothing more than intellectual diversions designed to amuse the neophytes prior to their receiving the revelation of the esoteric doctrines that constituted the ancient Iranian legend of Mithra. The story of this legend is lost, but the bas-reliefs recount certain episodes of it, ...

With Cumont it is important to note that he associated the 'late' Roman era usage of Mithraism to be a direct descendant, in the main, of the prior Persian cult of Mithra. Today this take is seen as unwarranted, because there are obvious differences in that the later Mithraism seems to have syncretistically borrowed narrowly from the earlier, probably to give the newer cult an exotic Eastern gloss. Later, I will discuss some interesting connection to Julius Caesar, a holder of the office of Pontifex Maximus, and the Apostle Paul, to a cult center of the earlier Mithraism.

In any case, the earlier chief religious office of Pontifex Maximus was taken over by the popes of the Roman Church with Constantine's changing of the guard. The pope, as the stand-in (Vicar) for Christ, becomes the sole mediator between God and the people.

In some of mythic stories of the Dioscuri, the twins are depicted as alternating their lives and deaths (metaphorically of course) between day and night. But also from the Mithraic symbolism to mark the annual seasons, hence the blood of the sacrificed bull would provide fertility for the fresh life of spring. Hence, we can see the mythic equation with the Crucifixion's Pentitent Thief always under the Sun and the Impenitent Thief under the Moon, the lesser illuminator of the Night.

But, if these twins can mark out the days and nights, and the annual seasons, why not between the ages by logical extension? While some people claim (correctly IMHO) that the precession of the equinox was understood much before the time of the Mythraic Mysteries and the near simultaneous advent of Christianity (at least by the early dating of the canonic gospels), precession was absolutely understood by then, with zodiacal 'astrology' literally being the 'science' of the day in the Hellenistic world.

In some cases of the depictions of the two thieves, Satan, or one of his representatives, can be seen immediately above the Impenitent Thief. In the Book of Revelation Christ and Satan are accorded alternate millenniums to reign. By extension, the beginning of the book tells us that 24 elders sit in a circle around God (the Sun) implying 24 'millenniums' of the Great Year. Yet there are only 12 Zodiac ages of the Great Year. If each of the 12 'ages' can be accorded a 'night' and a 'day' then Christ and his dark 'brother' (fallen son of God) have their respective milleniums, and that Satan offered Christ his chance to reign on Earth. It's all metaphor, but unfortunately too many are deaf and blind.
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The research I've done for this effort has made me aware of the work of the 19th and 20th century Biblical scholar, J. Rendel Harris, titled The Dioscuri in the Christian Legends. His thesis here focuses on whether or not Castor and Pollux were indeed direct theological and narrative predecessors of Christ and the Christian religion as we know it today. It does not address the Mithraic focus on this thread, but otherwise bolsters my thesis in that Mithraism, born at the same time as early dated canonic gospels, served as a convenient means to culturally slipstream, or shoehorn, Christianity into being as a more universal replacement for the widespread cult of the Dioscuri twins. This doing so with a Judaic gloss that: one, distracts minds, generations distant, away from the once familiar twin saviors; and two, serves to pacify Judaic fence-sitters on the question of militant Judaic separatism.

Harris went into considerable detail in discussing the manner and breadth of the cult of the Dioscuri, and as well demonstrated the earlier roots of even this religion with threads extending to what is now Poland and Lithuania to parallels in Vedic texts. Harris was first drawn to this matter by noticing the Church's early saints, Florus and Lorus, who were accounted as being stone masons. Harris's research found evidence that Castor and Pollux also had this lesser known attribute and based upon this and other reasons concluded that Florus and Lorus were renamed from Castor and Pollux, at the same time that the mother of Constantine, Helena was canonized as Saint Helena. By this clever means Castor and Pollux were able to remain, in disguise, with their sister Helen(a).

From Florus and Lorus, Harris goes on to discuss other parallel divine twins, and then enters a long discussion of Judas Thomas, aka Thomas Didymas, the "twin apostle". Harris discusses why we should indeed consider that Thomas was the lesser twin of Jesus, and thus the new respective replacement versions of Castor and Pollux.

As I mentioned Florus and Lorus, and Castor and Pollux, being stonemasons we can imply that Jesus and Thomas also were, this from the gospels alone by that their human father Joseph was accorded being a stonemason, a tekton. The apocryphal Acts of Thomas are explicit in discussing that Thomas is an architect, a stonemason, and a carpenter.

And interesting narrative account that ties these twins and others together is a moral story where one twin takes funds from a king to build a temple or palace. The twin gives all the funds to the needy and when discovered by the king, the twin is severely punished. But the temple or palace was completed ... in heaven. In the case of Florus and Lorus, the temple was originally intended to be pagan, but the head priest of the temple converts to Christianity and thus do the twins, explaining their giving the funds to the needy.
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One more amazing parallel between the legends of Castor and Pollux and that of the Christian canon is the curious business about the "morning star", where Jesus assumes the role of this morning star. This has led to confusion about who is Lucifer, Satan or Christ? Also leading to discussions about the planet Venus and its 'pentagram' orbit appearance. This is all for another time perhaps, but importantly Castor and Pollux were associated respectively with the evening and morning stars. The former star dying in the evening like the 'mortal' Castor. Morning stars are more generally associated with kingship, and thus they frequently appear on coins.
Interestingly we find the following:

The apocryphal Arabic (or Syriac) Infancy Gospel refers to Gestas and Dismas as Dumachus and Titus, respectively.

Could Dumachus and Titus be sardonic, insider references to Domitian and ... Titus? Domitian the Bad Thief and Titus the Good Thief? ...

It is common to find claims that the imperial imposition of Catholicism resulted in the conversion of the prior strata of pagan gods into the early saints of the Church. Perhaps the most common example is that of Dionysis, in Paris, being converted to Saint Denis. Clearly, one can see the similarity in the names, and thus from our late perspective one can easily wonder why names like this are so transparent. The apologists' excuse is that the respective saints' names are plausibly real names of historical Christians.

Harris delivers an explanation, below, for what is really going on, in an excerpt from his Chapter 5 on the saints Kastoulos and Polyeuctes. He has been discussing that Christians devoted to Saint Polyeuctes are spread early on from France through Constantinople to Armenia, and that Saint Polyeuctes is venerated for avenging perjury. In the following note 1. he demonstrates that the prior pagans swore by one or both of the Dioscuri twins, and thus that this is how such a specific Catholic cult could be so widespread so soon.

Just prior to the following Harris provides the names "Edepol and Mecastor" with no explanatory introduction other than what is mentioned for Aedepol in the note.

pg. 57
And a little reflection will show that the natural way to stop the popular swearing by Castor and Pollux was to transfer the oaths to saints who should sound the same. Viewed in this light the statements of S. Gregory of Tours are perfectly intelligible, and we are confirmed in our belief that Polyeuctes is Polydeuces.1


It is a well known phenomenon of languages that the sounds of words and names can evolve over time and from place to place. Imagine then, a new priest is introduced to a community of pagan followers of Castor and Pollux, in this case, and he speaks with a foreign accent or a lisp. The pre-existent adherents become conditioned over time to this new pronunciation of their familiar gods' names, while the underlying narratives remain the same or near the same. After numerous generations the community doesn't realize that its patron saints were once gods, except perhaps certain elders helping to oversee the transformation.

On the previous page, 56, Harris mentions the archaeological find of the images of Castor and Pollux on an excavated alter under the famous cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. Similarly we find that underneath many early Catholic Cathedrals, including at the Vatican, were the sites of the underground mithraeums dedicated to the cult of Mithras. Some of these, at least, were known to be in use during the time of the respective above ground structure, which likely was pagan before being converted to Christian usage. And we have identified that Castor and Pollux are the most logical candidates for the tauroctony characters otherwise more commonly named Cautes and Cautopates.

So with a better understanding of this process of converting the gods to saints, could Titus and Domitian also have been cleverly and humorously injected into the Cruci-fiction tableau via the same technique. Leaving Titus's name alone makes the stunt even more enjoyable to its author. It might also be worth noting here that the region of Syriac Christianity, and thus the Syriac Gospel, was also the home of the Severan dynasty emperors of Rome.
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The book "The Dioscuri in Christian Legends" by J. Rendel Harris may also be found online at this link:

The Dioscuri in the Christian legends

The legend of Florus and Laurus is described on p. 5:

Florus and Laurus were twin-brothers, stonecutters, who had learnt their craft from the martyrs Patroclus and Maximus. Leaving Byzantium, they migrated to the province of Dardania where they settled in a city named Ulpiana, and endeavoured to get work as quarrymen from the governor of the province, whose name was Lycion or Lycon. He sends them to Licinius the son of queen Elpidia ; and Licinius engages them to build a temple, of which he draws them a plan and for which he furnishes them with funds. The saints take the money and spend it on the poor; by day they work at the building, by night they give themselves to prayer. When the work is nearly finished, in which they have angelic help, the chief priest of the temple, whose name is Merentius, becomes a believer in Christ, his son Athanasius having been cured of blindness by the twin-brethren. Thereupon the idols of the temple are dishonoured and destroyed. The temple is consecrated as a Christian church, with many pious hymns and the kindling of many lights.

When Licinius hears of this, he first of all burns alive all the poor people who had received' the charities of the saints, and had helped to break up the statues of the gods. Then he bound Florus and Laurus to a wheel and either flayed or beat them. Then he sends them back to Lycion, who pitches them into a dry well where they perish. Some time after their bones are recovered and honoured, and work miracles for the faithful. Such is, in brief, the story of the blessed twin-brethren, Florus and Laurus.
Looking for a historical core in this tale, Harris says: "We may accept as fact that in a certain town in Illyricum a temple, perhaps of the Dioscuri themselves, was turned into a Christian church under the patronage of SS. Florus and Laurus." After some analysis, he also concludes that Florus and Laurus, by their attributes, are very likely stand-ins (fictional avatars) for the Dioscuri twins. As such, Harris infers that there is no reason to consider them as real historical characters.

But is there another historical truth here? It seems that at Licinius's orders, the entire congregation of some particular sect of Christians living in this town have been burned alive. Their leader or leaders have been tortured on a wheel and viciously murdered. And just before this happened, the chief priest of the temple has become a Christian.

Could it be that this Merentius has some theological & political opinions that the ill-fated "historical Florus and Laurus" wouldn't have agreed with? This "chief priest" was entirely responsible for the destruction of the statues of the gods; and yet, the narrative doesn't mention that he was punished in any way.

This is reminiscent of Aaron, who organized the construction & worship of the golden calf, and was rewarded with a promotion while all the plebs who followed his leadership were killed.
With Castor and Pollux we must remember that their sister, or the retrieving of her, is the focal point of the Trojan War as told by Homer in his Iliad. From among other reasons, that fact that the three siblings are divine and semi-divine are reason to consider them as ahistorical in the sense that Jesus of Nazareth is. With the work of J.Rendel Harris we can see one of the processes of transforming the prior widespread worship of the Dioscuri twins into the more unified worship of Christ. Different communities had variations in the telling of the separate (from the Homeric 'canon') narratives of Castor and Pollux, and Harris's work demonstrates how these differences resulted in different respective local patron saints in the Catholic Church.

The following excerpt from Wikipedia summarizes the thesis of Dennis MacDonald on how Homer's works were used to help shape the Christian canon. (Note 4 is to Richard Carrier's work.)

Christianizing Homer
In one of MacDonald's first books, Christianizing Homer: The Odyssey, Plato, and the Acts of Andrew, he posited the theory that the non-canonical Acts of Andrew was a Christian retelling of Homer's Iliad.[2] In it he argued that one could detect trends that showed parallels between the Homeric epic and the Acts of Andrew. He argued that the Acts of Andrew is better understood in light of the Odyssey. That the order of events in the Acts follows those found in the Acts of Andrew, that certain events in the Acts are better understood when understood in context of the Homeric epics, and that the Homeric texts commonly were available during the first century AD. In subsequent works, MacDonald expanded his hypothesis to include the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of Mark as being Christian variations of the Homeric epics.

In Christianizing Homer, MacDonald lays down his principles of literary mimesis, his methodology for comparing ancient texts. There are six aspects he examines 1) accessibility, 2) analogy, 3) density, 4) order, 5) distinctive traits, and 6) interpretability.[1] According to his hypothesis, not only was Homer readily available to the authors of the New Testament, but the Homeric epics would have been the basic texts upon which the New Testament authors learned to write Greek. MacDonald also argues that the number of common traits, the order in which they occur, and the distinctiveness thereof between the Homeric Texts and early Christian documents help to show that the New Testament writers were using Homeric models when writing various books.

In his earliest reviews, MacDonald only applied his hypothesis to works such as Tobit and the Acts of Peter. In later works, he posits the Acts of the Apostles, the Gospel of Mark, and Gospel of Luke merged two cultural classics of his time period in order to "depict Jesus as more compassionate, powerful, noble, and inured to suffering than Odysseus."[3]

Homeric epics and the Gospel of Mark
MacDonald's seminal work, however, is The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark. According to MacDonald, the Gospel of Mark is "a deliberate and conscious anti-epic, an inversion of the Greek 'Bible' of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, which in a sense updates and Judaizes the outdated heroic values presented by Homer, in the figure of a new hero."[4]

The book begins by examining the role that the Homeric Epics played in antiquity—namely that anybody who was considered educated at the time learned to read and write, and they did so by studying the Odyssey and Iliad. Students were expected, not only to understand the epics, but be able to rewrite the stories in their own words. Rewriting the Homeric Epics was commonplace and accepted in Biblical times.[4]

In using the Homeric Epics, the ancient writers were not trying to deceive their readers; in fact MacDonald believes the ancient readers understood the juxtapositions of Jesus with Odysseus. “Mark’s purpose”, he argues, “in creating so many stories about Jesus was to demonstrate how superior [Jesus] was to Greek heroes. Few readers of Mark fail to see how he portrays Jesus as superior to Jewish worthies… He does the same for Greek heroes.”[1]

Per Carrier (on the same link):

MacDonald's seminal work, however, is The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark. According to MacDonald, the Gospel of Mark is "a deliberate and conscious anti-epic, an inversion of the Greek 'Bible' of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, which in a sense updates and Judaizes the outdated heroic values presented by Homer, in the figure of a new hero."[4]

Christianity's New Covenant is also an inversion of the Mosaic Laws of Judaism, so in one stroke it is an inversion of both the Judaic and Greco-Roman systems, while keeping the 'new' rabbinic Judaism as its foil, under the cynically protective wing of the papacy (see Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion and James Carroll, Constantine's Sword). Moses Hadas, in Hellenistic Culture demonstrated how Jewish epic and Hellenistic Greek epic was modeled upon the same sources, at least.

All the above (in this post) leaves, of course, what the actual process was for swapping out the earlier canons, and such as what time period would be required to overcome the inevitable cultural resistance, which is a huge issue, as we are witnessing today, and was seen with the German Kulturkampf of Bismarck's time. This is the reason that we are proposing the model suggested by Flavio Barbiero, The Secret Society of Moses, in the use of the 'underground' (Roman) cult of Mithra as a means to shoehorn the introduction of Christianity into place over a period of several centuries. This done so via the extended family of Josephus Flavius, only we believe that the Flavians and other Roman elites were equally participating. With this collaboration of the Hasmonean family of Josephus with the Sabine Romans, 'Esau' recovers his inheritance, the Blessing of Abraham.

The Roman cult of Mithra comes into view at the time of the early dating of the gospels, and consistent with the thesis of Atwill's Caesar's Messiah. With the edict of Constantine, the cult vanishes from the scene, no longer needed. It's sub rosa functionality later resurrected in the guise of Freemasonry. As had been the case during the time of Julius Caesar with such as Gaul, the later Romans and Hasmoneans would 'intercourse' their way to become the royalty and nobility of Europe, and the 'Norman' presidents of the USA. Under their patronage Freemasonry would arise to accomplish ends that the exoteric Christian Church can not.

With Christ, he ascends to Heaven, and thus mimicks the ascension of the Earthly Dioscuri twins to Heaven, where they become the Gemini Constellation (syncretisticaly circling around Helios/El (the Sun), who was the heavenly god of the Canaanites and/aka ... the Israelites).

As I have discussed recently, the usage of 'chrest' and 'christ' are first found in the works of Homer. It is the anointing word 'christ' which is parlayed into the Greek system of gematria to operate as a solar related number with in the Pythagorean sacred geometry (see David Fideler, Jesus Christ, Sun of God). Inscriptions demonstrate that various Flavians were associated with what appears to be a cult of 'Chrest' (Bartram), and such seems to be found in areas like 'Turkey' where can also be found the cult of the Dioscuri. And as well, the Flavian imperial symbology was the fish and anchor (Valliant and Fahy, Creating Christ, such symbols derived from the Platono-Pythagorean system. The 'king of the fish', the dolphin, was considered a savior of mariners, just like the Dioscuri twins.
I don't understand your question here

What I'm suggesting is that perhaps the purge victims were Ebionites, Nazorians or some other radical 'Christian' messianic sect that represented political resistance to the Roman regime. Maybe they favored a communist re-distribution of patrician assets. They might have believed that 'Christ' or 'the Messiah' was an earthly revolutionary hero, rather than a celestial deity historicized as a Roman apologist.

Why else would it have been necessary to burn them alive, or torture them on the wheel? Surely it wasn't because they had destroyed pagan idols. But if they were murdered because they were troublemakers, then who would dare to point out the hypocrisy that Merentius was a very different type of 'Christian'? (That is, he was a Roman-Jewish syncretistic 'Chrestian', not a zealot radical.)

After a few generations, who would even remember the deception?
On the back wall of the Vatican's Room of the Animals is a small tauroctony relief with an inscription that states: Χρῆστος πατὴρ καὶ Γαῦρος ἐποίησαν or "Chrestus the Pater, and Gaurus, dedicated this."

Much has been made over this inscription with some getting carried away. However, it is clear that the term 'Chrestus Pater' is meant to acknowledge the human leader, or current 'father' of the respective mithraeuam's 'congregation', and not referring to Mithra himself with the appellation of 'Chrestus'. If Chrestus was indeed Mithra then who the heck is Gaurus? Most likely just one of the adherents.


Vatican Museum, Room of the Animals, entries CIMRM 554-5.

Flavio Barbiero's The Secret Society of Moses has a great discussion on the Roman cult of Mithra and the various location prevalences of the cult's mithraeums throughout the empire. They are found underneath Christian (likely once prior pagan churches and basilicas, including at the Vatican), at important logistical ports like Ostium, and on the military frontiers, like at Hadrian's Wall in Britain. The members of the cult are a relatively elite and 'functional' demographic compared to the general pagan and Christian demographic. Thus, from the physical positioning of the mithrauems and its membership, it can be seen to function like many masonic lodges (especially those without separate lodges) relate to Protestant Christian churches and the Knights of Columbus do for the Catholic churches today.

And, as Barbiero discusses, besides the common focus on Freemasonry's Egyptian and Judaic Solomonic themes, they have other 'pagan' themes that have Mithraic correspondences. With the relevant works of J. Rendel Harris on the widespread cult of the Dioscuri twins, he expands our understanding of the significance of curious dual columns, such as the pair at Urfa / Edessa, which has been frequently associated with the pillars of Hercules. Instead, Harris shows how such dual columns are much more likely to represent the respective local cult of the earlier, than Christianity, Dioscuri twins.

This observation leads me to speculate on the true nature of the Solomonic dual columns of Jachin and Boaz. 'Supposedly' the original columns recorded all sorts of advanced knowledge, the same as would be necessary for the master architects and stone masons, Castor and Pollux, or whatever other names they may have gone by in any locale. The columns of Jachin and Boaz also have masonic associations with the Sun and Moon, as we see with the two thieves of the Crucifixion.
What I'm suggesting is that perhaps the purge victims were Ebionites, Nazorians or some other radical 'Christian' messianic sect that represented political resistance to the Roman regime. Maybe they favored a communist re-distribution of patrician assets. They might have believed that 'Christ' or 'the Messiah' was an earthly revolutionary hero, rather than a celestial deity historicized as a Roman apologist.

Why else would it have been necessary to burn them alive, or torture them on the wheel? Surely it wasn't because they had destroyed pagan idols. But if they were murdered because they were troublemakers, then who would dare to point out the hypocrisy that Merentius was a very different type of 'Christian'? (That is, he was a Roman-Jewish syncretistic 'Chrestian', not a zealot radical.)

After a few generations, who would even remember the deception?
Yes, this makes sense, but such accounts would likely indicate whatever the local cult was in a particular place, which could include the Judiac groups you mention, as well as numerous pagan groups that did not want to adapt to the new scheme.

Yes, Merentius would then make a chresty (good) candidate to have been such a Chrestus Pater (Good Father), as inscribed on the Vatican relief I just posted on above. And today, good Christians aspire to become more Christ-like, good 'pagan' Chrestians did the same, from Chrest-ly to Christ-like perfection. Akin to the Buddhist reunification with the One.
Next we must address the identification of the Mithraic twins, usually named Cautes and Cautopates, as actually also being the Gemini Dioscuri twins, Castor and Pollux. Here, as with the Wikipedia link, it is most common for this equation to not be mentioned, when it is quite obvious that the Mithraic imagery is talking about the same aspects as the better known Zodiacal and mythic characters.

Below I copy the entire and short Chapter 7 from J. Rendel Harris's second book on the general topic of the Dioscuri twins, The Cult of the Heavenly Twins, where he discusses that the Mithraic twins, Cautes and Cautopates are indeed the same entities as Castor and Pollux, based upon their various attributes. Rendel references swearing "by Gemini", and earlier in the book brings up the now rarely used expression , of "by Jimini" as being an echo of swearing oaths by the Gemini twins.



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(Jiminy) Cricket = (Gemini) Christ? Right and wrong, the twin pillars?
Are you suggesting that Mr. Cricket is a type of Christ?


Origin of name
The character's name is a play on the exclamation "Jiminy Cricket!", a minced oath for "Jesus Christ" – which itself was uttered in Pinocchio's immediate Disney predecessor, 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by the seven dwarfs themselves. Another example occurs in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, wherein Dorothy (Judy Garland) cries, "Oh! Oh! Jiminy Crickets!" when she is startled by the Wizard's pyrotechnics. Garland also uses the expression in her 1938 film Listen, Darling. It is also used several times in the 1930 movie Anna Christie and in the 1938 Mickey Mouse cartoon "Brave Little Tailor".

As Harris discusses, the Gemini twins do represent various dualities in their aspects. And this includes what he sees as various aspects of the OT Patriarch narratives, of which he views the twins as being the ultimate source, and where there is no known historicity. For instance, the angels visiting with Abraham and Lot being the twins recast.

His design is different from real crickets, which are black or dark brown, with very long antennae and he dresses like a gentleman from the 19th Century.

Maybe Jimini Cricket is a Jerusalem cricket :rolleyes::
In Chapter 9 of The Cult of the Heavenly Twins, Harris furthers the connection of the Dioscuri twins to Mithraism, because of an instance in which Mithra himself has been converted into a Catholic saint, Mitraeus, not just the twins:





Also, in this chapter, as in others, Harris demonstrates the widespread veneration of these 'Gemini' twins, and even one of the obscuring means is the conflation of the terms 'gemini' and 'germani', the former for 'twins' and the latter for 'brothers' (germinating from the same parents). The latter also begs the etymological question of the use of the umbrella term 'Germani' for the associated 'German' tribes.

In several cases instead of there being just two twin 'saints', there are three saints, as if triplets, and it seems clear that the third entity is Castor's and Pollux's sister, Helen, disguised as a man. Other non-Church folk stories are told that evoke the three siblings of which the sister is held captive in a tower and rescued. She is frequently the 'daughter of the sun', a solar appellation of which the name Helen seems to relate, as with Helios, Eli, etc.. Thus we have evocations of the Trojan War, the Trojan Horse, albeit that in Homer's version Castor and Pollux die before being able to rescue Helen.

In any case, it is clear to see that the 'divine' Castor and Pollux, the pre-Christian saviors of the Greco-Roman world, and their 'divine' sister are no more real that Jesus of Nazareth. And that Jesus, and his twin, Judas Thomas (Didymas) were established as 'universal' replacements for the new age du jour, with an exotic Judaic gloss (as with the 'new' Mithra). Common to both new 'competing' cults was the cryptic inclusion of the divine twins, and sometimes Helen.

If this was all in furtherance of Alexander the Great's Hellenization (globalization) project, adopted by the Romans, it is now sardonic that today's Christian fundamentalists resemble more the Jewish xenophobic nationalists of two millennia ago.
If any contemporary 'doctor' of astronomy, and/or of statistics (Bayesian or otherwise) wants to assert that some other prior alignments of the planets and stars might qualify to dismiss my thesis on 9/11/2001 or on that of the 9/23/2017 (9 month dynamic) alignment viz the Revelation 12 depiction as patently and summarily incorrect, please be aware that I already verified that the 4 allegedly 'close' alignments (according to a consensus reality apologist) for the latter (Rev 12) were nowhere near as precise as on 9/23/2017. I will go out on a limb here that the alignment for 9/11/2001 is similarly unique, including its respective internal 'clocking' dynamics. And, by the way, September 23 is also a 'crossing' date, the autumn equinox.

Getting back to this, I am not so sure that the "consensus reality apologist" (Jonathan Sarfati) would concede defeat here. The ingredients of the alignment, from Rev. 12:1-2 (And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered) are:

(1) Moon in Virgo; preferably at feet;

(2) Sun in Virgo; preferably as 'clothing';

(3) Jupiter in Virgo; preferably lingering as a pregnancy;

(4) Three extra planets in Leo, making 12 stars for the 'crown'.​

Sarfati says that this collection of elements (moon, sun & Jupiter in Virgo and three planets in Leo) has occurred 4 times in the 2nd millennium (1827, 1483, 1293, and 1056). In the 9/23/17 alignment, as shown at this video:

We do indeed have the moon at Virgo's feet, and Jupiter moving in a malingering pattern, adding some extra specificity to the 2017 event. But on the other hand, the sun is at Virgo's shoulder, not necessarily appearing as 'clothing'. And furthermore, as Sarfati complains, it's an arbitrary convention that Leo contains 9 stars. One can easily add extra stars, thus requiring fewer planets to make the crown. Allowing for variant planet counts would add more incidents, some of which might meet the "malingering Jupiter" parameter.

Rick mentioned that the Gold and Silver Gates add to the pattern, but I'm at a loss to understand why this is a factor.

Revelations 12:3 continues: And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. In 2017, where is this red dragon in the heavens? If the 2017 event is supposed to fit Revelation 12 like a key fits a lock, wouldn't we expect some reasonably transparent manifestation of this prophecy as well?

If we consider other instances of prophecy in the New Testament, we often find that they are prophecies seen through the rear view mirror. That is, Jesus allegedly predicts the fall of the Temple in 70 AD, from the perspective of his fictional life 40 years earlier; but, in fact, the narrative of prophecy and fulfillment was written ~75 AD or later.

By analogy, wouldn't it be reasonable to guess that this portent in the skies made its first appearance sometime before or during the reign of Domitian? And if so, perhaps at that time the red dragon with seven crowned heads and ten horns could be identified?