Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Emperor Julian and the god of the seven rays

Emperor Julian in his Oration upon the Mother of the Gods alludes us to the god of the seven rays in one of his passages.

"But if I should touch upon that unspeakable mystic science which the Chaldaean hath uttered through inspiration, concerning the "god of the seven rays" making souls ascend through him, I shall be speaking of things unknown; yea, altogether unknown to the vulgar, yet familiar unto the blessed ministers of the gods, wherefore I shall now pass it over in silence." 

- Emperor Julian, Oration upon the Mother of the Gods.

Many scholars and researchers believe that the god of the seven rays which Julian is alluding here is Mithras, the Father but I believe that Julian is alluding to the God Jupiter and not to Mithras, the Father. There are many compelling reasons to believe that the god of the seven rays is none other than the God Jupiter which can be verified through comparative mythology supporting my view.

In the Indo-Persian religion of the Aryans the God Jupiter was known as Bṛhaspati and this is what Rig Veda says about this god.

"Bṛhaspati, when first he had his being from mighty splendour in supremest heaven, Strong, with his seven fold mouth, with noise of thunder, with his seven rays, blew and dispersed the darkness."

- Rig Veda, Book 4, HYMN L. Bṛhaspati, Verse 4

As far as I know no other god in the Rig Veda is so explicitly associated with the seven rays except the God Jupiter or Bṛhaspati which adds more weight to my view. Moreover I am also a member of the Julian Society and I asked the same question there and one of the members cited this passage from Proclus commentary on Plato's Timaeus and I quote him.

"Proclus, in his Commentary on the Timaeus (1,34) says, "the educational and judicial section [of the ideal state or, by analogy, the created universe of Zeus] is analogous to the Sun, in whose domain according to the Theologians [the Chaldeans] are Justice , the Upward Leader, and the Seven-Rays ....."  Harold Tarrant, the translator, has a note in this passage that says the scholar Festugiere identifies the last two of this triad with Attis and Mithras respectively.

I don't know if that helps."

Tim
 
If Festugiere is right then Mithras, the Father is under the domain of Zeus which is absurd since King Helios-Mithras is the supreme God of all gods who resides in the intelligible realm and through him all other intellectual gods follow including Jupiter or Zeus.

The Zeus of the Greeks was the same god as the Jupiter of the Romans.

The Romans regarded Jupiter as the equivalent of the Greek Zeus,[5] and in Latin literature and Roman art, the myths and iconography of Zeus are adapted under the name Iuppiter.

- Wikipedia


Zeus and Jupiter had many of the same qualities as gods. Both of them were the gods of the sky as well as the king of the gods. They were both also married to their sisters: Hera (Zeus) and Juno (Jupiter). Other than being the god of the sky, Jupiter was also the god of light and victory, but Zeus was not. As a result, Jupiter protected the state of war and maintained its peace and well-being even though Zeus didn't.

- Roman and Greek Mythology

King Helios-Mithras is a Sun God of many rays and not a god of just seven rays. The triads in Proclus commentary should be interpreted as the qualities of Zeus or Jupiter and not as three individual gods corresponding to Justice, the Upward Leader and the Seven rays respectively. If one interprets them as qualities of the god Zeus or Jupiter then it adds even more weight to my original claim that the God Julian is alluding to in the above passage is none other than the God Jupiter himself and not Mithras, the Father. Also there is nothing in that passage of Julian which gives us any clue to make us believe that he is talking about the God Mithras here but if you read his previous passages before this passage he was frequently discussing the theology and the nature of God Jupiter.

More evidence supporting my view.

In ancient Greek mythology, Zeus takes the bull-form known as Taurus in order to win Europa. Taurus is also associated with Aphrodite and other goddesses, as well as with Pan and Dionysus. The face of Taurus "gleams with seven rays of fire."
 On the contrary side.

In all of the tauroctony iconography in Mithraism, Sol Invictus/Helios is always depicted as wearing a crown of seven rays. 



May be both Helios-Mithras and Jupiter emit seven rays.


"On this account, it appears to me that Plato delivers a twofold generation of the Sun; one indeed, in conjunction with the seven governors of the world, when he fashions the bodies of them, and inserts them in circulations; but the other according to the enkindling of light, through which he imparts to the Sun supermundane power. For it is one thing to generate the bulk of the Sun itself by itself, and another in conjunction with a ruling characteristic, through which the Sun is called the king of every visible nature, and is established analogous to the one fountain of good. For as this fountain, being better than the intelligible essence, illuminates both intellect and the intelligible, thus also the sun being better than a visible nature, illuminate both that which is visible and sight. But if the Sun is beyond a visible essence, it will have a supermundane nature. For the world is visible and tangible, and has a body. Hence, we must survey the Sun in a twofold respect; viz. as one of the seven planets, and as the leader of wholes; and as mundane and supermundane, according to the latter of which he splendidly emits a divine light. For in the same manner as The Good luminously emits truth which deifies the intelligible and intellectual order; as Phanes in Orpheus sends forth intelligible light which fills with intelligence all the intellectual Gods; and as Jupiter enkindles an intellectual and demiurgic light in all the supermundane Gods; thus also the Sun illuminates every thing visible through this undefiled light. The illuminating cause too is always in an order superior to the illuminated natures. For neither is The Good intelligible, nor Phanes intellectual, nor Jupiter supermundane. In consequence of this reasoning therefore, the Sun being supermundane emits the fountains of light. And according to the most mystic doctrines, the wholeness of the Sun is in the supermundane orders; for in them there is a solar world, and a total light, as the Chaldean Oracles assert, and which I am persuaded is true. And thus much concerning these things." 
- Proclus on the Timaeus of Plato