Hide metadata

dc.identifier.citationBjørnebye, Jonas. THE MULTIVALENT SYMBOL. Hovedoppgave, University of Oslo, 2002en_US
dc.description.abstractAbstract This thesis presents a preliminary study of the meanings and functions of symbols as they appear in the Roman cult of Mithras. Mithraic symbols seem to be inherently multivalent. That is to say that they are characterized by an openness of meaning-content, where multiple layers of meaning and function operate simultaneously, dependent on context and interpretation. Past, and to a certain extent present, Mithraic research, while acknowledging that the symbols are multi-layered, does not generally accept the implications of such multivalence. Specific meanings and functions of Mithraic symbols are commonly used to corroborate holistic theories of Mithraic ideology, and other aspects of meaning are disregarded. While such a selective approach is necessary in some respects, the composite nature of the symbols needs to be taken into account, at least implicitly, in any study that deals with the meaning-content of symbols. This thesis approaches the study of Mithraic symbols in dialogue with the symbol-interpretations presented by Mithraic scholarship, but is based primarily on a preliminary analysis of the corpus of material evidence for the cult, and the use of contemporary symbol-theory. The introduction to this thesis establishes the parameters of the study, and briefly discusses the implications of my approach. Part 1 presents the main theories of Mithraic scholarship, before moving on to an examination of the categories of evidence available for the study of Roman Mithraism, while part 2 deals with theoretical approaches to the study of symbols in general, and to Mithraic symbols in particular. In part 3 of this study, I have attempted to apply these theoretical approaches to empirical material. The focus of this application is by necessity limited, and I have chosen only one Mithraic symbol-complex as the object of attention; the solarity of Mithras in general, and the symbol of the sacred meal in particular. Finally, in the last part of my analysis, I have presented an integrative discussion of the many-layered nature of the symbol of the sacred meal that hopefully carries implications for other Mithraic symbols, as well as for other religious symbols of Roman antiquity in general.nor
dc.titleTHE MULTIVALENT SYMBOL : A Preliminary Study of the Meanings and Functions of the Symbol of the Sacred Meal in Roman Mithraismen_US
dc.typeMaster thesisen_US
dc.creator.authorBjørnebye, Jonasen_US
dc.identifier.bibliographiccitationinfo:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:dissertation&rft.au=Bjørnebye, Jonas&rft.title=THE MULTIVALENT SYMBOL&rft.inst=University of Oslo&rft.date=2002&rft.degree=Hovedoppgaveen_US
dc.contributor.supervisorJens E. Braarvigen_US

Files in this item


No file.

Appears in the following Collection

Hide metadata