Are haloes, crowns, and angels Zoroastrian in origin 
Author Message
 Are haloes, crowns, and angels Zoroastrian in origin

        I am reposting this message because I believe it did not
quite make it out into the wider world (didn't see it in dejanews
for instance.)
        I have a vague memory of reading that the haloes of the
hallowed saints and the crowns of the crowned heads of Europe
are derived from symbols of Ahura Mazda, the Zoroastrian Lord of
Light.  Also, that angels originated with the Zoroastrians.
        Can anyone confirm this, or tell me where these symbols
and beings did come from?
Thanks,
Carl



Wed, 15 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT
 Are haloes, crowns, and angels Zoroastrian in origin

Quote:
> I am reposting this message because I believe it did not
> quite make it out into the wider world (didn't see it in dejanews
> for instance.)
> I have a vague memory of reading that the haloes of the
> hallowed saints and the crowns of the crowned heads of Europe
> are derived from symbols of Ahura Mazda, the Zoroastrian Lord of
> Light.  Also, that angels originated with the Zoroastrians.
> Can anyone confirm this, or tell me where these symbols
> and beings did come from?

There seems to be two main classes of these objects: halo-like in the
traditional pattern of Christian iconography, and those consisting of
spike-shaped projections from a supporting band.  Mithras, also one of the
Lords of Light, is often shown with a halo of the latter kind.  Replicas of
the altars found during the 1948? excavations are displayed in the remains
of the temple of Mithras adjacent to the Roman fort at Carrawburgh on
Hadrian's Wall. One of these depicts Mithras bare-chested from the waist
upwards, with hands on hips, crowned with a basin-shaped headress from which
three flame-like streamers project to his left side. The stone is pierced
with flame-shaped slits in the carved halo which lead to a recess in the
rear of the altar where a lamp would have been placed.

Crowns and coronets of nobility, in European heraldry usually take the form
of spikes emanating from a circlet ending in spherical, acorn-shaped, or
cruciform finials.  The top of the circlet is often closed by cage-like
structure or by a fabric cap fastened around the edge of the circlet.  Thus
they seem to have more in common with the Mithras pattern than the halos of
light shown in Christian iconography.

  "Mithras, Lord of the Midnight when the Great Bull dies,
   look upon thy children in darkness; accept our sacrifice.
   Many paths hast thou furnished; all of them lead to the Light.
   Mithras, also a soldier, teach us to die aright."

  (Traditional: recorded by Rudyard Kipling, but recalled from
   memory, so the wording might not be quite right)

Not much of an answer to your question, but it may serve to prompt some
further response.

Regards,
Mike Brown.
--
M J D Brown: Newhaven, Peterchurch, Herefordshire HR2 0RT, England



Sat, 18 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT
 Are haloes, crowns, and angels Zoroastrian in origin
Hindus and Buddhists draw auras around people.  They can appear like haloes.


Mon, 20 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT
 Are haloes, crowns, and angels Zoroastrian in origin

Quote:

>    I have a vague memory of reading that the haloes of the
> hallowed saints and the crowns of the crowned heads of Europe
> are derived from symbols of Ahura Mazda, the Zoroastrian Lord of
> Light.  Also, that angels originated with the Zoroastrians.

Zoroastrianism has only a few beings that can be called angelic.  I'm
not Zoroastrian, but one once told me that there are eight (check this)
beings of light associated with Ormuzd.

Angels appear in both the Torah and Talmud, which were Babylonian productions,
pre Persian captivity, so it's unlikely that biblical angels are Persian in
origin.  It's pretty likely that at least some of the angelic mythology
is Canaanite.

OTOH, the God/Satan dualism is straight out of Ahura Mazda/Ahriman Persian
mythology.  

Halos are just an iconography convention.  An art history book would get
you farther than a mythology study.  

-- Larry



Sat, 25 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT
 
 [ 4 post ] 

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