"We're All Mad Here…."
Even by the standards of ancient Rome, Mithras was a peculiar god. He was a Persian deity worshipped only by men in underground temples, called Mithraea. He was born from a rock, which adds to his super-macho appeal he was especially popular with soldiers. Ritual killing formed a key theme of the cult: every temple of Mithras included a scene of the god killing a bull, known as the tauroctony. Worshippers had to undergo various initiation rituals, and they perhaps used a secret handshake. If Dan Brown had invented the Freemasons, they would look a lot like first-century Mithraists.