FAMEPedia:Today's featured article/May 29, 2021

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Roman statue of Isis, second century CE
Roman statue of Isis, second century CE

The mysteries of Isis were religious initiation rites performed in the cult of the goddess Isis in the Greco-Roman world. Alluding to the worship of Isis from ancient Egyptian religion, they were modeled on other mystery rites, particularly the Eleusinian mysteries, which honored the Greek goddess Demeter. By undergoing the mystery rites, initiates signaled their dedication to Isis. Many texts from the Roman Empire refer to the Isis mysteries, but the only source to describe them is a work of fiction, the novel The Golden Ass, written in the second century by Apuleius. In it, the initiate undergoes ritual purification before descending into the innermost part of Isis's temple, where he experiences a symbolic death and rebirth and has an intense religious experience. Some aspects of the mysteries of Isis and of other mystery cults resemble elements of Christianity, but the evidence for their influence on Christianity is unclear. (Full article...)