I just got back from Mithracon, also known as the New England Conference on Mithraic Studies. It’s a small group of folks who love nothing better than learning more about Mithraism, the Roman World, and History. The focus of the conference is spending the day prowling the stacks of the Yale library with visitor’s passes, a bonanza of source material to which most of us rarely have access. Let’s face it, most local libraries just don’t want to lay out the hundreds of dollars for scholarly works that only excentrics like us want to read.
The presentations at this conference mostly consist of us sharing our exciting discoveries with each other when we get back to the hotel after a day at the library. This year we also got to see Quintius (a member of Nova Roma– a group of Roman Reinactors) show us his armor. He is an Optio– one of the guys with a big stick who kept the legions in line. And Patty shared with us the pictures of the Roman Banquet she attended over at the Getty Museum. Cassius is a dealer in antiquities and brought a tray of artifacts for us to oogle (and Jane carried a lot of books- because there aren’t enough in the library- or the bookstore we visited).
After the library and bookstore, we shared a pot luck Roman feast: Chicken with a green sauce, stuffed grape leaves, salad, fruits, nuts, cheese, cheesecake, pastries. (I hope to be able to update this with pictures, but I forgot my camera and am waiting for others to share.)
On Sunday morning the tradition is to walk over to the Yale Museum and see the Mithraum that they have. Sadly, in the years that I’ve been attending, it’s been put away for conservation. The big excitement this year was that it was out again, and we were all very excited to see it. Other guests of the museum and even the guards enjoyed our discussions of the finer points that only fans such as ourselves would know.