Ascent to the Sun

The Mithras cult which flourished from the first to the fourth centuries CE in Rome, and which Warburg thought (following Franz Cumont) migrated from Persia, represents a sanguinary attempt to mediate the sun’s power. Greek heliotropism is thus obscured, effectively driven underground. Warburg, as his Bilderreihe on Manet and his largely unpublished writings in the last two years of his life confirm, found analogous instances of such heliotropism in the rituals of the Pueblo Indians of the American Southwest and in the thought of Giordano Bruno.

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