The author’s quest was to seek a definitive explanation for the purpose of the Stones – the result is a significant discovery.
There are now full answers to “Why So Intriguing?” - with earlier dates than previously thought for the first Symbol Stones, their purpose discovered and who erected them identified.
Symbols including the V-Rod & Crescent, Z-Rod & Double Disc, Mirror, Pictish Beast and Notched Rectangle are comprehensively decoded in the context of a form of Mithraism.
Pictish Symbol Stones - Why So Intriguing?
Over 1500 years ago these enigmatic structures appeared predominantly in the north east of what, more recently, has become Scotland. Sometimes they can be confused with the wide array of other standing stones, megaliths, circles and dolmens that do not display symbols.
1. They are called “Pictish” but who erected them?
2. Why is there a gap between the naming of the “Picts” by the Roman invaders around the late 3rd Century CE and the generally suggested dates for the erection of the Stones? Or are previous estimates incorrect?
3. Did the existing population erect the Stones – or was it by incomers?
4. Who had the skills to carve the Stones; and why onto a material that has endured so long? Was this choice of material deliberate?
5. What do the symbols mean – assuming they do have a specific purpose and give a particular message? Were they for worship, boundary markers, burial indicators, commemorative of specific events, used to educate – or maybe just decorative?
6. Are the Stones located in significant locations?
7. Why did the symbols on the seemingly older Stones carry forward to the newer ones with Christian crosses?
These, and more, are the reasons why they are intriguing.
Norman J Penny
Site last updated 21 February 2016 - Annexe 2 added Website © Norman J Penny
The book Pictish-Mithraism - The Religious Purpose of the Pictish Symbol Stones is due to be published by Austin Macauley in early 2017.
EMail - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pictish Symbol / Mithras connection
People, Places & Times – Setting the Scene
Pict, Pictland, Pictish - Meanings
Mitra, Mithra, Mithras – Who They Were
Temples of Mithras – Pursuing the Mysteries of Mithras
The “Open Air” Mithraeum – Concept, Practicalities & Reality
Practising Mithraic Beliefs Outdoors – A Concept
Practising Mithraic Beliefs Outdoors – The Practicalities
The Pictish “Open-Air” Mithraeum – Concept to Reality
Carvings on the Stones – Mithraic and other contexts
Carvings on the Stones - Overview
Categorising the Carvings – Some Structure
Symbol Stone Objects – Numerical Analyses
Mithraic Symbols Identified and Decoded
Changes in Beliefs - Stone Usage, Timelines and Transitions
Towards Pictish Mithraism then Transition to Christianity
Original Locations of Symbol Stones
Non-Mithraic Objects – Identified & Recorded
Case Studies – a representative selection
10 Case Studies
The Start Point of Pictish-Mithraism – Who, When and Where
Builders and Worshippers – A Roman Army Connection?
Locations of Roman Establishments in Pictland
Symbol Stones near Establishments from Battledykes to Strageath
Symbol Stones near Establishments from Muiryfold to Kintore
What the "stayers" created - Symbols and a Legacy
The Overall Pictish-Mithraism® Discovery – Beliefs & Believers
A Drawn Designs
B Associations between the Pictish Beast and Other Symbols
C Non-Mithraic Objects
D Pictish Stones near Roman Establishments
E Original Locations
F Objects by Location
Annexe 1 Pictish Stones, Boars & Roman Legions
Annexe 2 Pictish Stones, Eagles and the Roman Army
Biblio, Author and Copyright