Home & Contents
Home & Contents
The Pictish Symbol / Mithras Connection
People, Places & Times
The "Open-Air" Mithraeum
Carvings on the Stones
Mithraic Symbols Identified & Decoded
Changes in Beliefs
Case Studies
The Start Point of Pictish-Mithraism
The Overall Pictish-Mithraism Discovery
Appendix A - Drawn Designs
Appendices - B to F & Annexes
Biblio Author Copyright

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
November 2015


Site content last updated 31 January 2017 - Annexe 4 added             Website © Norman J Penny

The book
Pictish-Mithraism  - The Religious Purpose of the Pictish Symbol Stones was published by Austin Macauley on 31 January 2017 and is available through Amazon in Hardback, Paperback and, shortly, eBook.


EMail  -  author@pictish-mithraism.com





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

Annexe 3   Dandaleith Stone (found in 2013) - leaflet content

Annexe 4    Tillytarmont Stones - leaflet content

 Biblio, Author and Copyright

Home & ContentsThe Pictish Symbol / Mithras ConnectionPeople, Places & TimesThe "Open-Air" MithraeumCarvings on the StonesMithraic Symbols Identified & DecodedChanges in BeliefsCase StudiesThe Start Point of Pictish-MithraismThe Overall Pictish-Mithraism DiscoveryAppendix A - Drawn DesignsAppendices - B to F & AnnexesBiblio Author Copyright