Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe

Mithras, ruler of the universe. Although it is the image of the Greek god Atlas bearing the world on his shoulders that the Western world knows best today, in Roman times Mithras was sometimes depicted in Atlas’s role. A Mithraic monument found in Germany shows Mithras in Atlas’s traditional pose—knees bent beneath the weight of the great sphere hoisted on his shoulders, demonstrating Mithras’s power over the entire cosmos.