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Bronze plaque of Mithras slaying the bull

Mithras Tauroctony on bronze exposed at the Metropolitan Museum of New York.
Tauroctony at the MET

Tauroctony at the MET
The New Mithraeum / Andreu Abuín (CC BY-SA) 

The New Mithraeum
17 Jun 2009
Updated on Oct 2022

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Mithras, unusually looking forward rather than over his shoulder, stabs the bull whose blood gushes from the wound. The snake leaps up to drink it, with the dog doing the same to the right. The scorpion grabs the bull's genitalia. To the top left is Sol, with rayed crown; to the right Luna with a crescent. Six holes have been punched in the plaque.

The cult of Mithras was very popular throughout the Roman Empire and was followed especially by soldiers. It was one of several eastern cults that spread rapidly as a result of the pax Romana (Roman peace); others included the worship of Jupiter …