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Monumentum

Tauroctony of the Mitreo delle Sette Sfere

The relief of Mithras slaying the bull from the Mithraeum of the Seven Spheres was discovered in 1802 by Petirini by order of Pope Pius VII.
  • Tauroctonia del Mitreo delle Sette Sfere, Ostia

    Tauroctonia del Mitreo delle Sette Sfere, Ostia
    Musei Vaticani 

  • Tauroctonia del Mitreo delle Sette Sfere, Ostia

    Tauroctonia del Mitreo delle Sette Sfere, Ostia 

 
 
The New Mithraeum
22 Jun 2009
Updated on Sep 2023
 

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A round, marble relief was found of Mithras killing the bull (a plaster cast is in situ). The relief (1.17 x 1.09) must have been inserted in the back wall. On the mantle of Mithras stars or planets and the moon can be seen. A dog and snake are sucking the bull's blood, a scorpion is biting the bull's testicles. The bull's tail ends in grain ears.



White marble relief with black veins (H. 1.09 Br. 1.27). Vatican, Gall. Lap. XXXIII, 10 found during excavations, undertaken by Petrini in 1802-1804 by order of Pope Pius VII. The exact spot is not known, yet from several data it has become

Related monuments

Mitreo delle Sette Sfere

The Mithraeum of the Seven Spheres is of great importance for the understanding of the cult, because of its black-and-white mosaics depicting the planets, the zodiac and related elements.

Inscription found in the Mitreo delle Sette Sfere

As this short inscription indicates, Aemilio Epaphorodito was both Pater and priest of the Mithraeum of the Seven Spheres.

Inscription of Tellius Agatho in Mitreo delle Sette Sfere

This inscription found in the Mithraeum of the Seven Spheres mentions the Pater Marco Aemiliio Epaphrodito known from other monuments in Ostia.

Mosaic of Sette Sfere

The floor mosaic of the Mithraeum of the Seven Spheres, which gives its name to the temple, depicts a dagger.

 

Mosaic of Cautes and Cautopates in the Mitreo delle Sette Sfere

At the entrance to the Mithraeum of the Seven Sferes, Cautopates holds the torch with both hands and Cautes holds the torch in his right hand and a cock in his left.

Bench mosaics of the Mitreo delle Sette Sfere

Diana-Luna, Mercurius, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus and Mars are depicted in the mosaics on the benches of this mithraeuma.

Zodiac signs on the Mitreo delle Sette Sfere

The rich mosaics of the Mithraeum of the Seven Spheres include the the signs of the Zodiac.