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Monumentum

Mosaics from Mitreo degli Animali

Several figures related to the Mysteries of Mithras are depicted on the mosaics of the Mithraeum of the Animals.
 
 
PublishedThe New Mithraeum
10 Jul 2009
Updated on 24 May 2021
 
  • Naked man holding a knife and a shovel.

    Naked man holding a knife and a shovel.
    The New Mithraeum / Andreu Abuín (CC BY-SA) 

  • A scorpion from the Mithraeum of the Animals.

    A scorpion from the Mithraeum of the Animals.
    The New Mithraeum / Andreu Abuín (CC BY-SA) 

  • A snake with a comb from the Mithraeum of the Animals.

    A snake with a comb from the Mithraeum of the Animals. 

  • The bull's head and tail from the Mithraeum of the Animals.

    The bull's head and tail from the Mithraeum of the Animals.
    The New Mithraeum / Andreu Abuín (CC BY-SA) 

  • Central corridor of the Mitreo degli Animali.

    Central corridor of the Mitreo degli Animali.
    The New Mithraeum / Andreu Abuín (CC BY-SA) 

 

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On the floor, between the piers and the podia, is a black-and-white mosaic. It contains a marble threshold at the point where the podia begin. There are five depictions, from south to north:
  • A naked man, holding a pruning knife and some sort of shovel. A few white tesserae suggest that the latter object is perforated. A similar symbol is found in the Mithraeum of Felicissimus, where it refers to the grade Leo. It was used to carry fire. The hair of the naked man may be the lion's mane. But in the Mithraeum of Felicissimus the knife refers to the grade Perses.
 
 

Related monuments

Mitreo degli Animali

The Mithraeum of the Animals was decorated with a mosaic depicting a naked man, a cock, a raven, an scorpion, a snake and the head of the bull.

Head of Mithras from the Mitreo degli Animali

The head of Mithras had seven holes made for fastening rays.