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Tauroctony relief of Sarmizegetusa

This relief of Mithras slaying the bull incorporates the scene of the god carrying the bull and its birth from a rock.
Tauroctony of Sarmizegetusa

Tauroctony of Sarmizegetusa
The New Mithraeum / Olivier-Antoine Reÿnès (CC BY-SA) 

The New Mithraeum
23 Jan 2022

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This openwork marble relief came to light between 1882 and 1883, broken into several fragments, in the large Mithraeum of the Roman colony of Sarmizegetusa, the capital of the province of Dacia. The craftsman, or the individual commissioning the relief, opted to combine several moments from the story of Mithras in a single image.

At the centre, Mithras, larger than the others, stands blocking the bull with his left knee, while holding it by the nostrils with his left hand and stabbing it in the throat with his right. The god has shoes, wears a Phrygian cap, and is dressed in a short tunic

Related monuments

Mithraeum of Sarmizegetusa

The large number of monuments found at the Mithraeum of Sarmizegetusa and the sheer size of the temple are unusual.

Petrogeny of Sarmizegetusa

The rock of Mithra's birth in the Petrogenia of Sarmizegetusa is surrounded by a snake.

Cautopates of Sarmizegetusa with scorpion

The Cautopates with scorpion found in 1882 in Sarmizegetusa includes an inscription of a certain slave known as Synethus.

Cautes with bull head of Sarmizegetusa

This sculpture of Cautes holding a bull's head was found in 1882 in Sarmizegetusa, Romania.


Altar of Sarmizegetusa by Hermadio

This altar was erected by Hermadio, who also signed other monuments in Dacia and even in Rome.

Column to Nabarze of Protas

This column found in the Mithraeum of Sarmizegetusa bears an inscription to Nabarze instead of Mithras.