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Monumentum

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.
 
 
PublishedThe New Mithraeum
23 Jan 2022
 
Tauroctony of Sarmizegetusa

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

 

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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.
 
 

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