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Monumentum

Tauroctony on display in Boston

This fragmentary relief depicts Mithras killing the bull in the usual manner, remarkably dressed in oriental attire.
 
 
The New Mithraeum
28 Oct 2022
Updated on 29 Oct 2022
 
  • Mithras tauroctony exposed in Boston

    Mithras tauroctony exposed in Boston
    Andreu Abuín 

  • Detail of Mithras tauroctony exposed in Boston

    Detail of Mithras tauroctony exposed in Boston
    Andreu Abuín 

 

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This relief shows an important scene from the life of Mithras, a god of Iranian origin whose cult had established itself in the Roman world by the second century A.D. The slaying of the bull terminated the god's heroic labors and served as the central image in the cults sanctuaries (known as mithraea). Mithras is shown here plunging a short sword into the bull's throat. He wears oriental costume, a belted tunic with overfold, tight sleeves, trousers, boots, and a short cloak fastened by a large round brooch.