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Monumentum

Cautopates in the Walters Art Museum

This fragmentary relief shows Cautopates bordered by three of the six zodiacal signs with which He is associated: Capricorn, Sagittarius and Scorpio.
 
 
The New Mithraeum
30 Oct 2022
 
  • Cautopates with Signs of the Zodiac

    Cautopates with Signs of the Zodiac
    The Walters Art Museum (CC 0) 

  • Cautopates with Signs of the Zodiac

    Cautopates with Signs of the Zodiac
    The Walters Art Museum (CC 0) 

 

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This fragment is dominated by a standing figure carved in high relief who wears a belted tunic and leggings and holds an inverted torch in his right hand. His costume and attribute suggest that the figure is Cautopates, an attendant of the god Mithras, who was a Persian creation deity as well as the god of light.

The mystery religion named for him, Mithraism, spread throughout the Roman Empire and was especially popular with Roman soldiers during the 2nd-3rd centuries CE. Cautopates was likely shown with Mithras’ other attendant, Cautes.