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Monumentum

Zodiac signs on the Mitreo delle Sette Sfere

The rich mosaics of the Mithraeum of the Seven Spheres include the the signs of the Zodiac.
Sketch of the astronomical signs.

Sketch of the astronomical signs.
Gordon 1976 

 
 
The New Mithraeum
18 Sep 2023
 

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On the projecting ledges of the benches the signs of the Zodiac are represented,
above each of which is a star. On the r. bench those of the winter-months: Wega (a) - Scorpio (b) - Sagittarius (c) - Capricornus (d) - Aquarius (e) - Pisces (f) - and on the l. bench those of the summer-months: Aries (g) - Taurus (h) - Gemini (i) - Cancer (k) - Leo (I) - Virgo (m); the first and the last two are partly or completely lost.

Related monuments

Mitreo delle Sette Sfere

The Mithraeum of the Seven Spheres is of great importance for the understanding of the cult, because of its black-and-white mosaics depicting the planets, the zodiac and related elements.

Tauroctony of the Mitreo delle Sette Sfere

The relief of Mithras slaying the bull from the Mithraeum of the Seven Spheres was discovered in 1802 by Petirini by order of Pope Pius VII.

Inscription found in the Mitreo delle Sette Sfere

As this short inscription indicates, Aemilio Epaphorodito was both Pater and priest of the Mithraeum of the Seven Spheres.

Inscription of Tellius Agatho in Mitreo delle Sette Sfere

This inscription found in the Mithraeum of the Seven Spheres mentions the Pater Marco Aemiliio Epaphrodito known from other monuments in Ostia.

 

Mosaic of Sette Sfere

The floor mosaic of the Mithraeum of the Seven Spheres, which gives its name to the temple, depicts a dagger.

Mosaic of Cautes and Cautopates in the Mitreo delle Sette Sfere

At the entrance to the Mithraeum of the Seven Sferes, Cautopates holds the torch with both hands and Cautes holds the torch in his right hand and a cock in his left.

Bench mosaics of the Mitreo delle Sette Sfere

Diana-Luna, Mercurius, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus and Mars are depicted in the mosaics on the benches of this mithraeuma.