of Titus Flavius Hyginus Ephebianus
He was a slave of a certain Ephebianus (hence his agnomen), before entering the familia Caesaris and being freed by one of the Flavians.
This Flavius could not have been but a freedman of a Flavian emperor, i.e., no later than Domitian. As Gordon noticed, he was a vicarianus, i.e. a slave of another slave (servus vicarius), and his previous name was Ephebus. This signifies that he was introduced into the familia Caesaris thanks to a slave or a freedman of the emperors. Under Trajan this Hyginus, in turn, had probably other slaves and then freedmen under his authority, who were called Hyginiani.
Moreover, Gordon emphasized that Claudius entrusted the Imperial freedmen with new and important duties in the public administration and created a sort of Imperial administration departments run by his freedmen.
The altar was thus dedicated between ca. 80 and 100 CE. Lollius Rufus was already a Mithraic Pater, and it is probable that a man could not became a Pater in a short time.
This inscription mentions a Pater for the first known time.
Ἡλίῳ Μίθραι / Τ(ίτος) Φλάουιος Ὑγεῖος / διὰ Λολλίου Ρούφου / πατρὸς ἰδίου.
To Sol Mithras, Titus Flavius Hyginus, through Lollius Rufus, his pater.
- Attilio Mastrocinque (2017) The Mysteries of Mithras. A different account