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Septimius Valentinus

Optio who erected several altars to Mithras in the Mithraeum of Sárkeszi.

  • Plan of the Sárkeszi Mithraeum

    Plan of the Sárkeszi Mithraeum
    A. Rendić-Miočević; M. Šegvić 

  • Altar to Transitus from Sárkeszi

    Altar to Transitus from Sárkeszi
    F. und O. Harl, Ubi Erat Lupa 

of Septimius Valentinus

TNMP 264

Septimius Valentinus, an optio in the Roman military in the early 3rd century AD, emerges as a prominent figure in the religious landscape of the Mithraic cult at Sárkeszi. The discovery of several altars dedicated to him in a mithraeum near the present town suggests that he may have been the pater of a large community.

Another possibility is that Septimius Valentinus was a junior officer in the Roman military, a role that made him second in command to a centurion. This was an important position as it involved not only leadership but also administrative and disciplinary duties. Optios were key figures in the structure of the Roman army, often seen as the bridge between the centurions and the regular soldiers.

Valentinus’ dedication of at least three altars within this Mithraeum underlines his deep commitment to the Mithraic cult. These altars date from the first third of the 3rd century AD. Their inscriptions vary slightly, but together they confirm his important role in the community. The fact that he consecrated several altars, a considerable investment, indicates his prominent status in terms of both resources and religious standing.



Altar to Transitus from Sárkeszi

TNMM 768

This is one of the altars erected by Septimius Valentinus, in this case, to the transitus of Mithras.

Tra(n)sit[u D(ei)] / Sep(timius) Va/lenti/nus / opt(io).
To the transit of the God, Septimius Valentinus, optio.



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