Biography of Cresces
Cresces has donated the main altar found in the Mithraeum of Marino. The monument mentions that he is the administrator of a certain Alfius Severus, probably his master.
The altar is dedicated to the unconquered god by a certain Crescens, who claims to be an actor (proxy) of M. Alfius Severus. The latter must have been an important person, probably at least a knight, because the function of actor necessarily implies property to manage, or an office to fulfil which requires a fidei-commis. Crescens thus belongs to this bureaucracy of administrators or managers, who are the agents of large entrepreneurs or private owners. He belongs to a category of officials in which we can place the dispensator, Yarcarius (author of the Nersae inscription), and the tabularius, who constituted a milieu as active as the army for the diffusion of Roman Mithraism. We can perhaps go further and recall that the Mithraum is located opposite the Marino quarries. Can we not assume that M. Alfius Severus is somehow linked to the exploitation of the quarries and that Crescens, his trusted man, has gathered around him a small community including some of the workers? E. Will proposed a similar hypothesis concerning the large Mithraic relief of Mackviller (Alsace) dedicated by a knight to whom the management of the neighbouring quarry probably belonged.
—Henri Lavagne (1974) Le Mithréum de Marino.
The monument is engraved with an inscription by Cresces, the donor.
Invicto Ideo / Cresces / actor / Alfi / Seberi / d(onum) p(osuit).
To the Invincible God, Cresces, administrator of Alfius Severus, placed as a donation.