Two other mithraic pieces may also have come from Hermopolis, though neither has a
recorded provenance other than simply Egypt. The first (fig. 2) is the lower part of a sizeable
marble roundel (d. c.15 cm) acquired in 1965 by the Archaölogisches Seminar, Münster as part of
the Rubensohn collection. It preserves what is clearly a portion of the mithraic tauroctony -
filling originally the upper two-thirds of the field - with, in the lower register, a lion, a
vessel, and then nine altars, and in the exergue the name of the dedicator. The style of the
roundel points to a Thraco-Danubian origin, and this is consistent too with the name,
apparently ZANDYS, which cannot be matched exactly but is of similar type to several
recorded by Detschew. What follows is broken, but may have read DEO (or LEO) DD or DP.
Such roundels, more characteristic of the Danubian Rider-Gods, are uncommon with
representations of Mithras, and only one other has come from outside the Danubian provinces,
namely a smaller, complete example from Caesarea Maritima. This latter was set in the
plaster facing of a truncated wall, and another from Linz had apparently also been mounted
into or onto a podium. If Rubensohn's fragment came from Hermopolis (say, from the
excavations of the Berliner Papyrusunternehmen from 1903 to 1906) it may have belonged to the
same mithraeum as the relief in Cairo, or else have been fixed to the wall of a private cultroom.
If it came from elsewhere, a site in the Faiyum is likely, and one might even suggest a
shrine of the Thracian Rider-God (Heron) such as existed at Magdola or at Theadelphia -
for which a temple at Ai-Todor in the southern Crimea provides an interesting parallel.
Exped. Sieglin l.c. cites "das Fragment einer Marmorscheibe darstellung in der Sammlung Rubensohn in Berlin".
J.R. Harris, "Mithras at Hermopolis and Memphis", in: Donald M. Bailey (ed.) Archeological research in Egypt: The Proceedings of The Seventeenth Classical Colloquium of The Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum, held on 1-4 December, 1993, Ann Arbor (1996), p.169-176.