Closeup of the relief (copy) on the far wall of the Mithraeum of the Seven Spheres at Ostia, Italy. The original relief is in the Vatican Museum, Rome. By Michael Fuller.
To this sanctuary may also belong the monuments Nos 245-249.
White marble relief with black veins (H. 1.09 Br. 1.27). Vatican, Gall. Lap.
XXXIII, 10 found during excavations, undertaken by Petrini in 1802-1804 by
order of Pope Pius VII. The exact spot is not known, yet from several data it has
become highly probable (cf. Becatti, Mitrei Ostia, 53; 123), that it is from the
very Mithraeum, which Lanciani laid open in 1886. In itself it is already remarkable,
that this sanctuary should have been preserved so well, whereas the main
relief and the votive altars should have entirely disappeared. Yet on the other hand
it is astonishing, that in the detailed plan of Petrini's not a single indication
should occur regarding excavations in this area (Paschetto).
Labus, Bibl. It., III, 49 No. 2, Pl. III; Gerhard-Platner, 32 No. 26; Zoega,
Abh. 147 No.4b; Lajard, Intr., Pl. LXXX, 1; MMM II 240 No. 82 and fig. 70;
Paschetto in Bilychnis I, 1912, 467ff ,and fig. 4; Ostia, 398; Eisler, Weltenmantel I,62 fig. 8; CAH XII, 570; Amelung, Skulpt. Vat., I(2),274 No. 114a
with Taf. 30; Becatti, Mitrei Ostia, 123 and Pl. XXXIV, 1; Moscioni, No.
22954. See fig. 73 with kind permission of the Direction of the Vatican Musea.
Mithras, in the usual attitude and attire, as killer of the bull, whose tail ends
in three ears. Probably the raven was seated on the bull's tail; Mithras is
looking at it. Dog, serpent and scorpion in the usual places. Five stars and a crescent
are visible on the flying cloak of the god; two more stars are represented in the
field. Above the relief, probably walled in, there is an inscription (No. 246) in the
form of an arch, indicating the cave-vault. Another inscription (No. 247) under
the relief. Second half of the second cent. A.D.
CIL XIV 60; MMM II No. 134.
A. Decimius A(uli) f(ilius) Pal(atina) Decimianus s(ua) p(ecunia) restituit.
CIL XIV 61.
A. Decimius A(uli) f(ilius) Pal(atina) Decimianus aedem / cum suo pronao
ipsumque deum solem Mithra / et marmoribus et omni cultu sua p(ecunia)
CIL XIV 62; MMM II No. 135.
L. Tullius Agatho / deo invicto Soli / Mithrae aram d(onum) d(edit) / eanque
dedicavit ob / honore dei M. Aemilio Epaphrodito patre.