September 6, 2012. By "Peter". Vatican Museum. From: Flickr.
Old monochrome image of same.
This relief is high up on a wall in the Chiaramonti gallery in the Vatican museums. Inv. 1379.
White marble relief (H. 0.88 Br. 1.20), found on the Esquiline near S. Lucia
in Selce. Vatican Museum, Mus. Chiaramonti, XIV, 1.
Zoega, Abh., 150 No. 26b and 172f; Gerhard-Platner, 75 No. 566; Lajard,
Intr., Pl. LXXIX, 2; MMM II 199 No. 13 and fig.23; Amelung, Skulpt. Vat.,
I (1). 691 No. 368 and Taf. 74. See fig. 106, procured by the Director of the
Vatican Musea, Dr. Barone Bartolomeo Nogara.
In a grotto Mithras slaying the bull, whose tail ends in three ears. The god is
looking at the raven, which is flying into his direction. The dog and the serpent
with their heads near the blood from the wound; the scorpion on the usual place.
Beside Mithras' head seven stars, four on the left side, three on the right. On either
side a torchbearer in Eastern dress, cross-legged. They point with both hands their
flamed torches downwards.
In the upper corners the dressed busts of Sol (l) and of Luna (r). Sol has an
aureole and a crown of eleven rays. 'Above it a star is visible. Luna has a crescent
on her head.
On the top of the cave there are seven trees in a row with six burning altars
between them. At the entrance of the cave, below the serpent, seven burning
altars, the outermost of which are round in contradistinction to the others.
Supplied: the l. torchbearer; the l.h. and the end of the torch of the other torchbearer;
ears of the bull's tail; part of the field with two stars above the bull's head.