Cecchelli in Roma, 1941, Tav. XXI; Annibaldi, fig. 3. See fig. 112; Berytus
XI, 1954, 16 fig. I.
In the centre Mithras slaying the bull, whose tail seems to end in three
ears. The god is dressed in a green tunica and anaxyrides and in red cloak, on which
seven stars have been represented. Seven more stars are visible in the field behind
him. The dog and the serpent with their heads near the blood of the wound; the
scorpion on the usual place; the raven is perched on the vaulted arch of the grotto.
On either side a torchbearer in a red Eastern attire. Their red Phrygian caps
with a green point have two hanging ribbons like Mithras' cap. Not cross-legged.
Under Cautopates' torch (r) a triangular red object"is visible (Phrygian cap?;
Above this main scene an arch in which the twelve signs of the zodiac have been
represented (from the left to the right): Aries-Taurus-Gemini-Cancer-Leo-Virgo-Libra-
Scorpio-Centaurus-Capricornus-Aquarius-Pisces. In the centre, on a globe
a standing, naked figure, entwined by a serpent, which lays its head on the god's
lion's head (Aion). Above the zodiac a second arch with seven( ?)altars alternating
with trees (cypresses?).
In the upper corners the busts of Sol and of Luna. Around Sol's head an aureole
and a crown of rays, one of which darts out to Mithras. Luna is dressed in a green-blue
chiton and she has an aureole around her head.
On either side of the main-scene five other scenes:
1) Jupiter raises with his r.h. a thunderbolt in order to strike a lying Giant
2) Reclined figure (Oceanus-Saturnus).
3) Mithras' rock-birth. In the upraised hands he holds a torch (r) and a dagger (I).
On either side a person in Eastern attire (tautes and Cautopates). Their tunics are
grey, their cloaks are red. It cannot be distinguished whether they hold anything
in their hands.
4) Standing Mithras shoots an arrow towards a rock, in front of which a person
is knelt down.
5) Vague. Mithras carrying the bull.
1) Mithras, dressed in a white tunic with long sleeves, red anaxyrides and red
cloak, lays with his l.h. a crown on the head of Sol, who is knelt down before him
and who raises his both hands.>up to him. Above Sol's head Mithras holds with
his r.h. a brown object (club?; cap ?).
2) Mithras, dressed in a grey tunic, lined with red piping; and in a red cloak is
kneeling between two trees (cypresses), above which an arch is visible. Mithras
seems to hold leaves in his lifted hand (Mithras-Atlas).
3) Mithras in Eastern attire and Sol, dressed only in red hanging shoulder-cape,
stand on either side of a stump of column on which they hold a sceptre with their
r. hands. On the sceptre are three knobs (Report, 110 n. 4) thinks of roasting spits
with pieces of meat).
4) Sol, dressed in red shoulder-cape, in a radiate crown, stands in a quadriga,
into which Mithras is about to mount.
5) Behind the tripod, on which dishes, three persons are reclining.
Left a standing person in Eastern attire, raising his hand before his eyes. On the
r .h.-side of the scene traces of another standing person. According to Annibaldi six
reclining persons are represented.
It would be desirable if the fresco, which is so important for the study of the Mithras cult,
were transported to a Museum as it suffers a great deal from its present surroundings. The same may apply to the paintings of S. Prisca's.