CIMRM 484 - Under-layer: South wall paintings. Santa Prisca, Rome, Italy.


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The paintings are nearly invisible on the right-hand (i.e. south) wall, but some of the verses that were above them can still be read. 1

On the right wall, the layout is different. Above the man leading the boar in the procession of the suovetaurilia is line 18.

Line 18. Nama leonibus novis et multis annis (= "Hail to the Lions for many and new years").

Above the painting of the "Lion" leading a ram are lines 19-20:

Lines 19-20. h( ?) ... . su. nemin[i]. . . fero . ... . [mort]alium omnium et[er]norumque omnium. Meaning uncertain. Very damaged.

When Ferrua discovered the Mithraeum, he was able to read an inscription above the Lion leading the bull and the man with the cock. This inscription was no longer visible when Vermaseren excavated.

Line 21. .......... icit . ... ucta (ivy-leaf) reddite cantu. Vermaseren adds: "one must be very grateful that Ferrua has copied these important words, since they suggest that the lines of verse in the Mithraeum were possibly fragments of poems sung during the ceremonies. The words reddite cantu or cantus may even indicate that there was a chorus singing the hymns in honour of the invincible god, perhaps preceded by a hymnologus and accompanied by musical instruments as in other cults."2

The CIMRM entry is now obsolete:


1Except where indicated, all this information is taken from Vermaseren-Essen, chapter 21, p.187-240.
2p.240.

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