CIMRM 75 - Tauroctony in Parian marble, Sidon, late 4th c. In the Louvre.
From: Flickr. Photographed by Petrus Agricola, 2012, while the item was on loan in Arles.
Relief of Parian marble (H. 0.445 Br. 0.77 D. 0.08).
de Ridder, 55ff No. 46 and Pl. XIX .(see fig. 26); DS, col. 1952 fig. 5092;
RRR II 301, 4; Leipoldt, IX and fig. 15; Saxl,fig. 195.
Mithras puts his r. foot victoriously on the hind-leg of the bull and thrusts the
dagger into its heart. The god is represented in Eastern attire: a short chiton with
a tight-fitting string around the chest, a flying cloak adorned with stars, high
boots and a Phrygian cap with a star on the point. Dog and snake want to lick
the abundantly flowing blood; the scorpion clasps the testicles. The latter,
however, belongs at the same time to the signs of the zodiac, which has been
depicted round the scene.
Behind the bull there are four representations:
1) On a pedestal a naked youth with a chlamys thrown over his r.shoulder; he
holds a pair of scales (wega) in his upraised r.h.
2) Standing Virgo, with long garment, drawn over her head.
3) On a pedestal stands a roaring Lion with raised fore-legs.
Above from left to right:
5) On a base the nude Twins1 embracing each other. The left figure in a beard,
holds a club in his raised r.h.
6) Taurus to the left.
7) Aries to the right.
8) Two Fishes in opposite direction above each other.
In front of the bull:
9) On a pedestal a naked youth emptying an amphora over his l. shoulder (Aquarius).
10) Capricorn to the left with the tail of a fish.
11) Centaur as an archer (Sagittarius).
In the corners of the relief the busts of the four seasons are represented as
children, in medallions. In the bottom corners the bust of winter(l) in a cap and
with a duck on the left side ; the bust of autumn(r) with a shawl wrapped around
her shoulders and a wreath in her hair; a basket with fruit by the right side. In
the upper corners the bust of spring(l), half-naked with a chaplet of leaves in her
hair; by her side a flower-basket with handle. The half-clothed bust of summer(r)
with a corn of ears in her hair. By her side a sheaf.
In between the latter two are, also in medallions, the dressed bust of Luna(l)
with elaborate headdress and crescent behind her shoulders and of Sol(r) with
radiate crown around his curly head. Before and behind Mithras a raven, the
right of which is represented much larger.