CIMRM 772 - Mithraeum. Merida, Spain.

In 1902-3 a bull-ring was constructed in the Spanish town of Merida. In the process Roman statues and inscriptions were found. Unfortunately no archaeologist was consulted, and no excavations seem to have been undertaken. The discoveries were made in and around the little house where the director of works for the building project was living, but no record was made of how or where they were found.1 It is unclear whether the statues come from a Mithraeum, or whether from some secondary cache.

A Roman house behind the bullring is known as the "Casa dei Mitreo" from its proximity to the site, but has nothing to do with the finds.

A small Mithraeum was found recently in an emergency excavation about 100m from the bull-ring, but this is clearly not the same location.

Gordon states:

CIMRM entry

From: Roger Beck, Mithraism since Franz Cumont, p.2033.


  • Richard Gordon, "The Mithraeum at Lugo (Lucus Augusta) and its connection with Legio VII Gemina", Journal of Roman Archaeology 19 (), p.267. First page is online here.
  • Pierre, Paris, Un sanctuaire de Mithra à Merida, CRAI 48, 1904, pp. 573-575. Online here.
  • J.R. Melida, "Cultos emeritenses de Serapis y Mithras", Boletín de la Real Academia de Historia 64 (1914), 439-456. Online here, and the whole volume at here.

1P. Paris: "Passing through Merida, at the end of last July, I had the idea of ​​visiting the building work of the Plaza de Toros, and I saw abandoned in the arena, a marble statue more larger than life , depicting a reclining man... The statue was found near the place where it lies, and where it is regrettable that it remains exposed to every kind of accident. This is not the only discovery of remains, because other sculpted and inscribed marbles were found a little outside the Plaza, around the house and inside the house where the conductor of work works. ... It would be desirable that all these documents were saved from destruction and put in a safe place. This however is no consolation for the fact that no regular excavations were been made ​​before the construction of the circus, when the first marbles were found, and that no one has even bothered to note each day whatever is revealed of interest. It is to be hoped that the new law on antiquities, which the Spanish Government has passed, will render such negligence less frequent and fatal than before." (Trans. RP)
2Online here.

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