CIMRM Supplement - Tauroctony. Tor Cervara, Rome.

The reconstructed relief. From: Peter Zschunke, Antikes Kunst-Puzzle in Karlsruhe gelöst, Südkurier, 30th January 2014. Online here.

From: Peter Zschunke, Twitter.

This relief is held normally at the Museo delle Terme (the museum of the Baths of Diocletian) in Rome where it has the reference "inv. 164688". It comes from a bomb site excavated in 1964, from which 57 fragments, many retaining traces of colour, were recovered. The head of Mithras had been removed by an unknown person and sold to a Swiss dealer who sold it to the Karlsruhe museum. In 2014 the pieces were reunited. The head of the bull is still missing.1

The Tor Cervara Mithraeum was published by Lissi Caronna in 1965.2

The Südkurier article contains the following information:

A Mithraeum dated to around 250 AD existed in the Tor Cervara in Rome. In 1943 an American bomb opened a hole into the previously unknown site, and blew the tauroctony relief into pieces. Somebody must have climbed in and removed two pieces; the heads of Mithras and the bull. The latter is still lost. During the 1960's the Soprintendenza in Rome did some work at the site, removed the remaining pieces to the museum at the Baths of Diocletian (Museo delle Terme) and tried to reassemble the relief. In 1976 an art dealer in Berne in Switzerland offered the head of Mithras to the Badische Landesmuseum in Karlsruhe. The piece being unknown, the museum bought it. In 1987 the Swiss archaeologist Rolf Andreas Stucky was told about the relief in Rome by an Italian colleague, and was struck by the triangular hole, which reminded him of the Karlsruhe head. Photographs were taken and the fit confirmed. The relief was lent to Karlsruhe and reassembled, and the newly complete item will then be lent back to Italy for 10 years.

1See MiBAC site (in Italian).
2Lissi Caronna, E. 1965. "Un rilievo mitriaco di marmo". Bollettino d'Arte del Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione 5, 91-94. Reference from Gordon, "A new Mithraic relief from Rome." here and the ANRW "Mithraism since Franz Cumont", 2107, here.

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