CIMRM Supplement - Mithraeum. Vulci, Italy.

From Flickr. Photo taken on 4 August 2009 (by mararie / Flickr) (other photos from the Vulci site here).

Overview of the site. Also by Mararie from Flickr.

From: here.

The arches under the benches in the Mithraeum. From Flickr by Sarah Connell. Feb. 26 2009.

Restored cast of tauroctony. From: here.

The original tauroctony, in the Castello Dell'Abbadia archeological museum at Vulci. From: here.

The finds in the museum. By Francesco Pontani, via here.

From: Canino.info.

1 Main tauroctony and torchbearer. From here. By Csaba Szabo, 2016.

2 Reproduction tauroctony on site. From here. By Csaba Szabo, 2016.

3 Altar from Mithraeum on site. From here. By Csaba Szabo, 2016.

4 Head and shoulders of restoration. From here. By Csaba Szabo, 2016.

5 Mithraeum general view. From here. By Csaba Szabo, 2016.

6 The second small tauroctony. From here. By Csaba Szabo, 2016.

7 The second small tauroctony. From here. By Csaba Szabo, 2016.

8 A carved seat support. From here. By Csaba Szabo, 2016.

9 Pot. From here. By Csaba Szabo, 2016.

10 Pot. From here. By Csaba Szabo, 2016.

11 Other pottery. From here. By Csaba Szabo, 2016.

12 Torchbearer. From here. By Csaba Szabo, 2016.

13 Museum catalogue. From here. By Csaba Szabo, 2016.

"this fab smaller piece with bobbles on the back to recreate the cave where Mithras was born" from Twitter. By Agnes Crawford.

The rear of "this fab smaller piece with bobbles on the back to recreate the cave where Mithras was born" from Twitter. By Agnes Crawford.

A Mithraeum was discovered during the 1975 excavations of a Roman villa at Vulci.1 The finds included two tauroctonies, a Cautes, a raven, and other statues and altars. The tauroctonies can be dated to the first half of the third century, and the destruction of the Mithraeum to the last quarter of the 4th century.2

The second tauroctony is smaller, and the right foot of Mithras is visible in it, unlike the larger. The rear of the piece is a carved rocky surface, representing the cave.

The finds are held at the Castello della Badia museum at Vulci.3

Roger Beck writes4:

From vulci.it and referenced to the excavation report:

Minerva 9 (1998) mentions an exhibition of the statues from Vulci at Viterbo in the Palazzo del Comune "until 10th January". Italian Wikipedia mentions that the tauroctony on display is a reproduction; the original is at the "Museo del Castello dell'Abbadia" at Vulci. (No doubt the statuary is there).

Coordinates: 42° 25' 8" N, 11° 37' 58" E / 42.3539° N, 11.6047° E.5

Bibliography

  • Moretti, A. M. Sgubini, L. Ricciardi, N. G. Perfetti Scapaticci. Il Mitreo di Vulci : Montalto di Castro : Palazzo del Comune, 21 giugno 1997-10 gennaio 1998. Viterbo, 1998. (Exhibition catalogue) 43 p., ill. (nearly all in colour) ; 22 cm. The cover is online, if unfindable here. Go to here and search for "mitreo". Copies in Italian libraries.
  • See also preliminary report by Anna Maria Sgubini Moretti in "Mysteria Mithrae", 259-276.
  • Uberti, Marisa and Giudo Coluzzi. I luoghi delle Triplici Cinte in Italia Alla ricerca di un simbolo sacro o di un quioco senzatempo, Eremon Edition, 2008. (Unclear whether this contains anything relevant)
  • Raffaella Deiana, Carla Zaccheddu: "Le strutture murarie del Mitreo di Vulci: una metodologia su misura nell'indagine di un rudere", in: Cinzia Nenci (ed.), Restauro archeologico: didattica e ricerca 1997-1999, Alinea Editrice, 2001, p.65 f. Article on the structure of the walls and a methodology for quantifying ruins.
  • Csaba Szabo, "Mithraeum of Vulci", June 2016. Blog post.


1Most information on this can be found by searching for "Il Mitreo di Vulci" and "vulci mitreo". There seems very little information available in any language but Italian, and that mostly inaccessible offline.
2Website at Canino.info, retrieved 5 Mar 2014: "Le sculture, della prima metà del III secolo dC, forniscono un importante termine cronologico per la datazione del complesso. Lo scavo ha evidenziato i segni di una distruzione violenta del mitreo, avvenuta intorno all'ultimo venticinquennio del IV secolo dC, molto probabilmente da porre in relazione con l'Editto dell'imperatore Teodosio che, nel 380 dC, decretando il Cristianesimo religione di Stato, di fatto vietava tutte le altre forme di culto."
3See here.
4Roger Beck, "Mithraism since Franz Cumont", ANRW, p.2032-3.
5Supplied by John W. Brandt - thank you.

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