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Mithraic medallion depicting Mithras and the primal bull

UnknownLate Roman period, 3rd century CE

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

The upper portion of this medallion depicts the Mithraic myth in which the god Mithras slays the primal bull, releasing the life force present in its blood unto the world. His followers would recreate this canonical image in their rituals. The lower portion of the medallion depicts other scenes from the life of this Eastern god. The cult of Mithras was one of the mystery cults that spread among Roman soldiers; such cults involved secret rituals and promised personal salvation.

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Details

  • Title: Mithraic medallion depicting Mithras and the primal bull
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: Late Roman period, 3rd century CE
  • Location: Mithraeum (Mithraic house of worship), Caesarea
  • Type: Medallion
  • Rights: Israel Antiquities Authority, Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
  • External Link: Israel Museum, Jerusalem
  • Medium: Marble
  • Dimensions: Diam: 7.5; D: 1 cm
  • Curator: Mevorah, David

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