What's new?

26th August 2014 : Added a tauroctony being sold on eBay.

20th August 2014 : Apologies for a glitch last night. I was upgrading the software and the first change didn't work, and trying to fix it over a too-slow hotel internet connection corrupted the main page. I think it's all fixed now, and it will make it easier for me to add foreign-language quotations.

Over the last month I've been mainly concerned with Santa Prisca, and working on those pages. I did add entries for the Köln Mithraeum I and some pictures by Carole Raddato for the finds there as well.

26th July 2014 : It turns out that an early report on Santa Prisca is in the CIMRM. I added the material from this, as a basis for some proper work. Next I shall merge the page I created with it, and get much better pictures etc. I'm trying to find out about the church and supposed early Christian connections, but I'm having very little luck.

18th July 2014 : Added a page on the Santa Prisca Mithraeum. I don't have access yet to more than a few pages of the excavation report, so information is patchy.

9th July 2014 : CIMRM 895, 896, 897, from Bourg-Saint-Andreol.

2nd July 2014 : Added some items from Ladenburg, nr. Heidelberg.

1st July 2014 : Yet another head with a Phyrgian cap, labelled as "Mithras" by an art dealer. Added to the Maybe page. Probably Attis, I'd guess.

28th June 2014 : Added a page on the Duino Mithraeum near Venice. Plus CIMRM 690, referenced by a rather confused online description, and a couple of others.

31st May 2014 : After quite a bit of correspondence with Laura Pooley at the Grosvenor Museum in Chester, I have reworked CIMRM 830 and CIMRM 831. The former was hopelessly confused, since Vermaseren himself was confused. The truth seems to be that four, not three statues of Mithras existed, one of which is now lost.

24th May 2014 : Marble relief of tauroctony with acanthus-leaf border added. For sale through Rupert Wace Ancient Art at this very moment in London.

23rd May 2014 : Mithraic catechism from Hermopolis in Egypt added.

17th May 2014 : CIMRM 507, a Vatican torchbearer restored as Paris. Statuette of lion-headed god. AHE magazine. CIMRM 1472 - Relief broken into 7 pieces. Sisak, Croatia.

14th May 2014 : Lots of additions over the last few days. Last night I made the retweet facility add a twitter card of the first image, if possible. Tonight it was CIMRM 554-555, the famous "Chrestus the pater and Gaurus dedicated this" monument. I need a better picture, tho.

25th April 2014 : The Mithras and Christianity page gets a lot of hits. But Mithras and Jesus is a very common search term. I've made the latter into a separate page, and used it as a place to discuss the really wild claims. The more sensible claims of similarity can be discussed in the first page. A work in progress, this; but it does no favours to honest enquirers to ignore these things.

23rd April 2014 : Added Supposed Mithraic temple from Verjuy in Iran thanks to the kindness of Jona Lendering, who sent me a gallery of photos.

21st April 2014 : Added CIMRM 1359, the smashed tauroctony from Königshoffen, a district of Strasbourg. Curiously someone had tried to visit the page before I created it, and, finding nothing there, had added a note in the comments box. I don't know if this was a serious enquiry, but it spurred me to add the monument. I need to add some more photos to it also.

19th April 2014 : Discovered that the Hawarti page had never actually been written - just rough notes - and wrote it.

Also fixed (partially) the formatting of the footnote numerals in the body of the text. I also merged various stray pages into the history page, and added more material to it.

14th April 2014 : Fixes to various pages for Santa Maria Capua Vetere.

Also added details of a lead head found in Scotland by a metal detectorist.

3rd April 2014 : Egyptian monuments added.

2nd April 2014 : Finally finished the S. Stefano Rotondo mithraeum material. That took forever and involved translating most of the excavation report from Italian.

1st April 2014 : Added the Nesce material. I've done quite a lot of work on the site in the last two weeks, including work on images in the scripts, but haven't updated this page - sorry.

13th March 2014 : A lot of work in the last week on the site. Tonight was working on the Caernarvon Mithraeum, which turns out to be CIMRM 2374, an addendum.

5th March 2014 : More work on new Mithraea; added more to Angers/Juliomagus Mithraeum. Also did a fix so we can see how many entries there are in a gallery of images. In the catalogue we have 276 CIMRM entries (some way to go!) + 80 ('supplementary') items - 356 items. Good ... but only a tiny portion of the material extant.

4th March 2014 : Added pages for the two Güglingen Mithraea.

1st March 2014 : Made the pictures in the catalogue of images into links to the page underneath, and made the borders smaller.

28th February 2014 : Added a curious mosaic depiction, Walters mosaic. The museum dates it to the 1st century and ascribes it to Mithras; both look doubtful to me. Also added a page listing redirects, where more than one CIMRM item is on the same page.

24th February 2014 : Processed the marvelous list of new finds, made by John W. Brandt, into the "discoveries since 1960" page. I am very grateful to John for allowing me to use his material, which is clearly the product of great labour.

15th February 2014 : Added the Crypta Balbi Mithraeum in Rome. Also the Kato Thermes Mithraeum in Greece. Did some changes to the upload scripts to reduce the amount of time I spend formatting!

8th February 2014 : Add a note on the Tor Cervara Mithraeum, Rome. Also CIMRM 2033, small finds from Dacia.

17th January 2014:. Added a couple more Dura-Europos items. Noticed that the Yale University Art Gallery section, full of images of the Mithraeum, has now vanished. I feel very prescient: I took copies of all the material, "just in case". It was a funny feeling doing that, but I did so; and behold, my foresight has been vindicated. This is the reason why I hold copies locally: images appear and disappear all the time, and if I didn't, this site would rapidly become useless.

11th January 2014: Finished adding the Inveresk finds to the site.

30th November 2013: Not much happening, but I revised the About page slightly. I'm busy earning a living at the moment.

9th November 2013: Added some Hungarian items to the monuments.

14th September 2013: Added CIMRM 1901-1905 to the monuments; the Mithraeum in Jajce, Bosnia.

22nd August 2013: Added the Manchester Cautopates and related material. It takes time since I try to locate older material online, which often comes with relevant illustrations.

16th August 2013: Added CIMRM 871-875, all inscriptions. Also found some more pictures and added these.

14th August 2013: Added CIMRM 876. I hadn't realised that I hadn't done all the British monuments. This one was pretty brief in Vermaseren; but chasing down references unearthed a woodcut of the item.

13th August 2013: Visited the Verulamium Museum in St Albans and photographed the castor-ware vase CIMRM 828 and also the unique token CIMRM 827.

18th May 2013: Reworked the Ostia Mithraeum of the "Baths of Mithras" page (CIMRM 229) and added CIMRM 230, the statue found in it, using some of my own photographs.

15th May 2013: Pascal Lemaire kindly sent me photographs of a head at Arles, which seems to be CIMRM 881.

11th May 2013: Added magical gem CIMRM 2366.

10th May 2013: Reworked CIMRM 415, quite accidentally, after coming across a photo showing a different view of the monument. Restorers have been at work, I think! Also the Album from Virunum, or what information I can find about it.

8th May 2013: Added CIMRM 1718.

23rd April 2013: I'm still working on the site, and I've added a few more monuments, and will keep doing so. Today I uploaded a modification to the scripts for the website. The logs show persistent attempts to hack the site, and I have felt obliged to increase the security a bit.

9th April 2013: Added CIMRM 2364, a gem with both Mithraic and magical symbols on it.

3rd April 2013: Added CIMRM 472-5, three inscriptions in Greek by a pater named Castus, a Raven and some Lions. Important as linking Mithras to Phanes.

2nd April 2013: Added CIMRM 40-41, the upper tauroctony from Dura Europos.

23rd March 2013: Added CIMRM 35, CIMRM 36, and CIMRM 37, 38, 39, all from Dura Europos.

20th March 2013: Added CIMRM 34, the Mithraeum at Dura Europos in Syria.

15th March 2013: Added CIMRM 88, CIMRM 89, CIMRM 90, plus a supplementary smashed tauroctony, all from Syria.

14th March 2013: Added a page on the Cincinnati tauroctony.

13th March 2013: Added more material to the Santo Stefano Rotondo page; inclding a tauroctony and a fresco of Luna. Also a tauroctony in the Virginia Museum of Fine Art. Also a discussion of the taurobolium and Mithras on the tauroctony page.

12th March 2013: Updated the S. Stefano Rotondo Mithraeum page with a new item, an altar to Cautopates, and corrected the woefully inaccurate transcription from Wikimedia Commons from Merkelbach.

11th March 2013: Added a tauroctony sold at Christies in London in 2012.

9th March 2013: Added some monuments from Alba Iulia, Romania.

8th March 2013: Added a bunch of stuff connected with the Bordeaux Mithraeum in 1986. There is also, I read somewhere, a Cautes found before the Mithraeum was, just as the Cautopates in CIMRM 893 was. And what a joy it was, creating that last page, to find that the Esperandieu volume mentioned was online and so I could get a photo of the monument!

5th March 2013: Added Altar with lion-headed god. Bordeaux, France. I came across the image quite by accident. Apparently found in 1986. Wish I knew more about it.

5th March 2013: CIMRM 318, a brooch from Ostia, now in the Ashmolean in Oxford. The first photograph of a Mithraic monument that I have taken myself!

27th February 2013: Added a couple of monuments to "Arimanius"; CIMRM 222 and CIMRM 1773-5.

26th February 2013: I have removed a sentence from the Mithras and Christianity article, derived from what I believed was the reliable version of Wikipedia: "Unusually amongst Roman mystery cults, the mysteries of Mithras had no 'public' face; worship of Mithras was confined to initiates, and they could only undertake such worship in the secrecy of the Mithraeum. 1" I noted the lack of a quotation: and the page referenced in Burkert may be found here and contains no such statement. It seems that someone has deliberately added material with bogus references.

Also added a page on the Mithraeum discovered at Lugo in Spain in 2003.

19th February 2013: Added CIMRM 420, the two monuments of Vettius Agorius Praetextatus which mention his priesthood of Mithras.

15th February 2013: Added a testimony from John the Lydian to the literary sources. Also some material to the CIMRM page, including an image of the title page. Added CIMRM 1257 through to CIMRM 1263, all from the Dieburg Mithraeum.

9th February 2013: Added CIMRM 1271, a fragment from Dieburg which rather suggests a second Mithraeum may exist there somewhere. Also went through the pages for items not in the CIMRM and labelled them firmly "CIMRM Supplement". That may sound presumptuous; but what else are they? I'd better write a little page on this also.

1st February 2013: Some tweaking of the main page and the Christianity page. Added the three Old Persian inscriptions that mention Mitra. Irrelevant to Mithras; but they're in the CIMRM.

26th January 2013: Added CIMRM 10, the Ai-Todor (Charax) fragments, and CIMRM 11 and CIMRM 12, two of the five terracottas of "Mithras-Attis" from Kerch or Kertch, ancient Panticapaeum, in the Crimea. Vermaseren does not list the other three. I spent some time trying to locate Russian sources, but without luck. I also added CIMRM 13, which is mysterious; could this be from Olbria (mentioned in the materials I found for CIMRM 10)? Also added CIMRM 1-6, which are a bunch of coins from Bactria / India. These, quite evidently, have not the slightest relevance to Mithras. A browse of the useful Coins of India site, that I link to, makes clear how vague and arbitary the coin types are.

24th January 2013: Apologies for the bunch of formatting glitches visible. I have no idea why these are happening -- in my editor mode, I don't get them. Time to debug. Update: fixed: all to do with destination anchors.

Added CIMRM 389, the map of the Barberini Mithraeum. Also worked on the Earliest records of Mithras page, adding monuments like CIMRM 362 and CIMRM 2268. I also added a gallery of blow-up images to the Marino Mithraeum page. Also added a couple of pages on the Caesarea Mithraeum.

23rd January 2013: Did a fix that allows the page menus to work properly. Also added numerals to headers in page. Created a page for the TMMM. Added a couple of literary testimonies; by Libanius, and from the Carmen adversus Flavianum. Added the five frescos of an initiation from S. Capua Vetere and a gallery of them on the main article page.

Also added CIMRM 1083. This is a really complex and detailed tauroctony from Nida-Hedderheim in Germany, which, Vermaseren states, appears in every single book that ever mentions Mithras. It's currently in Wiesbaden. But, amazingly, there are no photographs of it online that I can find!

22nd January 2013: Added Fresco of tauroctony. Marino, Italy. Added CIMRM 423, an inscription by Proficentius, needed because I went through the section in the main article on initiation and checked every bit of it. I was always suspicious of that table of objects and planets, and, sure enough, it contained rubbish and mis-statement. No longer!

21st January 2013: Added CIMRM 1893-1894. Also CIMRM 2367. Added a bunch of stuff about the Angers Mithraeum discovery of 2010. Added CIMRM 1292-1293. Lots of side panels on this one.

19th January 2013: Added CIMRM 839, 840, 841, 842 and 843, a single page for the Rudchester altars. A lot of work in looking up stuff for these!

18th January 2013: Added the three Mithraea at ancient Poetovio, called Pettau during Austrian rule and now Ptuj, in Slovenia: CIMRM 1487, CIMRM 1509, CIMRM 1578. Also added a redirect feature, for where several CIMRM numbers share one page.

17th January 2013: Added CIMRM 1579. Added a couple of references to the gallery of line-drawings online.

16th January 2013: Added what information I had on the 1997 find of two Mithraea in Commagene, at Doliche. Did fixes to the Mithraeum and Jupiter Dolichenus sections of the main article. What shocks me - again - is that people had corrupted this stuff, even in the 2010 Wikipedia article which I had thought was reasonable; references that aren't right, claims not verified, and so on.

12th January 2013: Added a bunch of items from the Walbrook Mithraeum, and also a couple from St Albans. One of these was an amulet with the words "MITHRAS OROMASDES" on it and a rock-birth on the reverse, associating the Persian deity Ahura Mazda with Mithras. Interesting!

11th January 2013: Continuing to work on Vermaseren's line-drawings. Added CIMRM 1246, the Dieburg Mithraeum, and CIMRM 1247, the two-sided pivoting relief. Added CIMRM 808 a cellar in a field in Kent, once supposed to be a Mithraeum; and CIMRM 809, an inscription from Caerleon (now RIB 322). Annoyingly I can find no indication of a depiction of the latter. (UPDATE: found one! in a drawing from the 1850's!) Added CIMRM822. I found an image at Getty Images, which looked interesting. But the terms and conditions were horribly, horribly greedy. Luckily I was able to find other images elsewhere, one of which was actually better quality (not to mention the right way round!).

10th January 2013: Added CIMRM 54, a graffito from Dura with names of patres etc. I removed some material about initiation from the main article, copied from Wikipedia, after discovering that it was bogus. See my notes here. Added CIMRM 1301. Added a gallery of images from Vermaseren's "Mithras: the secret god". These line drawings appear everywhere, and linking them to the real data would be useful (as well as fun!).

9th January 2013: Added an entry for Nemrud Dag, CIMRM 28, mainly because of a gorgeous photo of the site:

Also a couple of pages for S. Maria Capua Vetere. The quality of online colour photos varies quite a bit: the CIMRM 81 photo is noticeably clearer than most.

Added the remaining entries for Nemrud Dag.

Added CIMRM 1896, the reverse of which shows a Mithraic "communion", with loaves marked with crosses, and initiates wearing costume masks of raven, lion, etc. This is often shown online, but was quite hard to tie back to the CIMRM. Some notes of the trail have been included accordingly.

Also added cimrm830, cimrm831 and cimrm 832. These are three items from Chester, and, interestingly, it looks as if Vermaseren never saw them. On 830 he is horribly confused. I have assembled the data, but I feel that a trip to photograph the items in Chester Grosvenor Museum would be good.

8th January 2013: Added CIMRM 2120-2121 and CIMRM 2122-2123. Altered scripts to give better page titles. Added CIMRM 335 and hunted down original drawing of this now lost tauroctony, instead of Cumont's re-drawing.

7th January 2013: Added a Heidelberg picture of Mithras born from the rock. Did a tweak to the upload wizard to make handling non-CIMRM images easier.

5th January 2013: Added a bunch of articles on items from the lost Mithraeum at Sidon in Lebanon. I added stuff to the Mithraeum page; there is a gallery there of the CIMRM pages. Lots of work in all this. Interesting to find that the CIMRM images are actually just a reproduction of plates from the De Ridder catalogue of 1906!

4th January 2013: Added Cautes and Cautopates article, and CIMRM 254-255. I've also worked on the tauroctony article. Some of the material is stuff that I contributed to Wikipedia; but it is telling to find a claim that CIMRM 593 is ca. 100 A.D., with five references to scholarly material; when the first references, on verifying them, turn out to say nothing of the kind. I have placed a footnote in my revised version to warn the reader.

Also added an item on the taurobolium to the FAQ. Also added CIMRM 593-594, the earliest tauroctony known.

All the above was done last night. Today I did a bunch of layout fixes. More time-consuming than you would think. Attempted to add "Like" buttons for various services - couldn't get it to work.

Added Discus comments. If they become a nuisance, I will remove them again.

I worked a bit on the Mithras and Christianity article. The Wikipedia copy that I used as a basis was here not quite the last reliable version, and contained material from Edwin Yamauchi. Yamauchi appears to be a biblical scholar specialising in pre-Christian gnosticism (mostly in debunking it; I rather warmed to him, as I read some of his publications), rather than a Mithras specialist, and I had removed him from the Wikipedia article. Not because I disagreed with him on the points at issue -- on the contrary -- but because I didn't feel that he was a specialist in the field. But my reward, in traipsing through some of the stuff again, was to come across a paper that he gave at the 2nd International Congress in Mithraic Studies, with a potential reference to Mithras as rock-born in the Nag Hammadi "Apocalypse of Adam". That question will certainly have to appear somewhere.

Added CIMRM 603-604. Also CIMRM 27, the only item from Tarsus; and CIMRM 27 bis an altar from Cilicia (no photo, tho).

CIMRM 1400. Tauroctony from Sterzing in
the Tyrol. Colour is modern.

3rd January 2013: Added israel_museum_97_95_19, a 2-3rd century tauroctony from Syria now in the Israel Museum, with a Greek inscription and some unusual and very clear artwork. That involved a lot of hunting around!

Added CIMRM 1400. Started work on Tauroctony page, for which the modern coloured version of that image is particularly helpful.

Did some bug fixing and added CIMRM 1584, an altar from Ptuj (Poetiovo) which depicts Mithras and Sol having a barbeque, and also Mithras shooting a bow at something. The photos are really not very clear, tho.

2nd January 2013: I think a note as to additions and changes would be helpful. Today I've been working on the selected monuments page, formatting it so that there is a gallery of images instead of just a raw list of items.

Also added a page on the basilica of S. Clemente in Rome, CIMRM 338. Also a bogus "good shepherd", actually St. Peter, is CIMRM 345. I found Nolan's book online after searching for '"dominicum clementis" mithra good shepherd' and extracted the image of the figurine from it. There seem to be more items from the Mithraeum illustrated by Nolan, which I shall grab. Also added CIMRM 339, a photo of all 4 sides of the main altar at S. Clemente.

I think I've now got an entry for all the CIMRM entries relating to San Clemente. The main article could use a map, tho - there's one in the TMMM.


1Walter Burkert, "Ancient Mystery Cults", Harvard University Press, 1987, ISBN 0674033876, p.10.

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