The discovery of the Mithraeum at Dieberg was something of a watershed. I don’t know if there were monographs dedicated to individual Mithraea before then, but it set a pattern for such monographs in future. Most notably these included the publications of Vermaseren of the splendid Mithraea of Marino and Barberini, with the amazing colour frescos.
Behn’s book was doubtless cutting-edge in its time. But what struck me, as I looked through it, was how poor the quality of the photographs was. They are small, grainy, and I don’t know how useful they are to the scholar. Yet, most likely, these are the only available images of the lesser finds.
The Mithraeum in Germany tends to contain very elaborate tauroctonies, with side panels depicting what must be elements of the mythology of the mysteries of Mithras. Unfortunately we can only guess from these what the story being told was.
So the German tauroctonies are important for the study of Mithras. The Dieburg Mithraeum is one of these.
The volume itself is A4, and less than 50 pages, so I have made a copy of it for my own use. I wish that I could share it; but the fact is that it will probably be in copyright when I am in my grave. I doubt that more than a handful of people ever consult Behn’s tome; and, so long as we have oppressive copyright laws, that is the way that it will stay.
So why scan it? Well, because I want to read it. And I don’t read German very well. Once the OCR has completed, I can copy and paste portions of the German text into Google Translate. And that will give me a very fair idea of what most of the book — much of it probably waffle – says.
It has been long since I sat at my scanner on a Friday evening, and it has been a pleasant reminder of how I used to spend my weekends. The time at my disposal grows less every year, or so it seems. The night comes, when none of us can work. But “ah, not yet, not yet”.