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Temple of Mithra below church of San Clemente

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Temple of Mithras south of the Church of San Clemente
Temple of Mithra below church of San Clemente

Under the church of San Clemente in Rome, there is a temple of Mithra from Roman times. This place of worship has been preserved almost intact and is one of the most famous preserved to our times.

The cult of Mithra was extremely popular with Roman legionaries; however, it was unavailable to women.

Mithreum was discovered in 1867. The room is 9,6 m long and 6 m wide. in the middle, there is an altar in the shape of a sarcophagus, which has a relief showing the most famous motif of Mithra’s cult – the killing of a bull by a god (so-called tauroctony). The sanctuary also had a bust of the god Sol in a niche, near the entrance, and the figure Mithras petra generix (“Mithra born from a rock”). Fragments of statues on which torches were attached have also been preserved. Mentioned elements of Mitreum are still in the sanctuary to this day.

Researchers also say that apart from ceremonies, suppers were also held outside of the ceremonies.

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