Zum Inhalt springen

Mithraism and Roman Society (2/2)

A124
Panel Chair: Attilio Mastrocinque | Tuesday, August 25, 1:30-3 p.m. | Venue

The panel is aimed at discussing some topics of Mithraism and at focussing on interrelationship between cults in the mithraea and the life out of the sacred caves during the first 4 centuries CE.

Mithraic congregations appear to the contemporary scholarship quite integrated with the local communities (for example, cities, military camps) and with Roman traditions. Some insights are thus possible in order to focus better on some cases, namely 1) that of Mithraic and non-Mithraic eating of meat, 2) that of interaction between Mithraea and both legionary units and provincial governors in Spain, 3) that of beliefs concerning Eros and salvation of human souls both within the Mithraea and in other religious traditions, and 4) that of relationships between a group of Roman late-antique senators and the latest Mithraea in Rome.

Attilio Mastrocinque

Eros according to Mithraism and Graeco-Roman Paganism

Not every feature of Mithraism was secret and peculiar to mysteries. Many elements can be understood thanks to comparisons with other religious and iconographical fields because they were shared. The case of Eros will be studied here. This god appears on Mithraic reliefs as guiding both Sol and Luna during their heavenly journeys, and guiding Psyche as well towards the correct path and possibly to a happy afterlife. In the imperial times Erotes were often represented on sarcophagi. Both Mithraism and current Roman religion supposed, following a Platonic teaching, that the soul was enabled by Eros to reach the heavenly realms. However, on a Mithraic inscription from Santa Prisca another kind of salvation is mentioned, which involved the Roman society in a more collective form.

Valentina Ramanzini

Animal Bones from Mithraea

A presentation of the hitherto known discoveries of animal bones will allow to underscore some peculiarities of the Mithraic diet, which was usually different from the common diet of Roman people. Also regional peculiarities are documented, which could depend either upon local breeding and farming or on religious choices, or even on both. The analysis of these meal remains reveals a preference for the consumption of adult domestic fowls, piglets and lambs or goats. Nevertheless evidence shows that the animal which is expected to be found on the Mithraic table for its central role in the liturgy does not seem to be the favourite meat of the Mithraists. The analysis of animal remains could reveal more specific information about the moment of ritual meal, in addition to the one already provided by studies in iconography and pottery.

A presentation of the hitherto known discoveries of animal bones will allow to underscore some peculiarities of the Mithraic diet, which was usually different from the common diet of the Roman people. Also regional peculiarities are documented, which could depend either upon local breeding and farming or on religious choices, or even on both.

Valentino Gasparini

Response

Valentino Gasparini will respond to the issues raised in the twi sessions of this panel.

Speakers:

B  C  D 
E  F  G  H 
I  J  K  L 
M  N  O  P 
Q  R  T 
U      V      W     XYZ 

Panels:

A  B  C  D 
E  F  G  H 
I  J  K  L 
M  N  O  P 
Q  R  S  T 
U      V      W     XYZ 

Sessions

Open Sessions

Thematic Outline

University Map (pdf, 192 KB)