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Roman god adopted from an original Persian deity in the first century AD. Associated with the sun, the zodiac, and individual salvation. Usually portrayed in a bull-killing scene called a "tauroctony." Initiates of his all-male mystery cult performed their secret rituals in small sanctuaries called "mithraea." For photos of some of the sites I've personally visited, see Italy: Ancient Sites.


Companions: Cautes and Cautopates, two torchbearers


Epithets: Sometimes called "Sol Invictus" (Invincible Sun)


Attributes: Phrygian hat, baggy pants or leggings, and the animals of the tauroctony: bull, crow, scorpion, snake, and dog.

Roman sculpture of Mithras Killing a Bull (Tauroctony)

Second half of the 2nd Century

Correr Museum, Venice

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