This thesis focuses on the analysis of the material evidence of the Cult of Mithras in ancient Italy between the late 1st and early 5th century CE. The first chapter is devoted to locating the Cult of Mithras in the religious context of the Roman Empire. After a first general introduction to the Religions of the Roman Empire, F. Cumont’s work and the latest research developments on the Oriental Cults, we will continue with the literature overview on the Cult of Mithras, focusing in particular on the existing Mithraic catalogues. Finally, we will briefly present the main features of Mithraism according to the most recent research developments. The second chapter consists of the update of the existing catalogs of Mithraic finds and the integration of recent discoveries. Entries follow a progressive numbering and are listed following a geographical order. The following chapters three and four develop a comment on selected epigraphic (chapter three) and iconographic (chapter four) topics based on the data collected in chapter two. The epigraphic comment focuses on the phrasings used to address Mithras, on the occasions chosen by the devotee to consecrate him a monument, on the social status of the devotees, and on their grades and priesthoods. The iconographic comment focuses on the variations of the tauroctony image, on the supports and sizes it came in, and on the distribution of the occurrences of minor Mithraic subjects. The fifth chapter focuses on the analysis of the spatial distribution of Mithraea within the urban layout, on the pattern of accessibility of these sanctuaries, and on the analysis of their internal organization. This spatial approach highlighted the existence of two major layouts for Mithraea: the single-room sanctuary (with or without vestibule) and the multiple-room sanctuary. Crossing this spatial acquisition with chronological, social, and cultural data we suggested a new hierarchy for Mithraic sanctuaries. The conclusions summarize the new data we added updating CIMRM and the results of the spatial and architectural analysis of Mithraea.

Archaeological Evidence of the Cult of Mithras in Ancient Italy

Vittoria Canciani
2022

Abstract

This thesis focuses on the analysis of the material evidence of the Cult of Mithras in ancient Italy between the late 1st and early 5th century CE. The first chapter is devoted to locating the Cult of Mithras in the religious context of the Roman Empire. After a first general introduction to the Religions of the Roman Empire, F. Cumont’s work and the latest research developments on the Oriental Cults, we will continue with the literature overview on the Cult of Mithras, focusing in particular on the existing Mithraic catalogues. Finally, we will briefly present the main features of Mithraism according to the most recent research developments. The second chapter consists of the update of the existing catalogs of Mithraic finds and the integration of recent discoveries. Entries follow a progressive numbering and are listed following a geographical order. The following chapters three and four develop a comment on selected epigraphic (chapter three) and iconographic (chapter four) topics based on the data collected in chapter two. The epigraphic comment focuses on the phrasings used to address Mithras, on the occasions chosen by the devotee to consecrate him a monument, on the social status of the devotees, and on their grades and priesthoods. The iconographic comment focuses on the variations of the tauroctony image, on the supports and sizes it came in, and on the distribution of the occurrences of minor Mithraic subjects. The fifth chapter focuses on the analysis of the spatial distribution of Mithraea within the urban layout, on the pattern of accessibility of these sanctuaries, and on the analysis of their internal organization. This spatial approach highlighted the existence of two major layouts for Mithraea: the single-room sanctuary (with or without vestibule) and the multiple-room sanctuary. Crossing this spatial acquisition with chronological, social, and cultural data we suggested a new hierarchy for Mithraic sanctuaries. The conclusions summarize the new data we added updating CIMRM and the results of the spatial and architectural analysis of Mithraea.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1060675
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