CIMRM Supplement - Tauroctony. Caesarea, Israel.

See also Caesarea Mithraeum.


By Carole Raddato, 2014. From: Flickr.

This artifact was found in the third century debris in the Caesarea Mithraeum. It is a small circular medallion on which was depicted in bas relief, Mithra slaying the bull, a tauroctony. This medallion, carved of white crystalline marble is .075 m. in diameter and .01 m. in thickness. On its reverse a finished bevel reduces the reverse diameter to .065 m. while the reverse surface was left with a rough comb dressing. The obverse of the medallion is divided horizontally into two register the upper of which is twice the size of the lower and feature the tauroctone. The lower of the two register depict three scenes from the life of Mithra. Mithra and associated figures in the upper register have been cut in much higher relief than the figure found in the smaller scene in the lower panels.

In the crease of the folds of Mithra's cloak, where it drapes over his left shoulder and falls between the head of the bull and Mithra's right arm, there are trace of red color.

Two featureless busts appear at top right and left; Luna and Sol. Cautes stands at the right; Cautopates at the left.

In the left panel of the lower register, Sol kneels before Mithras. In the middle panel Sol (l.) and Mithras in a phrygian cap (r.) are at a table. On the right Mithras rides the bull, holding onto its horns, to the r. towards a recumbent figure with upraised arm, presumably Oceanus or Saturn.


Robert J. Bull, The Mithraeum at Caesarea Maritima, in: Études Mithraiques, p.75-89.

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