Roman Period Vessel Relating to the Cult of Mithras

SKU P.0390

100 AD to 300 AD


4″ (10.2cm) high x 5″ (12.7cm) wide




Bethany, Jordan

Gallery Location



Mithras was a god of Persian origins whose cult was immensely popular in the Roman Empire from the first century A.D. until the fourth. His worship was limited to men and the cult's rituals were secret, though its chief tenet involved the triumph of a good god over death, often represented in art as a struggle between Mithras and a bull. With its aspects of promised resurrection, Mithrasism proved a strong competitor to Christianity. This superb vessel surely evokes the cult of Mithras, while deliberately avoiding direct reference to its mysteries. Even if we knew nothing of its associations, we could recognize it as an object of enormous strength and enduring power.

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