Agenzia DOLCI SOGNI by Coop. Soc. IL SOGNO a r.l.
Autorizzato Prov. Roma R.U. 1333 del 02/04/2012
 
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Viale Regina Margherita, 192 - 00198 ROMA
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MITHRAEUM OF SANTA PRISCA


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GENERAL DESCRIPTION

The mithraeum S. Prisca is a wonderful underground sanctuary dedicated to the worship of the god Mithras, the god identified with the Eastern Sun, whose worship was widespread in the Roman world. This cult was officiated in underground temples, mitrei in fact, generally of small size suitable to accommodate a limited number of faithful. It was an initiatory religion in which the faithful had to face a series of tests before being released into the community and undergo purification rites. The Mysteries of Mithras (so called because of the secrecy surrounding the rite) included seven degrees of initiation which were celebrated by a priest, Pater Patrum, and a mystical banquet that took place in the presence of the figure of the god. The central part of the worship of the bull was made dallimmolazione by Mitra, through which a gesture ensured the salvation of followers.

The mithraeum S. Prisca is organized in such a way as to allow the development of all parts of the rite. It is accessed via a staircase on the right side of the church of S. Prisca and you reach the sanctuary through a series of rooms belonging to the ancient steps of the church. This fact stands on the ruins of an ancient complex comprising a house with portico of the first century, a nymph with an apse and a building with two aisles identified with the original titilus.

The shrine itself is preceded by a vestibule equipped with a cockpit on which they were killed small animals that served the sacred meal. The entrance to the sanctuary is underlined by the two front niches that housed the statues of Cautes and Cautopates, symbols respectively of the dawn and the sunset (only Cautes is preserved). The sanctuary consists of a long rectangular room with paintings on the walls and counters with a procession of initiates on the sides for banquets while the bottom is occupied by a niche plastered with pumice stone with the representation of Mithras killing the bull and below, a figure reclining of Saturn. Behind this room was the Apparatorium, a sort of sacristy. Other rooms opened on the sides: the Caelus, where the ceremonies relating to the purification and baptism of the initiate, with traces of a fresco depicting the seven concentric circles cones seven signs of the zodiac, and the hall for initiations.