Mitreo dei Serpenti

Panel 41 - Location

The cult place dedicated to the eastern god Mithras was installed in the second half of the 3rd century AD inside an earlier complex with shops.

One of the back rooms of a shop was transformed into a cult space where the podia (side benches) and a small altar were made from reused building materials.

Panel 41 - Figure 1Section of the mithraeum
(M. Lilli, P. Pinna, G. Paquali, G. Caccianiga)

The mithraeum retained the painted decorations of the preceding phase (2nd century AD), probably belonging to a lararium (shrine of the household gods), depicting two snakes, a male identified by a crest and a female, on either side of a Genius with a veiled head and a cornucopia in his hand to symbolize abundance.

Since they were connected to the earth, snakes also played an important role in Mithraic religion.

Panel 41 - Figure 2Watercolours of the paintings of snakes Panel 41 - Figure 4Detail of the Genius depicted on the eastern wall
Panel 41 - Figure 3Watercolours of the paintings of snakes

See also:

The area of the eastern cults and the Porta Laurentina district