Piazza della Bocca della Verità, 16/a
Rione Ripa (Circo Massimo-Bocca Verità-Aventino) (Roma centro)
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Accesso da via S. Maria in Cosmedin
The mitreo was discovered in the thirties during the building of the set storage facility for the Teatro Nazionale dell’Opera. Probably built in the second century AD, the large building was modified many times, and in the third century AD, its ground floor became a mitreo. The mitreo, decorated with marble, was found in good condition. The actual entrance had to have been secondary, while the principal one corresponded with the Circus Maximus. The rooms, originally covered by vaults, had an east-west orientation. The first area on the right has been interpreted as an apparitorum, or kind of sacristy, while the second room exhibits a typical element of the mitreo-a podium executed in brickwork (where the initiates sat during ceremonies and the celebration of sacred banquets). In the last and most important room, the sanctuary itself, another sort of bar is found. Inside one of the arches, on the back wall, there is a semi-circular aedicula which would have contained a small statue of Mitra. Up high, to the right of the arch, a relief depicts the principal deeds of Mitra; the killing of the bull (tauroctonia) is a recurring theme.