What was Mithraism?
Mithraism was a secret religion open only to men. It began in Persia
(modern Iran) but was adapted and grew rapidly in Rome. Roman soldiers,
officials and merchants liked Mithraism's ideals of honesty, purity and
What did the archaeologists find?
One of the sculptures the archaeologists found was a head of Mithras
himself. Another showed Mithras killing a bull. Nearby were heads of the
Roman god Minerva and Serapis, the Egyptian god of the Underworld. The
Romans often mixed gods from different religions together.
What happened to the temple?
By AD350 men no longer worshipped Mithras here and the religion was
beginning to die out. Because it was open only to men of a particular
class, its popular appeal declined when that rank declined.