Associated with the Mithra cult – popular with the military.
There are over 20 known at Ostia.
Green triangles represent known Mithra in the city of Ostia. Seven spheres – each person associated with a different god.
A church was later built on one of the site of the Mithraeum. Here depicts an altar, shows the standard iconography of Mithras slaughtering the bull. On the sides are raised benches for participants could recline. Underground to mimic the final battle between Mithras and the bull. This is an example of Romans taking an interest in a foreign cult.
Another Roman adoption is the worship of the god Isis. She was the Queen and wife of the chief god of the Egyptians – Osiris. They have a son named Horus. Osiris had a brother named Seth – Seth and Osiris symbolize good and evil, chaos and order. They fight, and Seth is able to defeat Osiris, kill him, and dismember him, and buries the various pieces in different locations. Isis is able to find all the body parts, put them back together, and resuscitate him. Osiris takes over as king of the land of the dead, Horus, the king of the living. Isis is a regenerating force. This is the best preserved Roman sanctuary to Isis, located in Pompeii. Has a very high wall surrounding it, so no one could see it. It was important to hide the rituals associated with Isis from the average Roman, so it is essentially a mystery cult. This sanctuary was badly damaged in the earthquake that hit Pompeii in 62, and was totally reconstructed before the eruption in 79. The construction looks just like a Roman temple – a porch, eves, only one entrance leading to a high podium. Presumably there was a statue of Isis inside.
The entire temple was sitting in a courtyard surrounded by peristyle columns. There, provided access was given to a more secretive chamber where more private worships could take place, or rituals and initiation activities.
Painting showing figures with their arms raised in homage to the goddess. Shows how the high priest and other members of hierarchy over look the practices. These religions were of a hybridized nature of worship - taking foreign ideas and mixing them with Roman ideals.
Sculpture using two different types of stone to differentiate the skin and the drapery. The knot below the breasts is typical of Isis worshipers. She is holding two emblems of her office. One is a kind of rattle that had bits of metal that go through a stone on a stick, when shook, it could make noise. This is called a sistrum – often used at parades where Romans would sing. In her other hand, she holds a jug – symbolic of the waters of the Nile River that link back to Egypt. The style of the sculpture is not in Egyptian, but in Roman.
There is a Jewish population in Rome. This arch shows the practices of Judaism. Rome owned the province of Judea – modern day Israel. The Jews and Romans ran into conflict because Jews would not worship Roman gods, but only be monotheistic, this lead to many revolts. In 66, Emperor Nero sends one of his best Generals, Vespasian to put out the revolt. He goes into the mountains and puts out small groups until they have Roman control. When Emperor Nero looses power, Vespasian takes control. Upon another revolt, his son, Titus was sent to put it out, and destroyed the city and the Jewish temple. The critical thing that Jews need to build a new temple is a prophet, and there hasn’t been one since the destruction of the temple by the Romans. Before this time, Jews would go to the temple once a year to sacrifice an animal.
There is a panel with sculpture on the inside of the portal.
The location of the arch is just outside the Forum – very close to the Coliseum.
They are carrying the miraculous Menorah that burned for seven days. It was taken from Jerusalem as loot. The Romans are carrying billboards that depict what happened In the revolt. Seeing a specific location of an actual event.
Shows victory placing a crown on Titus’s head.
Where worship would take place – a synagogue, a place where prayers could be said, and part of the scripture could be read. It was also a storage place of the Torah – the sacred scriptures. There is a use of painting on the wall to decorate the same – not just grayed imagery. It was thought that they were forbidden to depict human imagery, however this is not the case. This is painting due to the influence of the surrounding Roman culture.
One shows Moses leading the Jews out of Egypt through the red sea, and we see the Egyptian army drowning through the rushing in of the red sea. Shows two separate actions in the same panels – shows the same figure of Moses represented twice. The building that was shown was the temple – looking exactly like the real life.
Another depiction of the temple with Aaron. Showing the altar, sacrificial animals, and the Menorah.
Also, Christianity was a product of the Roman world. There is an example of a painting in the catacombs – the Christian burial grounds. Often Saints were painted around the catacombs depending on the family’s preference. The painting style is Roman. Shows an image of Christ in the center as the good shepherd, as a metaphor for the church. There are also lunettes at right angles to each other – and there are other stories, including that of Jonah and the whale. This Old Testament story prefigures what will happen to Jesus in the resurrection. Jonah is swallowed by the whale due to his insubordination, and is spat out three days later. There are also figures standing with their arms out – this seems to we the position for prayer. These figures are called orants.