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  • 1 Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain
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Summary

The Mithraic evidence in Etruria and Umbria – VII and VI Regiones – presents some particular features of great interest, not only because they contribute to enlarging our knowledge regarding the extent of the diffusion of Mithraism in these regions, but also as regards the general study of the cult itself and the comprehension of certain facets of the cultic implantation patterns within the religious communities.

The epigraphic corpus of Mithraism in Umbria provides valuable information concerning some grades of initiation and Mithraic priesthood, highlighting the specificity of this religion. The importance of such information transcends what we know about the local level, by revealing details about the functioning of the cult in general, especially regarding the degree of Leo and some variants of the priesthood, which are poorly documented elsewhere in the Roman Empire.

In addition, the discovery of Mithraea, Mithraic images and other archaeological evidence in Etruria and Umbria provides a picture that shows an important spread of the worship in the private context, i.e., both domus and villae, with examples as relevant as Vulci and Spoletium. Further ahead, the prevalence of astral components in the material evidence also suggests a strong preference among local devotees of Mithras of higher social status for the cosmological aspects of their religion.

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