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  • 1 University of Perugia, Italy
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Summary

The presence of Mithras in Regio VI, Umbria, is documented by materials (some inscriptions, two arae, two reliefs, two tauroctonies: one of them fragmentary, the other one almost complete) which were either fortuitously unearthed between the 18th and the 19th century without any further research following, or discovered during unsystematic excavations – in both cases, they ended up lost (or simply forgotten) among the other pieces of family collections. This is how Marquis Eroli and Count Valenti bought, respectively, a relief now kept at the Museo Archelogico in Terni and a fragmentary tauroctony, still visible today in the hall of his ancestral palace in Trevi; Count Ramelli retrieved a tauroctony and some inscriptions in Sentinum: the tauroctony was then walled in the hall of his palace in Fabriano and the inscriptions were collected in the lapidarium of the palace. Finally, Count Marignoli promoted the excavation of the Mithraeum in Spoleto, dug up by Fabio Gori and documented in drawings and watercolors by the architect Silvestri; currently that Mithraeum has been reduced to a shapeless heap of rubble and its materials are not to be found anywhere.

This is definitely a distressing situation which, however, allows us to outline at least a Mithraic geography in Umbria made up of places along the Via Flaminia, east and west, where initiates to the Mithraic cult used to live, from Ocriculum to Interamna Nahars, Montoro, Spoletium, Trebiae, Carsulae and Sentinum, on the junction of the road coming from Helvillum. As for the cultores Mithrae in Regio VI, the few surviving inscriptions speak about them. There are freemen and freedmen, few slaves, some artisans, maybe some landowners or administrators of private and public estates who live and work at in-between towns and villae. They participate in the cult by covering various functions and supporting it financially: the leones in Carsulae collect money to build their leonteum; Sextus Egnatius Primitivus pays out of pocket to rebuild a spelaeum destroyed by an earthquake, while the thirty-five patroni of Sentinum contribute in different ways to the needs of their community.

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