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Silver votive plaque - the killing of Mithras' steer

The interpretation of the central cult image as a map of the constellation with Taurus, Perseus (Mithras), and below them the lion, crater, snake and cancer was solved by the scientist David Ulansey in 1989.

The killing of the steer represents the end of the "Age of Taurus", the constellation in which the vernal equinox was located before Christ's birth. The change of the day-night balance in the spring was the pictoral basis of the Mithras cult's imagery. Mithras appears as the constellation of Perseus, ruler of the cosmos.

Mithras's followers must have been attracted by the ruler of the cosmos, who also rules man's fate.


Ulansey 1998.

Silver votive plaque, Saalburg Roman Fort
1 Silver votive plaque, Saalburg Roman Fort © Photo Eva Kuttner, Linz

Bavarian State Conservation Office Landesstelle für die nichtstaatlichen Museen & Bavarian State Archaeological Collection with the support of the Bayerische Sparkassenstiftung