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Cautes and Cautopates

Cautes with a raised torch and Cautopates with a lowered torch were part of an imagery that depicted the complex content of the central themes of the mithraic cult: the movement of the equinoxes in the constellation.

The two torch-bearers were displayed at the sides of the Mithras image and symbolised the equinoxes. The steer and the scorpion are associated with them. These represent the months in which the vernal and autumnal equinoxes occur.

The way in which the torch is carried symbolises the increase of light and the coming sommer, or the decrease of light and the onset of winter.

Location
Found in 1902, on both sides of the central Mithras image.

Archaeology
Cautes: dark red sandstone; height 59cm; base with dedication to Flores and his nephew Ancarius (CIL XII 11787). Cautopates: dark red sandstone; height 37.5cm.

Literature
Mattern 2005, 77f. Nr. 79 und 80.

Cautes statue, Saalburg Roman Fort
1
Cautopates statue, Saalburg Roman Fort
2
1 Cautes statue, Saalburg Roman Fort © Boundary Productions, Photo Eric Dobat 2 Cautopates statue, Saalburg Roman Fort © Boundary Productions, Photo Eric Dobat

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