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Sol and Mithras - promises of an afterlife

Sol, the sun god, is portrayed here with the usual 12-pointed crown and a frontal pose. "Sol invictus", the invincible sun god, became one of the most common symbols for invincibility in the 3rd century. His image appeared on the back side of many coins.

The Sol cult was especially supported under the Severin reign in the first half of the 3rd century. Written sources show that there was a mixing of the cult with the Oriental Mithras cult. Little is known about the promises that the cult made about life after death. It is only known for sure that Oriental cults spread rapidly throughout the province Germania superior.

Found in 1839 in Obernburg (Kapellengasse).

Red sandstone; width 62cm, height 32.5cm, depth 12cm. The connection to the inscription found separately which names Sol and Mithras is not clear. Dating: end-2nd century AD

Mattern 2005, 122f.

Sol relief, Römermuseum Obernburg
1 Sol relief, Römermuseum Obernburg © Römermuseum Obernburg

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