Undergroud Rome

Posted on gen 8, 2013

underground romeIn Rome there are more than 70 underground sites, some of them are open daily to the public, for others you need a special permit. Some of these sites are mithraeums, temples dedicated to god Mithras. Recently was opened to the public after 10 years of restoration  the mithreum of Caracalla, located beneath the famous Caracalla Baths. The temple is an “unicum”,  the only mithreum where there is the presence of the ” fossa sanguinis”, a well in which the initiate was dropped and received the hot blood of the sacrificed bull. According to this worship, which had its roots in India and ancient Persia, Mithras was born from a rock and destined to
kill the cosmic bull, whose blood would give birth to the universe. The members if this worship, exclusively male and often soldiers, used to meet in temples like caves with side benches where they would recline during the banquet. As a mystery worship, all the rituals were hidden to non members, and never recorded, the only written sources are the Christian ones, some from St. Agostino, one of the Church’s Doctors, who wrote about some details like the seventh different degrees of initiation represented by seven different constellation and the tauroctony of Mithras slaying the bull, always in the presence of three animals, the dog and the serpent drinking the bull’s blood, and a scorpion biting his testicles. According to one of the two versions, these three animals represent evil as they are trying to stop the bull’s blood from fertilizing the earth.