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Mithraism on Corsica

Mithra was a mysterious Indo-Iranian god whose following took root alongside Christianity in the Western world.[5] Christianity is well documented, but almost nothing is known about Mithraism except that the primitive religion worshiped a single deity and was probably all-male at first.

The best chance to study it comes from sanctuaries dedicated to Mithra, and one was recently found on Corsica. In 2016, archaeologists swept the area after local authorities wanted to build roads near Mariana, a Roman town from around 100 B.C. That is when they found the sanctuary’s antechamber and worship room. A first for the French island, it proved that Mithraism was practiced in Corsica. 

Artifacts ranged from the bland (oil lamps and pottery) to a rare marble tableau showing Mithra himself sacrificing a bull. Some items, such as the broken altar, received damage in antiquity. The ancient Christian center at Mariana cannot be directly linked to the destruction, but it is likely that there existed a mutual tension. The two religions competed for followers and Roman Emperor Theodosius I, favoring Christianity, outlawed and persecuted the growth of Mithraism.

Mithraism on Corsica is found in...

10 Rare Recently Discovered Religious Artifacts
( 10 items )
Item Position (rank): 6