Mithras Slaying the Bull Statue
7 inches tall
Mithras was an Indo-Iranian God that was imported to Rome in the 2nd and 3rd centuries c.e. He was a Sun God, known by such epithets as Sol Invictus ("the unconquerable sun"). His followers were initiates who met in small autonomous groups or "cells", and who were exclusively male. The meeting places for fellowship and worship (called "Mithraea") were modest and secret places, often in caves. The teachings of the cult were in the model of a mystery school, and the candidates were led through a series of seven initiatory degrees.
Early Christianity borrowed much from the cult of Mithras, including the ideas of "salvation by the shedding of blood", the Birthday of December 25th, and the Virgin Birth.
Based on the original at Virginia Museum, Richmond, c. 100 CE. White gypsum-stone statue. 7 inches tall, 6.5 inches wide and 2 inches deep.