ROME TO PERMIT TOURS
OF MITHRAEUM LABYRINTH
ROME has announced that it plans to soon allow the public to tour ancient labyrinth tunnels for the god Mithras after years of restoration work.
The tunnels are located under the Baths of Caracalla, and are separate from the Mithraeum, which was discovered last year. The Mithraeum was reportedly found with a fresco of the god on the wall, and also a space for what is believed to be an area for animal sacrifices.
As the largest Mithras temple in the Roman empire, the discovery confirms what was thought to be true about the area: that Romans were involved for centuries in Mithras worship long after the proclamation of Christianity as the official religion of Rome.
Mithras, originally the god of the Persians, became popular in Rome beginning between 80 and 120 AD. Sunday was marked as the day set aside for Mithras, being known as the unconquered sun, Sol Invictus.
Celebrations also took place in mid-December for Mithras during the Winter Solstice, who was stated to have been born at that time of year. Christianity "borrowed" many of those elements from Mithraism.
The Religion of Antinous celebrates the birth of Antinous-Mithras and the Birth of the Unconquered Sun during the December Solstice.