Mithraic Temple

This evening, I am focusing on the Temple of Mithras which can be found close to the Fort of Brocolitia ( Carrawburgh) to the west of Walwick. There is a small car park from where access can be achieved on foot, albeit the terrain can be wet and muddy.

Mithras was a pagan god the worship of whom was predominantly the preserve of senior officers in the Roman army. There are between three and five temples dedicated to Mithras worship at forts on Hadrian’s Wall. Mithraism was an adaption of ancient religion from the East, centring on the struggle between light and darkness, good and evil. The central scene in every mithraeum features the slaying of a bull as an act of redemption.

The mithraeum shown here, at Carrawburgh, comprised a nave with benches on either side with a sanctuary at one end and a narthex at the other. The latter being an ante-room for uninitiated adherents. It is believed that members of the cult progressed through various grades via a succession of ordeals.

Mithraic Altar Close-Up

Altars at Mithraic Temple, Hadrian’s Wall

 The Carrawburgh fort was the first infantry fort on the central section of Hadrian’s Wall. It was in use from the second to the early fifth centuries during which period it was occupied by troops from modern-day France and  Germany.

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