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New evidence of the solar and mystery cults in Dalmatia

Nenad Cambi

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (2 MB) str. 23-32 preuzimanja: 392* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Cambi, N. (2017). Nova svjedočanstva solarnih i mističkih kultova u Dalmaciji. Tusculum, 10 (2), 23-32. Preuzeto s
MLA 8th Edition
Cambi, Nenad. "Nova svjedočanstva solarnih i mističkih kultova u Dalmaciji." Tusculum, vol. 10, br. 2, 2017, str. 23-32. Citirano 08.05.2021.
Chicago 17th Edition
Cambi, Nenad. "Nova svjedočanstva solarnih i mističkih kultova u Dalmaciji." Tusculum 10, br. 2 (2017): 23-32.
Cambi, N. (2017). 'Nova svjedočanstva solarnih i mističkih kultova u Dalmaciji', Tusculum, 10(2), str. 23-32. Preuzeto s: (Datum pristupa: 08.05.2021.)
Cambi N. Nova svjedočanstva solarnih i mističkih kultova u Dalmaciji. Tusculum [Internet]. 2017 [pristupljeno 08.05.2021.];10(2):23-32. Dostupno na:
N. Cambi, "Nova svjedočanstva solarnih i mističkih kultova u Dalmaciji", Tusculum, vol.10, br. 2, str. 23-32, 2017. [Online]. Dostupno na: [Citirano: 08.05.2021.]

This paper deals with several previously unpublished cult monuments of solar and mystery character.
1. Mithras On the corner of the architrave of the gates to Turjun fort in Omiš is displayed a small fragment (left lower part) of the Mithras cult relief, featuring the the portion of Cautopates figure, wearing a belted tunica and cloak. Next to him is the thigh of a bull, Mithras’ leg, and
what appears to be a scorpion (fig. 1, 2). The remainder of the scene was not preserved, but the missing contents can easily be reconstructed based on numerous other analogue reliefs (fig. 3). It is clear that the relief from Omiš was purposely destroyed following subsequent
Christian triumph. The similarities between the sculptural style of the Cautopates and erotes on funerary monuments (arae and sarcophagi) are the basis for dating the relief from Omiš. The Mithras religion was at its peak roughly at the same time (3rd century) as the use of sepulchral erotes. On the opposite side to the entrance to Turjun, next to the epistile, there is a fragment of a Roman inscription (fig. 4). It was published in IlIug. In Omiš there was also a fragmented
inscription, CIL 3, 8474, which was already lost long since. According to the Codex Epiterginus, the inscription read as follows: POSVIT/ DIS ASCA/ MATRI MAGNE/ IANNIM[…..,
or Rota: DIS ASCA ET/ MATRI MAGNA IANE M. Combining both interpretations, the author recommends the reconstruction: ……..POSVIT/ D(E)IS ASCA(lonitanis) ET/ MATRI MAGN(A)E
[et] IAN(a)E M……. The divinity Iana/Diana is mentioned in an inscription from the vicinity of Salona.
Regarding to the Mithraic religion, another monument is worth mentioning. In the Archaeological Museum in Split a small pillar with a strange naked figure from Salona is kept. This fugure resembles to an erote at the first glance, however its characteristics match those of a Mithraic leontocephale deity Aion (fig. 5). This fantastic creature symbolized the entire body of time (past, present, and future) within the Mithraic religion. It was depicted as a naked man with a lion’s head and sharp, long teeth, but with human eyes and a beard, as well as wings, which was visible on the relief from Salona. They existed in the most of
Mithras’ sanctuaries everywhere. In Zadar (Roman Iader), there is a giant stone block block depicting the same leontocephale deity with paradigmatic, iconographic characteristics. The measures point to its
belonging to a monumental architecture in the vicinity of Iader forum (fig. 6).2. Sol invictus In 2013, a fragment of a relief were found during the cleaning of the graveyard near the Church of St. Martin in Podstrana (fig. 7). Only the feet of the god Sol were preserved in its middle, as indicated by the inscription: s]ER(vs) INVIC(to) S[oli V(otum) S(olvit)]. To the left of the the legs there is a dog sitting on its hind legs. To the right is the recumbent lion. The iconography and popularity of the cult of the Sun was enormously bolstered by its famous statue, built for the breakwater of the war port of the city of Rhodes in Aegean, erected in
271 BC. It was sculpted by Greek artist Chares, from the city of Lindos, a pupil of the greatest master of Greek sculpture, Lysippos. His face was fair, with an emphatic look towards the sky, and his eyes evoked a divine pathos and inspiration of the late-Greek classicism and early Hellenism spirit.
Considering that there was likely another, smaller animal in front of the dog, there is the possibility of being two of them there. If this was the case, it would have likely been a symbolic representation of both the Canis Major and Canis Minor constellations. The appearance of the Canis constellations land on the hottest days of the middle of summer
(around the summer solstice), in the sign of Leo (the lion).
The site where the relief was found belonged to Lucius Artorius Castus, a highly distinguished military and civil official, who was buried near the church of St. Martin. But, the relief of Sol is certainly younger than the time of Castus’ death, at the beginning of the 3rd century.
Sol’s bust also appears on one of the consoles of the architrave of the Temple in Diocletian’s Palace in Split (fig. 8, 9, 10) western to the Peristyle. The bust only featured a cloak draped across a naked body, with a whip near his right shoulder, and a radiant crown. There
can be no doubt that Diocletian was a devout worshiper of Sol. It is important to note the fact that another console featured a bust with similar iconography (fig. 11) on the northern, lateral side of the same Temple (toward the north-western corner of the building). It would
appear that the bust portrayed a quiver with arrows across its left shoulder, with sun rays in its hair, but without a whip. These attributes point to Apollo as the deity of light, who was often equated with Sol.
Mithras, Sol, and Apollo are three kindred deities, deeply interwoven in their various cosmological aspects, and yet they were not entirely merged, as their iconographic differences clearly show. All three of these solar deities display the popularity typical of solar religious systems among the Roman common folk.

Ključne riječi
Salona; Oneum (Omiš); Mitra; Aion; Dei Ascalonitani; Magna Mater; Iana

Hrčak ID: 186045



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