Mithraeum of Circus Maximus – Underground Rome Tour
Visit a temple of an ancient god from Asia, hidden underground near “the Circus Maximus”.
Price from 55 euros
“Mitra”, the god of oaths, had found a home in the heart of the ancient city of Rome.
The Mithraeum of Circus Maximus underground Rome tour will take you to a mysterious underground site that used to be the place of worship of an ancient god, “Mitra”, whose name traveled all the way from India and Persia to the Roman Empire...
“The Circus Maximus” was an ancient stadium where people would come to see chariot races. In the third century the “Mithraeum of Circus Maximus” was created right next to the “carceres” (the stalls where the horses and their riders would wait the start of the race). The “Mithraeum of Circus Maximus” was discovered in 1931, during construction work for creation of a storage for the costumes and stage props of “opera theater” of Rome, the “Teatro dell’Opera”. As they were digging, the people working there discovered a large structure in good state of conservation and beautifully decorated with marble.
But what is a “Mithraeum”? A “Mithraeum” was a place of worship dedicated to the god “Mitra”, who was known across the Roman Empire and beyond. “Mithraeums” were built in underground chambers or natural caves, and they were quite small. It is believed that only about a couple dozen people would enter the “Mithraeum” at the same time. People would sit on benches and participate in a sacred banquet that was part of the main ceremony. “Mithraeums” always featured an altar and a depiction of the god “Mitra” in the act of sacrificing a sacred bull. According to the legend, the death of the sacred bull symbolizes rebirth and prosperity. Historical traces of “Mitra” can be dated as far back as the year 1200 BC, when he makes an appearance in the “Veda”, sacred texts of the Hindu religion. This cult spread to Persia, Greece, and eventually to Rome, where it found many devout followers. romeanditaly group with Mithraeum of Circus Maximus underground Rome tour will show you the mysterious place where this ancient god was revered.
The Mithraeum of Circus Maximus underground Rome tour will take you through the different rooms of this underground site. The first room was most likely a sort of sacristy, while the second one used to house some small statues. The third room is the place where people would gather for the sacred banquet, and in the final room you will be able to see a depiction of “Mitra” killing the sacred bull and bringing prosperity to the universe. The inscription above it reads: “Deo Soli Invicto Mithrae Ti(berius) Cl(audio) Hermes ob votum dei typum d(ono) d(at)”, which means: “To the undefeated god of the sun Mitra, Tiberius Claudio Hermes offers the image of the god after a vow.”
The Mithraeum of Circus Maximus tour will allow you to see a beautifully preserved ancient underground site of worship, and you will walk in the same rooms where people would come together hundreds of years ago to pray to this mysterious god of distant lands.
Did you know that inside “the Cathedral of St. Clemente” there is another important “Mithraeum”? If you are curious and want to learn more about “Mitra” and the places where his worshipers gathered, you can try out the Hidden Treasures Tour – Rome, available on our website. https://www.romeanditaly.com/hidden-treasures-tour-rome/
Highlights and what's included
- Duration: Half Day
- Places of interest: Mithraeum of Circus Maximus, Underground site
- Exclusivity: All our tours are PRIVATE, not sharing with other guests
- Languages: All languages available on request