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Vulci and the mysteries of Mitra, eastern rituals in Etruria

The Exhibit dedicated to the eastern cults in Etruria right in the Orsini Fortress of Sorano!
It may sound strange talking about Vulci, ancient etruscan city in the northern Lazio, inside the blog of Hotel della Fortezza, you will make up your mind! Actually, there are many reasons for the territory of the Hilltop Towns is essentially linked to Vulci and with the ancient eastern rituals that characterized Etruria. First of all, the direct relationship that connect, since the etruscan time, the cost and the hinterland.

Vulci, one of the biggest etruscan city-state in Etruria, just few kilometers from Canino and Montalto di Castro, was the commercial center of that time, famous in all over the ancient world for its handcraft, agriculture and the maritime trades, derived from its position near the cost.

The hinterlands of the Southern Tuscany, like the area of the Hilltop Towns, Sorano, Pitigliano and Sovana, hidden among hills and valleys, were, on the contrary, proper gardens, sacred and mystical places where they proclaim the worship of the mother heart. Their belief was expressed through the building of still admirable impressive works, called the Vie Cave (literally carved roads, carved into the tufa stone cliffs spread all over the necropolis of this territory).

These two different etruscan realities that distinguished themselves for morphology and customs, were already related one to the other by continuous exchanges and interests.

Today, thanks to the synergy and collaboration between the Museums of the municipality of Sorano with the Museum of Vulci and superintendence of the Southern Etruria, this linking has been brought to life again through the exhibit dedicated to the mysteries of the Mitreo of Vulci, that will be open until the end of November in the Museum of the Renaissance and the Middle-Ages of the Orsini Family. In fact, it will possible to admire the statue of the Mitra divinity in the act of killing the bull.

The Cult in honor of Mitra

The ritual in honor of Mitra, the figure that was identified with the light and the solar cycle of Helios, was spread after the contrast between Asia Minor and the greek world, at the end of the IV century after the Persian empire. This cult arrived in Italy from the I century a.D. and was spread firstly among the military legions, with the ritual of the sacrifice of the bull, that represented the death and the rebirth, the prolificness, and the victory of the good against the evil. The self-liberation of the followers could be reached by the practice of collective rituals that took place in specific rooms where the sacred banquet was consumed, in a similar way then the rituals in honor of Dioniso-Bacco. The mysterious cults derived from the presence of seven different levels of initiation of the followers that were practiced while dancing and drinking wine.

The statue

The ritual in honor of Mitra was identified with the rebirth and the victory of the good against the evil. In fact the statue dedicated to Mitra, which you will have the possibility to admire the original version right in the exhibit in the museum of the Renaissance and the Middle-Ages of Sorano, represents the god who grabs the bull, bringing its head close by him, and hitting it with his sword. In the scene, a snake and a dog seem to be drinking from the wound of the poor animal, since from its death is the life rebirths; On the other hand a scorpion attacks the bull from below, trying to hurt its testicles.

For more informations and details, you can take advantage of the guide titled Vulci and the mysteries of Mitra, that you can find on sale in the museum of Piazza Cairoli, that will be useful to deepen your knowledge about Vulci, the cult of Mitra, the reason of its presence in Etruria and the other motifs that are encouraging the municipality of Montalto and Canino to point on the organization of the archaeological park of Vulci and its Uniqueness!

Special Offer The Etruscan Vie Cave

Visiting the Archaeological Park “Città del Tufo”, in the municipality of Sorano, will be even more interesting.. and to let you not miss this such a rare occasion we have created a Special Offer dedicated to all the lovers of etruscan history and architecture.

Take advantage of our Special Offer The Etruscan Vie Cave, that will allow you to discover the medieval Hilltop Towns of the Southern Tuscany, with their museums and medieval churches, historical centers by the unique landscapes, as well as the etruscan necropolis spread in the territory that surrounds the villages. You will stay in the elegant rooms of Hotel della Fortezza, inside the Orsini Fortress of Sorano, right in front of the Museum where there is the exhibit, and you will have the chance to get in contact to the history and the secrets of a such a mysterious territory….

The Special Offer includes:

  • 1 night /2 days in double / twin Superior room
  • Entrance to the museums of Sorano – Orsini Fortress, Museum of San Mamiliano, archaeological park
  • Entrance to the Little jerusalem f Pitigliano
  • Picnic
  • Dinner in the native Food Bar of Hotel della Fortezza or in a restaurant of Sorano
  • Special Offer for the second night

Price per person 99€

Book now

Book now