The Roman temple in Bath

A bigger picture

The Roman empire brought many different people and religions into contact with each other. People from other parts of the empire who arrived in Britain, in particular soldiers, encountered local British religion and brought with them the deities of their original homes as well as gods and goddesses they had come across elsewhere in the empire. It was four eastern religions, the cults of Isis, Mithras and Cybele and Christianity, that travelled furthest across the empire. They seem to have met a need felt especially by soldiers, perhaps because they related in some way to the risk of death soldiers faced on a regular basis. The objects here represent gods from different parts of the Roman empire, all of whom were also worshipped in Britain.

Mithras slaying the bull


A marble group of Mithras slaying the bull. The cult of Mithras originated in Persia.

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=463619&partId=1&searchText=Mithras+slaying+the+bull&page=1

Roman god Mercury


The head of a statue of the Roman god Mercury, from Uley, Gloucestershire.

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Egyptian goddess Isis


A terracotta figure of the Egyptian goddess Isis from Italy. She had a temple in London.

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Attis, lover of Cybele


A stone figure from London which may show Attis, lover of the goddess Cybele. The cult of Cybele originated in what is now Turkey.

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Early Christian mosaic


The mosaic floor from the Roman villa at Hinton St Mary, Dorset. It shows a bust of Jesus Christ and combines Christian and pagan imagery.

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Mother goddesses


The Three Mother Goddesses were worshipped across Roman Europe from Italy to Britain. As fertility goddesses they hold loaves of bread, fruit and ears of corn. This sculpture is from Corinium Museum, Cirencester, Dorset. Image courtesy of Corinium Museum © Cotswold District Council.

See more See more: http://coriniummuseum.org/collections/ten-treasures/
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The Roman temple in Bath