Thursday 3 May 2018
Organised by the Events Committee, a private visit has been arranged to London’s newest archaeological attraction – the London Mithraeum.
Originally discovered in Walbrook, during construction work in 1954, the entire site was relocated to permit continued construction and this temple of the mysterious god Mithras became perhaps the most famous 20th-century Roman discovery in London.
This new development has returned the Roman Temple of Mithras to the location of its original discovery in the heart of the City of London.
Situated on the site of Bloomberg’s new European headquarters, this new cultural hub showcases the ancient temple, a selection of the remarkable Roman artefacts found during the recent excavation, and a series of contemporary art commissions responding to one of the UK’s most significant archaeological sites.
The Mithras cult
The site lies over the course of one of London’s lost rivers, the Walbrook. Nearly 2,000 years ago when Londinium was founded by the Romans, this river marked the limits of their first settlement. In the 3rd century AD, nearly 200 years after the founding of London, a Roman Londoner built a temple to the god Mithras on this reclaimed ground, next to the river.
The mysterious cult of Mithras first appeared in Rome in the 1st century AD. It spread across the Empire over the next 300 years, predominantly attracting merchants, soldiers and imperial administrators. Meeting in temples which were often constructed below ground, these were private, dark and windowless spaces.
The mythological scene of Mithras killing a bull within a cave, the ‘tauroctony’ is at the heart of the cult, and its full meaning is subject of much speculation.
Arrangements for the Mithraeum visit
The visit will start at 7.00pm and last about 45 minutes, and is free, after which we will adjourn to the nearby restaurant; ‘The India’, for supper.
‘The India’ is situated in the original cellars of the lost Turner’s Hall at 21 College Hill, London EC4R 2RP.
We are able to accommodate up to 30 in the party, but please book early to avoid disappointment on what promises to be a most exciting and interesting event. Please confirm to the Clerk if you also wish to join the party for supper.