Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sites Along the Wall - Part I

There are so many things to see in Hadrian's Wall Country.  This web site is an excellent source of information:   http://www.hadrians-wall.org/

One of my favorite places along the wall is a Temple of Mithras at Brocolitia. 
The temple was discovered in 1949, when the tips of the altars were found sticking out of the ground.  The original altars are in the museum in Newcastle, but there are some amazing replicas in the temple. 
Worship of Mithras was popular among the Roman legions.  Mithraism was a mystery religion, probably originating in Persia.  The image of Mithras slaying a bull is present in most all the temples.  Here he is:

To reach the Temple at Brocolitia, you have to walk back through a field of cows and sheep, and it is not easy to find.   But last year I was determined to find the temple so made the trek through the livestock and down the hill and finally, there it was - the temple. The cows and sheep just looked at me as if to say, "here is another silly tourist."    I couldn't believe that I was actually walking into the remains of a Mithraic Temple.  There were no other people around and it was deadly quiet and a bit spooky. 

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