from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An often subterranean or semisubterranean temple dedicated to the worship of Mithras.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a place of worship for the followers of Mithraism
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Roman antiquity, a shrine or sanctuary of Mithras: usually an underground cell, grotto, or crypt in which the secret mysteries of Mithras were celebrated.
Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, starts heavy persecutions against the Gentiles, turns the Temple of Dionysos into a church, burns down the Mithraeum of the city, destroys the Temple of Zeus and burlesques the Pagan priests before they are killed by stoning.
Seeing all three of those in rapid succession, it was almost like seeing churches of three different religions -- the Temppeliaukio could have been a modern Mithraeum, with its solar window wheel around the taut spiral of copper in the ceiling, while the Uspensky cathedral would seem riotously polytheist to anyone unfamiliar with Byzantine iconography.
"Come on, I'll show you the Mithraeum and the Temple of Vulcan."
The third piece is a set of wall drawings from the Roman temple Mithraeum in the ancient city of Dura-Europos that date back to the second century A.D.