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The Worship of Isis and Serapis in Nomentum (Rome): Some Epigraphic and Archaeological Evidence

Alessandra Colazilli


The cult of Isis and Serapis, very popular outside Egypt during Greek and Roman era, had a deep widespread in Italy and certainly in Rome and its neighborhood. The area around the modern city of Mentana, where rose the ancient Nomentum, has given back some interesting finds which afford to suppose a worship of Isis and Serapis, recently supported by the recovery of a little granite head portraying a priest and imported from Egypt during Roman dominion. Furthermore, inscriptions and isiac symbols carved on some altars also coming from Nomentum, corroborate the hypothesis. Even though no evidence for a temple or shrine consecrated to Isis and Serapis have been discovered yet, the great fame of Egyptian religion and its inclination to syncretism make possible the presence of a priesthood or, at least, a domestic cult in the area under investigation.


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