This post is the start of a series of image posts Ancient History et cetera will be putting together each month and today’s post is all about amazing ancient Roman mosaics!
The Romans, well the wealthier ones, were well known for enjoying mosaic decorations in their homes and public buildings. As Roman culture spread far and wide the use of mosaics as decoration can also been seen across North Africa, the Middle East, and Turkey.
A Roman floor mosaic dating to the 4th century CE and depicting Dionysos fighting Indians. Dionysos was a very popular subject in Roman mosaics. Provenance: Villa Ruffinella, Rome. (Palazzo Massimo, Rome). Photographer: Mark Cartwright
The Alexander Mosaic, dating from circa 100 BCE, depicts the Battle of Issus (333 BCE) between Alexander the Great and Darius III of Persia. It is one of the most spectacular and recognisable depictions of Alexander the Great and Darius III. This video explores the messages and details in this mosaic.
The mosaic was originally found in the House of the Faun in Pompeii. The original is preserved in the Naples National Archaeological Museum.
Lion attacking gazelles in a mosaic from the floor of the bath hall in the palace complex of Khirbat Al Mafjar. The palace was built by Caliph Walid Ibn Yazid in 734 CE and is located near Jericho in the Jordan Valley. It is one of the last surviving sophisticated desert palaces in the region and is renowned for its early Islamic art including elaborate mosaics, stucco carvings and sculpture. Early Islamic art was heavily influenced by the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean and Near East. One can easily discern strong Hellenistic and Roman influences here. Photographer: Bot (Eloquence)
This mosaic scene of tame deer drinking from an ornate fountain was a popular scene in Early Christian art, as it symbolized the fountain of life. 4th or 5th century CE, from Carthage. On display at the British Museum, London (MLA 1859.4-2.90 BM Cat. Mosaics 48). Photographer: Bot (Eloquence)
A Roman floor mosaic dating to between 350 and 375 CE and depicting fruit. Food was a popular subject in mosaics throughout the Roman period. Provenance: Toragnola, Rome. (Vatican Museums, Rome). Photographer: Mark Cartwright
3rd Century mosaic of Bikini Girls at the Villa Romana at Piazza Armerina in Sicily. Photographer: Roundtheworld
Roman mosaic of a gypsy girl, 2nd century CE?, Gaziantep Zeugma, Turkey. Photographer: James Gordon
A floor mosaic from Pompeii depicting a guard dog. (1st century CE). Photographer: WolfgangReiger