Roma Aeterna– Part Four (the Frescoes and Mosaics in the Ruins)

The Romans were not dumb. They knew you needed lights to get around at night to go to the dinner parties (etc), and one of the things they did to facilitate this was put reflecting stones in their streets especially since the streets were not flat or paved. Here is an example…

They also put this same material in their mosaic floors, so they would reflect light at night.

(Notice the meander pattern on the right side… no that’s not an early version of a swastika. The meander pattern named after the meander river in Ephesus comes from Asia Minor).

Small stone mosaic patterns show up not just in floors, but also in fountains, and religious shrines. Check out these three examples…


Here are my two favorite mosaics from Pompeii and Herculaneum— a bird mosaic in a garden, and a fountain mosaic, also from a peristyle garden.

Here is the sort of peristyle garden where you would find such things.
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If you are wondering where the water came from for such fountains, and gardens, there was indoor plumbing, and even sprinkler heads in the gardens of the uber-wealthy…. here’s the plumbing,

We’ll deal with the wall mosaics in the next post.


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