Lecture 11

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Classics 456  Dr/. Soren

Greek and Roman Painting and Mosaics


                 Lecture 11: Piazza Armerina in Sicily


A. General Description of the Villa


   l. Dug poorly-- G.V. Gentili

   2. Most vast expanse of mosaic flooring in Roman empire

   3. Redug in small probes by Andrea Carandini

   4. Triple arched entry

   5. Asymmetricality- North African origins?

   6. Adventus courtyard

   7. Main Peristyle of Entrance- animal protome mosaics

   8. Bathing areas

   9. The Great Chariot Race in the Circus

      a. Spina, Obelisk argument, Lap Counter

      b. Shrines, Metae (3), Carceres, 3 Temples

      c. Naufragium of red, victory of green, also blue and white

      d. Prize ceremony- laurel branch, trumpet

      e. Cheerleaders on track

      f. Collapsed narrative

B. The significance of the Circus

   l. Exaltation of Dynasty- maximalist idea, dominus et deus

  2.Trier, Milan, Aquileia, Antioch, Thessalonike, etc.


C. The Small Hunt

   l. Main room of north wing

   2. Sacrifice to Diana and open air picnic


D. The Bikini Girls- southeast rooms repair

   l. Date uncertain in the fourth century

   2. Inferior quality workmanship

   3. The Apollo Room with the Orpheus Mosaic


E. The So-called Basilica and the Bedroom of the Dominus

   l. Odysseus and the Blinding of Polyphemus

   2. When does a cyclops have 3 eyes?


F. The Family Quarters

   l. The Glory of Hercules

   2. Titans fall, central scene of death and destruction


G. The Corridor of the Great Hunt

   l. Collapsed narrative- 70 meters

      a. Animal attacks in wild, loading and unloading

   2. Loading and unloading of animal transport ship

   3. Official present wear berets

   4. Africa    

   5. Tiger cub escape with convex mirror or shield

   6. Leopard lured into cage with kid

   7. Rolling cage transport


H. Whose villa is it?

   l. Maximian or Maxentius

   2. None of the above?


For a PowerPoint of this lecture click here.