Tunisian Mosaics: Treasures from Roman Africa
As the Roman Empire expanded its African settlements in the early centuries of the common era, thousands of mosaic floor pavements were fashioned to adorn the townhouses and rural estates of the African upper classes. Between the second and sixth centuries, mosaic art blossomed, particularly in Africa Proconsularis, the region comprising modern Tunisia. In contrast to the official art of imperial Rome, mosaics generally expressed the worldviews of private citizens. These artworks are remarkable for the intricate beauty of their polychromatic geometric and floral designs, as well as for figural scenes depicting the interests and activities of the patrons who commissioned them--scenes of daily life, athletic contests, gladiator spectacles, and classical literature and mythology.
Abundantly illustrated throughout, Tunisian Mosaics: Treasures from Roman Africa offers the general reader a lively introduction to this extraordinary ancient art. Initial chapters survey the historical background of Roman Africa and discuss the development of mosaic art in the Mediterranean. Subsequent chapters profile Tunisia's major mosaic sites and tour the collections of important museums. A final chapter surveys current initiatives to preserve this heritage for future generations.
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Acholla adorned African mosaic amphitheater ancient animals antiquity Antonine Baths apse archaeological artistic Bacchus Bardo Museum Baths of Trajan Bruce White built Carthage Carthaginian Ceres Ceres Editions Christian church complex composition dated decorated Dionysian Procession Dougga early third century El Jem Elsa Bourguignon emperor excavations fifth century figurative mosaics floor mosaic floral mosaics fourth century geometric and floral goddess Greek inscription Jem Museum Jerry Kobylecki/GCI Kelibia krater Laberii at Oudhna last half late second Magerius medallion Mediterranean monuments mosaic mosaic art Mosaic depicting mosaic pavements mosaic production mosaicists motifs Nabeul North Africa oecus opus sectile opus tessellatum original location panels paved pavement mosaic period peristyle Photo Punic Pupput reception room represented Roman Empire Rome ruins satyr scene second or early Sollertiana Domus Sousse Sousse Museum square style surrounded tableau depicts tesserae theme Thuburbo Majus tion triclinium triconch trifolium Tunis Tunisia turies Uthina Utica Vandals