Roman mosaic  

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Illustration: The Unswept Floor (detail)
Illustration: The Unswept Floor (detail)

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A Roman mosaic is any mosaic, made in Ancient Rome or by Roman artists outside of Roman frontiers. The Romans introduced exquisite mosaics in their domestic architecture and in the places of worship. The earliest examples of Roman floor mosaics are dated to the late Republican period (2nd century BC) and are housed in Delos. The outstanding examples of Late Imperial period are the mosaics in the villa of Casale (c. 300 AD) on Sicily. The mosaic decoration of local palace complex culminates in the gallery, which contains a scene of animal hunting and fighting covering an area of 3,200 square feet (300 square metres).

The colors were determined by materials. The analysis of standard mosaic from Augusta Raurica (late 2nd-early 3rd century AD) revealed forty-two distinct varieties of stone, as well as little glass and ceramic.


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