The spaces of private life

Works for the muses: the mosaics of the Hellenistic-Roman quarter

In the Imperial Age, around the 3rd century AD, the houses of Agrigentum experienced a period of splendour and prosperity in which they were enlarged and renovated with very fine black and white or polychrome mosaic decorations, which gradually replaced the older technique of opus signinum . The most refined and best preserved examples were found in the Casa delle Svastiche (House of Swastikas), which features mosaic flooring with floral, zoomorphic and geometric motifs; in the Casa del Mosaico a Rombi (House of Rhombus Mosaics), with a series of rhombuses on the elevation; in the Casa del Maestro Astrattista (House of the Abstract Master), with an opus sectile that imitates a sawn marble floor; and in the Casa della Gazzella (House of the Gazelle), which is where the famous emblem of the gazelle made with opus vermiculatum , derives, now kept at the Regional Archaeological Museum “Pietro Griffo”.
Pavimenti a mosaicoThe great quantity and richness of these finds makes it possible to imagine the availability of immense resources relied on by the Agrigentines.
In fact, composing the mosaics generally needed four different and specialised people, who worked together to give life, tile by tile, to the wonderful mosaics that we can still admire today.
The technique involved the collaboration of the pictor imaginarius, who made up the design of the decoration; the pictor parietarius, who copied the design onto a medium and transferred it onto the cement through holes then brushed with coal dust; the lapidarius structor, who broke the stones into small fragments; and the pictor tessellarius, who placed the tiles on the cement.

The sarcophagus of the Child

Cicero’s account: Agrigentum in In Verrem

A Sanctuary for the Latin gods

The gods of Agrigento

The domus, guardians of private life

The Punic Wars and the final conquest of Akragas

The Roman necropolis

From Akragas to Agrigentum

The Romans settle in Agrigentum

The tomb of Theron

An exceptional discovery: the thermal baths of Agrigentum

The ancient port of Agrigentum

The driver of Agrigentum’s well-being

Works for the muses: the mosaics of the Hellenistic-Roman quarter

The forum in the city of the Akragantines

The theatre of origins

The Kolymbetra Garden

Politics comparison: Akragas and Agrigentum

The Hellenistic-Roman quarter

The centre of politics in Agrigentum

Hellenistic heritage on the streets of Agrigentum

The Oratory of Phalaris

The wellness centres of the Romans

The cult of the Emperor

The life of young people in Roman times

Moments of leisure: the theatre

The Living Almond Museum

Vegetation in the Gardens

The provincial layout of Sicily

Roman affairs

Mens sana in corpore sano: the gymnasium of Agrigento

Breathing in world heritage together