Form of greeting or ritual?

The salutatio ceremony indicates the act of greeting and, by extension, visiting or offering a gift.
In its simplest meaning, it represents the morning greeting that the dominus or pater familias received from the clientes. The latter generally represented all people of lower rank who exercised a form of reverence towards their patron. The salutatio, uttered with the simple phrase Ave or Ave dominus, was often exercised by the clientes to obtain the benevolence of the master, with a small gift of money or food, the sportula.
The clientes went early in the morning to the domus or the villa of the dominus to pay their salutatio, a token of their respect and act of obedience and submission.
There were also other more solemn forms of greeting and homage, also accompanied by the use of laurel branches, which were addressed to famous figures like our commissioner, for whom the scene is intended.
But the allusion to another occasion has attracted the attention of scholars, who do not rule out the reference to a votorum nuncupatio pro salute imperatoris, still in use in the 4th century AD, an annual and solemn votive offering with prayers for the health of the emperor celebrated in the first three days of the year and included in the New Year celebrations.
The connection with the entrance to the late antiquity residence, which is metaphorically linked to the beginning of the new year, the laurel branches distributed for the occasion as a gift of good wishes and the custom of giving diptychs, are definitely part of this rite, forming the busy calendar of imperial anniversaries.

The public and private rooms of the villa

A hidden meaning

A small room represents one of the activities of the thermal bath route

The paths of virus, a reflection of the Dominus

The mosaics of the late antiquity residence

The rural sacrifice

The senses tell the massage room

An eloquent symbol: the signum

The mansio of Philosophiana. A stopping place

The senses tell the monumental entrance

An organic microcosm: the structure of the villa

Semi-public rooms

A chariot race, set in the circus Maximus of Rome, connects the villa to the city and centre of power

The senses tell the bi-apsed ambulatory – Corridor of the “Great Hunt”

The realistic depiction of a spa procession with a high-ranking female figure

A large colonnaded portico, a place of connection between the rooms

The senses tell the room in the private apartment known as “small hunt”

The senses tell the Bi-Apsed room

The late antiquity residence: locus amoenus and centre of administrative activities in the heart of Sicily

A line of armed men for an important Dominus

An official ceremony to welcome the Dominus

The senses tell the frigidarium

The senses tell the Vestibule

The prestige of the dominus is revealed through the wall frescoes

Form of greeting or ritual?

A view of the race from the imperial gallery

A small room used as a privileged entrance to the baths

The senses tell the Basilica

The main nuclei of the Domus

The possible celebration of a solemn event

The senses tell the Tri-Apsed Triclinium

Auspicious symbols and perhaps the initials of the commissioner’s name decorate the mosaic of the apsidal room

The capture of wild animals for the roman amphitheatre games

The marble from the regions of the empire to decorate the basilica

Worship of the Lares

The golden age: hypotheses about the villa’s period of construction and clues

A day of hunting at the villa

The astral interpretation of the mosaic

The senses tell the Quadrangular Peristyle

The Latifundium

The protagonists of the mosaics

An individual who has attracted the attention of scholars

A royal room housed the Dominus during his audiences

A dialogue between mythological and realistic scenes

Solemn and majestic architecture to welcome a high-ranking commissioner

The protagonists of the mosaic and the military themed frescoes

Outdoor breakfast

A small room embellished with marble

The senses tell the Sacellum of the Lares

High-ranking characters depicted in the mosaics of the apsidal niches of the frigidarium

The apotheosis of Hercules

The senses tell the private entrance to the spa

The catalogue of animals

Banquets and panegyrics enlivened the vast hall, against the background of a floor mosaic celebrating the feats of Hercules

Is the profile of the dominus hidden among the scenes depicted in the mosaics?