The mosaics of the late antiquity residence

Introduction to the Route

Reconstruction of the events that gave rise to the dynamic architecture of the late antiquity residence and the investigation of its commissioner’s profile have, over time, animated studies conducted by historians and archaeologists, with a formulation of theories that leaves questions unsolved even today.
The itinerary invites us on a journey through time, in some rooms of the Villa Romana, to find revealed or hidden clues relating to the identity of the dominus, present in the iconographies of the mosaic ornaments in the public and private spaces.
Myth and reality merge seamlessly to represent the complexity of the life and activities of an individual of the highest rank, in the late Roman Empire, who skilfully reconciled power and philosophical reflection.

The paths of virus, a reflection of the Dominus

The senses tell the monumental entrance

Form of greeting or ritual?

The senses tell the massage room

The possible celebration of a solemn event

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

A small room embellished with marble

An individual who has attracted the attention of scholars

The main nuclei of the Domus

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

The senses tell the Basilica

The rural sacrifice

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

The Latifundium

The capture of wild animals for the roman amphitheatre games

A line of armed men for an important Dominus

The protagonists of the mosaics

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

The senses tell the Vestibule

Solemn and majestic architecture to welcome a high-ranking commissioner

The senses tell the private entrance to the spa

The senses tell the Sacellum of the Lares

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

Outdoor breakfast

A view of the race from the imperial gallery

The prestige of the dominus is revealed through the wall frescoes

The protagonists of the mosaic and the military themed frescoes

The mosaics of the late antiquity residence

A hidden meaning

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

The senses tell the Bi-Apsed room

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

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

The senses tell the Tri-Apsed Triclinium

The senses tell the Quadrangular Peristyle

An official ceremony to welcome the Dominus

Worship of the Lares

The mansio of Philosophiana. A stopping place

The senses tell the frigidarium

The catalogue of animals

An organic microcosm: the structure of the villa

A dialogue between mythological and realistic scenes

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

The public and private rooms of the villa

A day of hunting at the villa

A royal room housed the Dominus during his audiences

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

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

A small room used as a privileged entrance to the baths

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

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

An eloquent symbol: the signum

The apotheosis of Hercules

The astral interpretation of the mosaic

Semi-public rooms