In the mosaic, disfigured by large gaps, we can still identify the mythological scene beginning from the apse, occupied by a tree with branches populated by various types of birds;
at its base
is depicted, the mythical epic poet wrapped by a wide drape, averting his gaze as though seeking poetic inspiration.
Around him gather animals of all species, starting from the smallest at the top to those of greater size at the bottom, such as the bison and the elephant.
The floor decoration translates some of
’s verses into images: “Such was the grove of trees the poet gathered round him, and he sat in the midst of a crowd, of animals and birds” (
, X, 142-143) highlighting the triumph of virtue and reason over bestial violence.
Orpheus tames the wild animals, a sign of irrational passion, with the sound of the cithara and the use of poetry.