The possible celebration of a solemn event

The iconography that unfolds in the centre of the floor of the vestibule is marked by figures in ceremonial dress, intent on receiving an important individual, presumably the dominus of the villa, who would have advanced on horseback from the left, and therefore from the monumental entrance.At first glance, it seems we are witness to a scene of adventus, meaning “arrival”, and specifically indicating an imperial visit to a city. It was a solemn event, governed by a precise ceremonial code for all citizens, who would express their assent to the emperor and encounter a sense of their collective identity. Branches of laurel, olive tree and palm tree, as well as candles and torches became instruments to welcome the emperor, in a blaze of colours and hymns.
A historical comparison, related to sculpture at the time, can be linked to the Arch of Galerius. Its reliefs, dated from between 303 and 304 AD, depict the entrance of the Eastern Caesar, Galerius, welcomed by the people at the gates of the conquered cities.
In the microcosm of the late antiquity residence of Piazza Armerina, the vestibule mosaic could refer to this celebration due to the details of the clothing and the presence of branches, candles and the diptych on which a text may have been written to be recited (panegyric) or sung (hymn) as an acclamation for the dominus.

Worship of the Lares

An individual who has attracted the attention of scholars

The main nuclei of the Domus

The possible celebration of a solemn event

The capture of wild animals for the roman amphitheatre games

Outdoor breakfast

The senses tell the Basilica

The astral interpretation of the mosaic

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

The mosaics of the late antiquity residence

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

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

The senses tell the massage room

The protagonists of the mosaics

A line of armed men for an important Dominus

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

An eloquent symbol: the signum

The catalogue of animals

The apotheosis of Hercules

The senses tell the Vestibule

The senses tell the frigidarium

A day of hunting at the villa

A hidden meaning

The rural sacrifice

A small room used as a privileged entrance to the baths

Form of greeting or ritual?

The mansio of Philosophiana. A stopping place

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

Semi-public rooms

The senses tell the Bi-Apsed room

The paths of virus, a reflection of the Dominus

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

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

The public and private rooms of the villa

A small room embellished with marble

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

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 Latifundium

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

The senses tell the Quadrangular Peristyle

An organic microcosm: the structure of the villa

An official ceremony to welcome the Dominus

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

The protagonists of the mosaic and the military themed frescoes

The senses tell the monumental entrance

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

The senses tell the Tri-Apsed Triclinium

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

The prestige of the dominus is revealed through the wall frescoes

A view of the race from the imperial gallery

A royal room housed the Dominus during his audiences

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