- Museum number
Mosaic with a floral trellis pattern with busts representing three of the nine muses in wreathed squares.
- Production date
- 150-200 (circa)
Height: 1.51 metres
Length: 4.13 metres
- Curator's comments
- The figures have previously been interpreted as either three of the four seasons or of the 12 months of the year. Female busts representing seasons are usually depicted with attributes identfiying the specific seasons. For instance, spring is associated with roses and summer with corn, so female busts usually have a rose or ears of corn in their hair. (see British Museum 1857,1218.126-144). Furthermore, the seasons are usually set in a symmetrical pattern which is not possible on this mosaic panel.
Mosaics representing the 12 months of the year are typically later in date than this panel.
It is more likely that the three figures represent three of the nine muses. Other representations of the muses display them in three rows of three as could be the case in this instance. See Dunbabin, K. 'The Mosaics of Roman North Africa: Studies in iconography and patronage', 1978, pl. 133, from El Djem.
Unlike the El Djem mosaic, there are no attributes specific to each figure which enables us to further identify each muse.
- On display (West Stairs)
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number