Roman Mosaics Information

Roman buildings left standing today are abundantly decorated with amazing mosaics. Most of the mosaics captured historical scenes and that of everyday life. Villa owners often have personalized mosaic designs but the finest Roman mosaics can be found at Bignor Roman Villa and Fishbourne Roman Palace.

Here are some of the Roman mosaics:

Cupid Astride Dolphin – this mosaic is the centerpiece of Fishbourne Roman Palace and it measures about 17 x 7 ft; this was created in the 3rd century

Seahorse – this mosaic of sea panthers and seahorses surrounds the cupid mosaic

Head of Medusa – at Bignor Roman Villa, you will find this mosaic that features Medusa. According to Greek mythology, she is a mortal Gorgon with snakes on her head. Perseus killed her by cutting her head off. Some say that when you look at the head of Medusa, you can be turned to stone.

Venus – this mosaic can also be found in Bignor and is considered among the finest Roman mosaics. The mosaic is flanked by winged cupids and long-tailed birds. Some experts say that the lady in the mosaic is not actually Venus but just a mortal or perhaps one of the ladies in the house.

Gladiator – this mosaic is simply a part of the panel together with gladiator-dressed winged cupids. The gladiator carries a sword and s shield; he wores breast-plate, helmet, and leg guards.

Gladiator Umpire – this mosaic shows an umpire who watches a retarius and secutor fight; he holds a rudus

Gladiator (Retarius) – another mosaic of a gladiator but this time, a wounded one; he wore a girdle and light tunic, and carried a trident, net, and short sword

Long-tailed Bird – this mosaic is found on the sides of the Venus mosaic. The mosaic tiles used for the birds and fern are green-colored glass.

Ganymede and the Eagle – this mosaic shows Ganymede, a Trojan Prince, being carried off by the eagle to Mount Olympus

Mosaic Detail – this mosaic is found in one room of Bignor in Sussex. The room had an underfloor heating and it was used during winter as a dining room

Mosaic Cross detail – the mosaic used local materials; the sandstone produce orange, yellow, and red; limestone and chalks were used to create blue or grey for purbeck and white marble

The Fishbourne Roman Palace was probably developed during the first century after the Roman invasion. It was accidentally excavated in 1960. It houses in-situ collections of mosaics. The palace originally has 100 rooms and almost all the rooms have mosaic floors. When it was discovered, only about a quarter of the mosaic remains were uncovered. Some of the mosaics were still complete while others range from small to isolated patches.

At the palace’s north wing, most of the mosaics were preserved. You can find around 20 fragments of mosaic here.

Bignor Roman Villa also has many amazing Roman mosaics. You can visit this villa everyday from 10am – 5pm. The mosaic floors in the villa are world-class and if you’re interested in Roman mosaics, make sure that you visit this beautiful place.

Roman mosaics are an important part of history. It seems that the artist back then were very meticulous with their work. Despite the harsh weather and the ever-changing times, the mosaics were able to survive through the years. Very old mosaics are priceless and if you want to catch a glimpse of Roman history, check out the mosaics in Sussex now.