ЛИКОРДАРИ АНТОНИО (Археологический парк Древней Остии, Италия), ПЕЛЛЕГРИНО АНЖЕЛО (Археологический парк Древней Остии, Италия). Сцены повседневной жизни в мозаиках древней Остии

ANTONIO LICORDARI (Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica, Italy), ANGELO PELLEGRINO (Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica, Italy). Scenes of Daily Life in the Mosaics of Ancient Ostia

In the period of greatest flowering of the mosaic in Ostia, that is the imperial age, the commission was represented by families of a more or less wealthy middle class. They were content to embellish the mosaic floors with a figurative repertoire often of poor artistic quality and simple motifs, not particularly original. In the Roman world black and white floors were widespread, simpler and cheaper to realize. This phenomenon also occurs in Ostia. The most rich social classes, however, allowed themselves to be influenced by the Hellenistic figurative culture and used several times polychrome mosaics.

The simplicity of execution of the mosaic technique with black and white pieces allowed to realize decorative programs of various kinds.

In the environments of vast surfaces mainly mythological themes, fantasy, with plenty of animals, gods and sea monsters, particularly suitable for a seaside resort are spread. These motifs derive from repertoires that were widespread since the late Hellenistic age and that were repeated with minimal variations. Local artists could be more or less in the understanding and elaboration of the subjects. But Ostia, a lively city for its harbour and its commercial exchanges with the major cities of the Mediterranean, also offers a wide repertoire of scenes dedicated to everyday life, on which we intend to focus our attention.

The following main themes can be identified:

1) The world of sport, with boxers, wrestlers and especially aspects of circus competitions. These representations are mainly used in the thermal baths, which by their nature were places intended for recreation to social relations and body care.

2) Peasant life as representation of seasons and work in the fields (for example in a funeral mosaic of Isola Sacra). The mosaic in the Baths of the Coachmen (Terme dei Cisiarii), which depicts a schematic image of city of the late Republican age and a scene of passenger transport by a pair of mules, is also connected to this argument.

3) The world of commerce with the multiple scenes of the Forum of Corporations (Piazzale delle Corporazioni), which are a unique testimony of the commercial relations between the capital of roman Empire and the provinces.

4) The depictions of people even socially humble as the lifeguards of the baths.

5) The grain measurement and its accounting record, which opens a window on the vital problem of urban population supply.

6) Other minor examples of daily life, as hunting and fishing, can also be found in “nilotic” scenes.

древняя Остия, мозаики, повседневность, торговля, термы

Ancient Ostia, mosaic, daily life, commerce, baths