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M is for… Mosaic

Mosaic ornamentation was widely used in the decoration of houses in Pompeii.

One of highlights is the large mosaic of Alexander at the Battle of Issus, from the House of the Faun.  This battle occurred in southern Anatolia, in November 333 BC. The invading troops led by the young Alexander, outnumbered more than 2:1, defeated the army personally led by Darius III of Achaemenid Persia in the second great battle for primacy in Asia.  Despite some damage, you can clearly see Alexander on his great horse Bucephalos, and Darius in a chariot.

A common mosaic decoration at the entrance to houses in Pompeii, was the mosaic guard dog.  A particularly good example can be seen in the vestibule of the House of the Tragic Poet.  The domesticated dog is leashed and chained to the floor and below it are the words “CAVE CANEM”,  Beware of the Dog.

Here’s a small mosaic of Pompeii mosaics:

Linked to  MMM ChallengeMosaic Monday and Alphabe Thursday.

18 replies »

  1. Mosaics are interesting. I can’t think of any off hand that I’ve seen in person, but I appreciate the most educating post to see something from part of the world that I will never visit.


  2. I like your: “…mosaic guard dog: A particularly good example can be seen in the vestibule of the House of the Tragic Poet…” – yes, I’m not a poet, only a blogger, do not have a dog guarding me, only a cat (and if a stranger comes, she hides in the bookshelf behind the largest books)


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