Polychrome Mosaic with Geometric Pattern

Little is known about the origin of these two fragments, belonging to the same mosaic frame of an elegant polychrome Roman floor. For almost fifty years they were exhibited on the wall of the Pauline Museum and were most likely displayed previously in the Gregorian Profane Lateran Museum.

From the outer to inner sections, the mosaic consists of a white band, followed by a black band and then the motif of the meander, using red, gray and white tesseras (tiles) to create a three-dimensional illusion, as if it were in relief. The high quality of this mosaic border implies a corresponding level of quality for the central section of the mosaic surface, which unfortunately has been lost. 

This type of decoration finds excellent comparisons with the mosaics of the Romae domus style from the late Republican age (first half of the first century B.C.), such the floor detached from a domus underneath the present Via Quattro Novembre (set up in 1883 inside the Sala della Lupa, Palazzo dei Conservatori in Rome), the floor from a dwelling under the Church of St. Peter in Chains, the floor in a suburban villa of Tusculum (on the Colli Albani), and several others.