The Good Shepherd is an image used in the pericope of John 10:1-21, in which Jesus Christ is depicted as the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep. Similar imagery is used in Psalm 23; the Good Shepherd is discussed in the other gospels, the Epistle to the Hebrews, the First Epistle of Peter and the Book of Revelation. In the Gospel of John, Jesus states "I am the good shepherd" in two verses, John 10:11 and 10:14. From John 10:11-18: I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He, a hired hand, not a shepherd, who doesn't own the sheep, sees the wolf coming, leaves the sheep, flees; the wolf snatches the sheep, scatters them. The hired hand flees because he is a hired hand, doesn't care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own, I'm known by my own. I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep. I must bring them and they will hear my voice, they will become one flock with one shepherd. Therefore the Father loves me. No one takes it away from me.
I have power to lay it down, I have power to take it again. I received this commandment from my Father; this passage is one of several sections of John's Gospel which generate division among the Jews: "There was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. Many of them said, ` He is mad. Why do you listen to Him?' Others said,'These are not the words of one who has a demon'. Jesus Christ is compared to a shepherd in Matthew 2:6, Matthew 9:36, Matthew 25:32, Matthew 26:31, Mark 6:34, Mark 14:27, John 10:2, Hebrews 13:20, 1 Peter 2:25, 1 Peter 5:4, Revelation 7:17. Several authors such as Tinto, Barbara Reid, Arland Hultgren or Donald Griggs comment that "parables are noticeably absent from the Gospel of John". According to the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Parables: "There are no parables in St. John's Gospel" and according to the Encyclopædia Britannica article on Gospel of St. John: "Here Jesus' teaching contains no parables and but three allegories, the Synoptists present it as parabolic through and through."
The image of the Good Shepherd is the most common of the symbolic representations of Christ found in early Christian art in the Catacombs of Rome, before Christian imagery could be made explicit. The form of the image showing a young man carrying a lamb round his neck was directly borrowed from the much older pagan kriophoros and in the case of portable statuettes like the most famous one now in the Pio Cristiano Museum, Vatican City, it is impossible to say whether the image was created with the intention of having a Christian significance; the image continued to be used in the centuries after Christianity was legalized in 313. It was not understood as a portrait of Jesus, but a symbol like others used in Early Christian art, in some cases may have represented the Shepherd of Hermas, a popular Christian literary work of the 2nd century. However, by about the 5th century, the figure more took on the appearance of the conventional depiction of Christ, as it had developed by this time, was given a halo and rich robes, as on the apse mosaic in the church of Santi Cosma e Damiano in Rome, or at Ravenna.
Images of the Good Shepherd include a sheep on his shoulders, as in the Lukan version of the Parable of the Lost Sheep. In ancient Greek cult, kriophoros or criophorus, the "ram-bearer" is a figure that commemorates the solemn sacrifice of a ram, it becomes an epithet of Hermes: Hermes Kriophoros. In two-dimensional art, Hermes Kriophoros transformed into the Christ carrying a lamb and walking among his sheep: "Thus we find philosophers holding scrolls or a Hermes Kriophoros which can be turned into Christ giving the Law and the Good Shepherd respectively"; the Good Shepherd is a common motif from the Catacombs of Rome and in sarcophagus reliefs, where Christian and pagan symbolism are combined, making secure identifications difficult. Media related to Good Shepherd at Wikimedia Commons Holman Bible Dictionary - "Shepherd" for other Biblical references
Psalm 23 is the 23rd psalm of the Book of Psalms known in English by its first verse, in the King James Version, "The Lord is my Shepherd". The Book of Psalms is the third section of the Hebrew Bible, a book of the Christian Old Testament. In the Greek Septuagint version of the Bible, in its Latin translation in the Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 22 in a different numbering system. In Latin, it is known as "Dominus reget me et nihil mihi deerit". Like all psalms, Psalm 23 was used in worship by the ancient Hebrews; the writer describes God as his shepherd, in the role of provider. The psalm is read and sung by Jews and Christians, it has been called the best-known of the psalms for its universal theme of trust in God. Following is the Hebrew text and English translation of Psalm 23: Psalm 23 is traditionally sung during the third Shabbat meal. Psalm 23 is recited in the presence of a deceased person, such as by those keeping watch over the body before burial, at the funeral service itself. For Christians the image of God as a shepherd evokes connections not only with David but with Jesus, described as "Good Shepherd" in the Gospel of John.
The phrase about "the valley of the shadow of death" is taken as an allusion to the eternal life given by Jesus. Orthodox Christians include this Psalm in the prayers of preparation for receiving the Eucharist; the Reformation inspired widespread efforts in western Europe to make biblical texts available in vernacular languages. One of the most popular early English versions was the Geneva Bible; the most recognized version of the psalm in English today is undoubtedly the one drawn from the King James Bible. The psalm is a popular passage for memorization and is used in sermons. An early metrical version of the psalm in English was made in 1565 by Thomas Sternhold. Other metrical versions to emerge from the Protestant Reformation include those from The Bay Psalm Book and a version influenced by Sternholm published in the Scottish Psalter; the latter version is still encountered, in many Protestant hymns. Other notable metrical versions include those by George Herbert, Philip Sidney, Isaac Watts.
A metrical version of the psalm is traditionally sung to the hymn tune Crimond attributed to Jessie Seymour Irvine. This version, with its opening words "The Lord's My Shepherd", is the best-known amongst English-speaking congregations. Other melodies, such as Brother James' Air or Amazing Grace, are used. Other tunes sometimes used include Belmont, Martyrdom and Wiltshire. In the twentieth century, Psalm 23 became associated with funeral liturgies in the English-speaking world, films with funeral scenes depict a graveside recitation of the psalm. Official liturgies of English-speaking churches were slow to adopt this practice, though; the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England has only Psalms 39 and 90 in its order for the burial of the dead, in the Episcopal Church in the United States, Psalm 23 was not used for funerals until the 1928 revision of the prayer book. The theme of God as a shepherd was common in ancient Mesopotamia. For example, King Hammurabi, in the conclusion to his famous legal code, wrote: "I am the shepherd who brings well-being and abundant prosperity.
So that the strong might not oppress the weak, that the orphan and the widow might be treated with justice." This imagery and language was well known to the community that created the Psalm, was imported into its worship. Psalm 23 portrays God as a good shepherd and leading his flock; the "rod and staff" are the implements of a shepherd. Some commentators see the shepherd imagery pervading the entire psalm, it is known that the shepherd is to know each sheep by name, thus when God is given the analogy of a shepherd, he is not only a protector but the caretaker. God, as the caretaker, leads the sheep to green pastures and still waters because he knows that each of his sheep must be led to be fed. Thus, without its Shepherd, the sheep would die either by a predator or of starvation, since sheep are known for their helplessness without their shepherd. J. Douglas MacMillan argues that verse 5 refers to the "old oriental shepherding practice" of using little raised tables to feed sheep. "Thou anointest my head with oil" may refer to an ancient form of backliner – the oil is poured on wounds, repels flies.
MacMillan notes that verse 6 reminds him of two loyal sheepdogs coming behind the flock. John Ellinwood argues that in verses 4 and 5 King David acknowledges God's protection in expeditions and in battles. "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies" refers to the sober raucous dinner before major battles. These were raucous in order to demoralize hostiles camped within earshot, the king ate from a table. "Thou anointest my head with oil" because tomorrow this ceremony might be impossible. After each victory there was no longer a need for sobriety, so "my cup runneth over." The king's lyricist wisely shortened these military verses for balance. In Psalm 18 David mentions God's protection in battle.. The first verse of the Psalm ascribes authorship to King David, said in the Hebrew Scriptures to have been a field shepherd himself as a youth. However, some scholars do not believe. 2013: Australian singer songwriter Paul Kelly from the album Poems For Funerals Mazor, Lea. Berlin, Adele.
Book of Psalms. The Oxford Dictionary of the J
As a literary device, an allegory is a metaphor in which a character, place or event is used to deliver a broader message about real-world issues and occurrences. Allegory has occurred throughout history in all forms of art because it can illustrate or convey complex ideas and concepts in ways that are comprehensible or striking to its viewers, readers, or listeners. Writers or speakers use allegories as literary devices or as rhetorical devices that convey hidden or complex meanings through symbolic figures, imagery, or events, which together create the moral, spiritual, or political meaning the author wishes to convey. First attested in English in 1382, the word allegory comes from Latin allegoria, the latinisation of the Greek ἀλληγορία, "veiled language, figurative", which in turn comes from both ἄλλος, "another, different" and ἀγορεύω, "to harangue, to speak in the assembly", which originates from ἀγορά, "assembly". Northrop Frye discussed what he termed a "continuum of allegory", a spectrum that ranges from what he termed the "naive allegory" of The Faerie Queene, to the more private allegories of modern paradox literature.
In this perspective, the characters in a "naive" allegory are not three-dimensional, for each aspect of their individual personalities and the events that befall them embodies some moral quality or other abstraction. The origins of Allegory can be traced at least back to Homer in his "quasi-allegorical" use of personifications of, e.g. Terror and Fear at Il. 115 f. The title of "first allegorist," however, is awarded to whoever was the earliest to put forth allegorical interpretations of Homer; this approach leads to two possible answers: Theagenes of Rhegium or Pherecydes of Syros, both of whom are presumed to be active in the 6th century B. C. E. Though Pherecydes is earlier and as he is presumed to be the first writer of prose; the debate is complex, since it demands we observe the distinction between two conflated uses of the Greek verb "allēgoreīn," which can mean both "to speak allegorically" and "to interpret allegorically." In the case of "interpreting allegorically," Theagenes appears to be our earliest example.
In response to proto-philosophical moral critiques of Homer, Theagenes proposed symbolic interpretations whereby the Gods of the Iliad stood for physical elements. So, Hephestus represents Fire, for instance; some scholars, argue that Pherecydes cosmogonic writings anticipated Theagenes allegorical work, illustrated by his early placement of Time in his genealogy of the gods, thought to be a reinterpretation of the titan Kronos, from more traditional genealogies. In classical literature two of the best-known allegories are the Cave in Plato's Republic and the story of the stomach and its members in the speech of Menenius Agrippa. Among the best-known examples of allegory, Plato's Allegory of the Cave, forms a part of his larger work The Republic. In this allegory, Plato describes a group of people who have lived chained in a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall; the people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows, using language to identify their world.
According to the allegory, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality, until one of them finds his way into the outside world where he sees the actual objects that produced the shadows. He tries to tell the people in the cave of his discovery, but they do not believe him and vehemently resist his efforts to free them so they can see for themselves; this allegory is, on a basic level, about a philosopher who upon finding greater knowledge outside the cave of human understanding, seeks to share it as is his duty, the foolishness of those who would ignore him because they think themselves educated enough. In Late Antiquity Martianus Capella organized all the information a fifth-century upper-class male needed to know into an allegory of the wedding of Mercury and Philologia, with the seven liberal arts the young man needed to know as guests. Other early allegories are found in the Hebrew Bible, such as the extended metaphor in Psalm 80 of the Vine and its impressive spread and growth, representing Israel's conquest and peopling of the Promised Land.
Allegorical is Ezekiel 16 and 17, wherein the capture of that same vine by the mighty Eagle represents Israel's exile to Babylon. Allegorical interpretation of the Bible continues. For example, the re-discovered IVth Commentary on the Gospels by Fortunatianus of Aquileia has a comment by its English translator: The principal characteristic of Fortunatianus’ exegesis is a figurative approach, relying on a set of concepts associated with key terms in order to create an allegorical decoding of the text. Allegory has an ability to freeze the temporality of a story, while infusing it with a spiritual context. Mediaeval thinking accepted allegory as having a reality underlying any rhetorical or fictional uses; the allegory was as true as the facts of surface appearances. Thus, the Papal Bull Unam Sanctam presents themes of the unity of Christendom with the pope as its head in which the allegorical details of the metaphors are adduced as facts on, based a demonstration with the vocabulary of logic: "There
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation called the Revelation to John, the Apocalypse of John, The Revelation, or Revelation, the Revelation of Jesus Christ or the Apocalypse, is the final book of the New Testament, therefore the final book of the Christian Bible. It occupies a central place in Christian eschatology, its title is derived from the first word of the text, written in Koine Greek: apokalypsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation". The Book of Revelation is the only apocalyptic document in the New Testament canon; the author names himself in the text as "John", but his precise identity remains a point of academic debate. Second-century Christian writers such as Justin Martyr, Melito the bishop of Sardis, Clement of Alexandria and the author of the Muratorian fragment identify John the Apostle as the "John" of Revelation. Modern scholarship takes a different view, many consider that nothing can be known about the author except that he was a Christian prophet; some modern scholars characterise Revelation's author as a putative figure whom they call "John of Patmos".
The bulk of traditional sources date the book to the reign of the emperor Domitian, the evidence tends to confirm this. The book spans three literary genres: the epistolary, the apocalyptic, the prophetic, it begins with John, on the island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea, addressing a letter to the "Seven Churches of Asia". He describes a series of prophetic visions, including figures such as the Seven Headed Dragon, The Serpent and the Beast, culminating in the Second Coming of Jesus; the obscure and extravagant imagery has led to a wide variety of Christian interpretations: historicist interpretations see in Revelation a broad view of history. The name Revelation comes from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: ἀποκάλυψις, which means "unveiling" or "revelation"; the author names himself as "John", but modern scholars consider it unlikely that the author of Revelation wrote the Gospel of John. Pope Dionysius of Alexandria set out some of the evidence for this view as early as the second half of the third century, noting that the gospel and the epistles attributed to John, unlike Revelation, do not name their author, that the Greek of the gospel is stylistically correct and elegant while that of Revelation is neither.
Tradition ascribes the authorship to John the Apostle, but it seems unlikely that the apostle could have lived into the most time for the book's composition, the reign of Domitian, the author never states that he knew Jesus. All, known is that this John was a Jewish Christian prophet belonging to a group of such prophets, was accepted as such by the congregations to whom he addresses his letter, his precise identity remains unknown, modern scholarship refers to him as "John of Patmos". The book has been written about 95 AD; the date is suggested by clues in the visions pointing to the reign of the emperor Domitian. The beast with seven heads and the number 666 seem to allude directly to the emperor Nero, but this does not require that Revelation was written in the 60s, as there was a widespread belief in decades that Nero would return. Revelation is an apocalyptic prophecy with an epistolary introduction addressed to seven churches in the Roman province of Asia. "Apocalypse" means the revealing of divine mysteries.
The entire book constitutes the letter—the letters to the seven individual churches are introductions to the rest of the book, addressed to all seven. While the dominant genre is apocalyptic, the author sees himself as a Christian prophet: Revelation uses the word in various forms twenty-one times, more than any other New Testament book; the predominant view is that Revelation alludes to the Old Testament although it is difficult among scholars to agree on the exact number of allusions or the allusions themselves. Revelation quotes directly from the Old Testament, yet every verse alludes to or echoes older scriptures. Over half of the references stem from Daniel, Ezekiel and Isaiah, with Daniel providing the largest number in proportion to length and Ezekiel standing out as the most influential; because these references appear as allusions rather than as quotes, it is difficult to know whether the author used the Hebrew or the Greek version of the Hebrew scriptures, but he was often influenced by the Greek.
He frequently combines multiple references, again the allusional style makes it impossible to be certain to what extent he did so consciously. According to several studies including a review by Dr James Tabor and Dr J. Mass
In architecture, an apse is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault or semi-dome known as an exedra. In Byzantine and Gothic Christian church architecture, the term is applied to a semi-circular or polygonal termination of the main building at the liturgical east end, regardless of the shape of the roof, which may be flat, domed, or hemispherical. Smaller apses may be in other locations shrines. An apse is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault; the apse of a church, cathedral or basilica is the semicircular or polygonal termination to the choir or sanctuary, or sometimes at the end of an aisle. In relation to church architecture it is the name given to where the altar is placed or where the clergy are seated. An apse is found in a synagogue, e.g. Maoz Haim Synagogue; the apse is separated from the main part of the church by the transept. Smaller apses are sometimes built in locations other than the east end for reliquaries or shrines of saints; the domed apse became a standard part of the church plan in the early Christian era.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church tradition, the south apse is known as diaconicon and the north apse as prothesis. Various ecclesiastical features of which the apse may form part are drawn together here: The chancel, directly to the east beyond the choir contains the High Altar, where there is one; this area is reserved for the clergy, was therefore called the "presbytery," from the Greek presbuteros meaning "elder", or in older and Catholic usage, "priest". Hemi-cyclic choirs, first developed in the East, came to use in France in 470. By the onset of the 13th century, they had been augmented with radiating apse chapels outside the choir aisle, the entire structure of Apse and radiating chapels coming to be known as the chevet. Famous northern French examples of chevets are in the Gothic cathedrals of Amiens and Reims; such radiating chapels are found in England in Norwich and Canterbury cathedrals, but the developed feature is French, though the Francophile connoisseur Henry III introduced it into Westminster Abbey.
The word "ambulatory" refers to a curving aisle in the apse that passes behind the altar and choir, giving access to chapels in the chevet. An "ambulatory" may refer to the arcade passages that enclose a cloister in a monastery, or to other types of aisles round the edge of a church building, for example in circular churches. Architectural development of the eastern end of cathedrals in England and France Byzantine architecture Cathedral architecture Church architecture Narthex Joseph Nechvatal, "Immersive Excess in the Apse of Lascaux", Technonoetic Arts 3, no. 3, 2005. Spiers, Richard Phené. "Apse". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2. Cambridge University Press. Pp. 231–232. This has a detailed description of examples in the early church
Hermes is the god of trade, merchants, roads, trickery, sports and athletes in Ancient Greek religion and mythology. Hermes was the messenger of the gods. Hermes was "the divine trickster" and "the god of boundaries and the transgression of boundaries... the patron of herdsmen, thieves and heralds." He is described as moving between the worlds of the mortal and divine, was the conductor of souls into the afterlife. He was viewed as the protector and patron of roads and travelers. In some myths, he is a trickster and outwits other gods for his own satisfaction or for the sake of humankind, his attributes and symbols include the herma, the rooster, the tortoise, satchel or pouch, winged sandals, winged cap. His main symbol is the Greek kerykeion or Latin caduceus, which appears in a form of two snakes wrapped around a winged staff with carvings of the other gods. In the Roman adaptation of the Greek pantheon, Hermes is identified with the Roman god Mercury, though inherited from the Etruscans, developed many similar characteristics such as being the patron of commerce.
The earliest form of the name Hermes is the Mycenaean Greek *hermāhās, written e-ma-a2 in the Linear B syllabic script. Most scholars derive "Hermes" from Greek ἕρμα herma, "prop, heap of stones, boundary marker", from which the word hermai derives; the etymology of ἕρμα itself is unknown, but it is not a Proto-Indo-European word. However, the stone etymology is linked to Indo-European *ser-. Scholarly speculation that "Hermes" derives from a more primitive form meaning "one cairn" is disputed. In Greek, a lucky find. According to one theory that has received considerable scholarly acceptance, Hermes himself originated as a form of the god Pan, identified as a reflex of the Proto-Indo-European pastoral god *Péh2usōn, in his aspect as the god of boundary markers; the epithet supplanted the original name itself and Hermes took over the roles as god of messengers and boundaries, which had belonged to Pan, while Pan himself continued to be venerated by his original name in his more rustic aspect as the god of the wild in the isolated mountainous region of Arcadia.
In myths, after the cult of Pan was reintroduced to Attica, Pan was said to be Hermes's son. Other origins have been proposed. R. S. P. Beekes suggests a Pre-Greek origin. Other scholars have suggested. Homer and Hesiod portrayed Hermes as the author of skilled or deceptive acts and as a benefactor of mortals. In the Iliad, he is called "the bringer of good luck", "guide and guardian", "excellent in all the tricks", he was a divine ally of the Greeks against the Trojans. However, he did protect Priam when he went to the Greek camp to retrieve the body of his son Hector and accompanied them back to Troy, he rescued Ares from a brazen vessel where he had been imprisoned by Otus and Ephialtes. In the Odyssey, Hermes helps his great-grand son, the protagonist Odysseus, by informing him about the fate of his companions, who were turned into animals by the power of Circe. Hermes instructed Odysseus to protect himself by chewing a magic herb; when Odysseus killed the suitors of his wife, Hermes led their souls to Hades.
In The Works and Days, when Zeus ordered Hephaestus to create Pandora to disgrace humanity by punishing Prometheus's act of giving fire to man, every god gave her a gift, Hermes' gifts were lies, seductive words, a dubious character. Hermes was instructed to take her as wife to Epimetheus. Aeschylus wrote in The Eumenides that Hermes helped Orestes kill Clytemnestra under a false identity and other stratagems, said that he was the god of searches, those who seek things lost or stolen. In Philoctetes, Sophocles invokes Hermes when Odysseus needs to convince Philoctetes to join the Trojan War on the side of the Greeks, in Euripides' Rhesus Hermes helps Dolon spy on the Greek navy. Aesop featured him in several of his fables, as ruler of the gate of prophetic dreams, as the god of athletes, of edible roots, of hospitality, he said that Hermes had assigned each person his share of intelligence. Peitho, the goddess of seduction and persuasion, was said by Nonnus to be the wife of Hermes. Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, was wooed by Hermes.
After she had rejected him, Hermes sought the help of Zeus to seduce her. Zeus, out of pity, sent his eagle to take away Aphrodite's sandal when she was bathing, gave it to Hermes; when Aphrodite came looking for the sandal, Hermes made love to her. She bore him Hermaphroditus. Apemosyne, a princess of Crete. One day while travelling, Hermes fell in love with her, he was unable to catch her since she was swifter than him. So he strewed some newly stripped hides along the road, on which she slipped when she was returning after a while, he made love to her. When she disclosed to her brother, what had happened, he took her story about the god to be an excuse, killed her with a kick of his foot. Chione, a princess of Phokis, attracted the attention of Hermes, he slept with her. To Hermes she bore Autolycus. Penelopeia, an Arcadian nymph, was loved by Hermes, their son is said to be the god Pan. She has been confused or
A mosaic is a piece of art or image made from the assembling of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It is used in decorative art or as interior decoration. Most mosaics are made of small, flat square, pieces of stone or glass of different colors, known as tesserae; some floor mosaics, are made of small rounded pieces of stone, called "pebble mosaics". Mosaics have a long history, starting in Mesopotamia in the 3rd millennium BC. Pebble mosaics were made in Tiryns in Mycenean Greece. Early Christian basilicas from the 4th century onwards were decorated with ceiling mosaics. Mosaic art flourished in the Byzantine Empire from the 6th to the 15th centuries. Mosaic fell out of fashion in the Renaissance, though artists like Raphael continued to practise the old technique. Roman and Byzantine influence led Jewish artists to decorate 5th and 6th century synagogues in the Middle East with floor mosaics. Mosaic was used on religious buildings and palaces in early Islamic art, including Islam's first great religious building, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus.
Mosaic went out of fashion in the Islamic world after the 8th century. Modern mosaics are made by professional artists, street artists, as a popular craft. Many materials other than traditional stone and ceramic tesserae may be employed, including shells and beads; the earliest known examples of mosaics made of different materials were found at a temple building in Abra and are dated to the second half of 3rd millennium BC. They consist of pieces of colored stones and ivory. Excavations at Susa and Chogha Zanbil show evidence of the first glazed tiles, dating from around 1500 BC. However, mosaic patterns were not used until the times of Roman influence. Bronze age pebble mosaics have been found at Tiryns. Mythological subjects, or scenes of hunting or other pursuits of the wealthy, were popular as the centrepieces of a larger geometric design, with emphasized borders. Pliny the Elder mentions the artist Sosus of Pergamon by name, describing his mosaics of the food left on a floor after a feast and of a group of doves drinking from a bowl.
Both of these themes were copied. Greek figural mosaics could have been copied or adapted paintings, a far more prestigious artform, the style was enthusiastically adopted by the Romans so that large floor mosaics enriched the floors of Hellenistic villas and Roman dwellings from Britain to Dura-Europos. Most recorded names of Roman mosaic workers are Greek, suggesting they dominated high quality work across the empire. Splendid mosaic floors are found in Roman villas across North Africa, in places such as Carthage, can still be seen in the extensive collection in Bardo Museum in Tunis, Tunisia. There were two main techniques in Greco-Roman mosaic: opus vermiculatum used tiny tesserae cubes of 4 millimeters or less, was produced in workshops in small panels which were transported to the site glued to some temporary support; the tiny tesserae allowed fine detail, an approach to the illusionism of painting. Small panels called emblemata were inserted into walls or as the highlights of larger floor-mosaics in coarser work.
The normal technique was opus tessellatum, using larger tesserae, laid on site. There was a distinct native Italian style using black on a white background, no doubt cheaper than coloured work. In Rome and his architects used mosaics to cover some surfaces of walls and ceilings in the Domus Aurea, built 64 AD, wall mosaics are found at Pompeii and neighbouring sites; however it seems that it was not until the Christian era that figural wall mosaics became a major form of artistic expression. The Roman church of Santa Costanza, which served as a mausoleum for one or more of the Imperial family, has both religious mosaic and decorative secular ceiling mosaics on a round vault, which represent the style of contemporary palace decoration; the mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale near Piazza Armerina in Sicily are the largest collection of late Roman mosaics in situ in the world, are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The large villa rustica, owned by Emperor Maximian, was built in the early 4th century.
The mosaics were covered and protected for 700 years by a landslide that occurred in the 12th Century. The most important pieces are the Circus Scene, the 64m long Great Hunting Scene, the Little Hunt, the Labours of Hercules and the famous Bikini Girls, showing women undertaking a range of sporting activities in garments that resemble 20th Century bikinis; the peristyle, the imperial apartments and the thermae were decorated with ornamental and mythological mosaics. Other important examples of Roman mosaic art in Sicily were unearthed on the Piazza Vittoria in Palermo where two houses were discovered; the most important scenes there depicted are an Orpheus mosaic, Alexander the Great's Hunt and the Four Seasons. In 1913 the Zliten mosaic, a Roman mosaic famous for its many scenes from gladiatorial contests and everyday life, was discovered in the Libyan town of Zliten. In 2000 archaeologists working