Curator‘s Comments

Antioch-on-the-Orontes, the capital of the Roman province of Syria, was one of the four great cities of the ancient world. This mosaic was discovered in August 1937 at an excavation site in Seleucia Pieria, Antioch’s seaport. It was one section of the floor panel of a triclinium, or dining room, of a private house. The center of the panel contained figures personifying Roman provinces, and river figures were in the four corners. This section, one of the corners, contains a bust-length image of a personification of the river Pyramos. Antioch-on-the-Orontes became part of the Roman Empire in the first century C.E. Though its inhabitants adopted Roman customs, they continued to speak Greek, as evidenced by the inscriptions.

Unknown artist. Roman, Syria, mid-to-late 2nd century C.E.

Floor Segment: Personification of the River Pyramos, n.d.

Marble and limestone tesserae

Purchased with the Drayton Hillyer Fund

ID Number: SC 1938:14