Reflections on Music Performance and Dancing in a Roman Mosaic Found on the Aventine Articles uri icon

publication date

  • November 2021

start page

  • 217

end page

  • 233


  • 14

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1309-047X


  • This paper focuses on a figurative scene with musicians and dancers in one of the mosaics found in the grounds of Santa Sabina garden on the Aventine, currently preserved in the Vatican Museums. This representation has been the object of different interpretations and chronological analysis within the context of mime or, more recently, that of a banquet. This contribution delves into whether, judging by the analysis of the iconography and literary sources, these are images that respond to a stereotyped repertoire or they reflect customary practices of that time. Finally, we will also reflect upon to what extent the representation of the protagonists of the event is reliable. To address these questions, it has been necessary to date the mosaic to the beginning of the third century AD, establishing this chronology by comparing the geometric pattern of the mosaic with another found nearby, while also considering the revealing testimonies of contemporary authors, such as Clement of Alexandria.


  • History
  • History of Art
  • Music


  • tibicines; saltatrices; saltatores; dwarf; convivium; literary sources; clement of alexandria; tibisinler; saltatrisler; saltatores; cüce; convivium; edebi kaynaklar; İskenderiyeli clement