Revisiting the Leda Mosaic Found at Kornmarkt, Trier (Augusta Treverorum) Articles uri icon

publication date

  • November 2022

start page

  • 225

end page

  • 250


  • 15

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1309-047X


  • This article aims to review the representations of the exceptional mosaic found in the vicinity of the Kornmarkt
    in Trier, which, since its discovery, has been subject to different interpretations.
    Undoubtedly, the unique character and the inexplicable, at least in appearance, conjugation of the two main
    scenes, with various inscriptions, in the two large concave octagons that stand out in the geometric scheme of
    the field, that is, a scene perhaps of sleight of hand and another of mythological inspiration with the birth of
    Helena, have given rise to theories, among others, as opposite as the representation of a mystery cult and, in
    the completely opposite sense, another that identifies it as an expression of the mockery of traditional cults from
    the most critical Christian sectors of Augusta Treverorum.
    In this paper, however, the analysis of the figures contained in the geometric compartments in the shape of a
    circle and a spindle, with servants and saltatrices, who are also identified by epigraphs with their own names,
    sheds light on the interpretation of the mosaic. In this regard, the consideration of some parallels for the figures
    of servants and saltatrices, as well as information from literary sources and the context of the ancient Augusta
    Treverorum in which the mosaic was commissioned are equally revealing when drawing our conclusions. on
    the identification of a banquet, including the entertainments of the comissatio.


  • History of Art


  • banquet; servants; saltatrices; prestidigitation; helena's birth