Apollo e le muse in un interno in Nea Paphos

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Elżbieta Jastrzȩbowska



The article presents some archaeological observations informed by recent publica- tions on the ‘House of Aion’ at Nea Paphos. Its archaeological context (coins and pot- tery) dates the construction of this building to the second decade of the 4th century, its partial destruction and final annihilation by a series of earthquakes, to AD 332/342 and 365 respectively. The much-discussed mythological decorative mosaic in the larg- est hall of the House of Aion (triclinium) and the newly analyzed wall paintings in room 7 with figures of Apollo and muses are typical decorative elements of Roman elite houses and residences of Late Antiquity. And yet, the layout of the House and the presence of two rooms with a wooden floor laid over an earlier water cistern to convert it into a cellar, possibly a treasure vault, suggest that the function of the complex was not residential at all. Indeed, the close proximity of the ‘House of Aion’ to the ‘Villa of Theseus’, rebuilt during the same period and converted into the prae- torium of the governor, suggests that the House could have been a seat of a Roman association, perhaps the seat of the synodos of Dionisiac artists of the theatre.


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